State Grants Low-Interest Loans for $50 Million in Haverhill Sewer Work, $15 Million Groveland Well Project

Public Works Director Robert E. Ward during an earlier appearance before the Haverhill City Council. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill is receiving millions of dollars in state financing help for its sewer projects this year, while Groveland will be receiving state help upgrading its well water treatment.

Haverhill Public Works Director Robert E. Ward told WHAV most of the help comes in the form of low-interest rate financing—previously around 1.5% on a 20-year loan, but there is also a small amount of loan forgiveness granted to communities.

“It is still a low-interest loan, but there is a little bit of forgiveness. Every little bit helps,” he said.

Haverhill sewer projects include South Mill Street Pump Station, $14.6 million of a $57 million upgrade; Locke Street work including combined sewer separation, $23 million; closure of the northern mound of Groveland Road landfill, $10.1 million; and cured-in-place-pipe trenchless lining in various locations, $2.3 million.

Ward said a recent use of pipe lining was repair of 1,100 feet in Mount Washington after last summer’s storm-related collapse.

During the past few years, Ward said, the state offered 6.6% principal forgiveness on sewer projects. There also was a grant-like program that provided about double the principal forgiveness percentage

Meanwhile, a similar Drinking Water State Revolving Fund provides financing of $15 million of a projected $22.3 million project for Groveland wells 1, 3 and 4. The town recently alerted its residents that a change in federal regulations governing per- and polyfluoroalkyl—or PFAS—chemicals mean the community must consider such options as building a water treatment/filtration plant or find sufficient new water sources to comply.

Gov. Maura Healey said the state’s  $1.4 billion loan and grants program for wastewater and drinking water projects is “a substantial investment in our communities that will increase the availability of safe, clean drinking water and ensure the proper disposal of wastewater.”

The State Revolving Fund process is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust—a joint effort of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Executive Office of Administration and Finance and the state treasurer’s office.

“Flooding caused by climate change has overwhelmed many local water and sewer treatment facilities, adding urgency to the need to address this aging infrastructure,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “These low-interest loans and grants provide critical assistance for projects that will replace water mains, expand treatment plant capacity, and install cost-effective renewable energy upgrades.”

Fifty-six of new projects across the state are eligible to receive principal forgiveness, including renewable energy projects and those in communities that meet affordability criteria. The state will reduce the borrowing rate from 2 to 1.5% for communities that support the Housing Choice Initiative.

Comments are closed.