The City of Fort Lauderdale has been invited to apply for a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If approved, the WIFIA loan would partially fund stormwater improvements in seven Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods that were identified as vulnerable to flooding in the City’s 2018 Stormwater Master Plan:
- Historic Dorsey-Riverbend
- Progresso Village
- River Oaks
- Southeast Isles (several neighborhoods in Las Olas Isles area)
- Victoria Park
The City is issuing $200 million in bonds to cover the costs of projects in these neighborhoods that will bring new stormwater management infrastructure including seawalls, swales, new pipes, and pump systems over a five-year period. A WIFIA loan would provide financing for up to 49% of the total project cost, at a lower interest cost than traditional bonds, resulting in a significant savings to rate payers.
Fort Lauderdale’s proposal is one of 55 chosen by the WIFIA Selection Committee to move forward in the application process. This preliminary approval reflects the value these improvements will bring not only to the neighborhoods in which they are located but also to the City’s stormwater system in general. The City of Fort Lauderdale remains steadfast in our commitment to upgrade our infrastructure while reducing the cost that is associated with bringing such large-scale projects to completion and we will continue to pursue innovative funding opportunities. Staff from the City’s Finance Department and Public Works Department are working closely on this initiative. A response from the EPA is expected later this year.
To read the EPA’s announcement, visit www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-invites-55-new-projects-apply-wifia-loans-improve-water-quality
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