The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission announced July 18 that it had approved a loan of up to $7 million from the Arkansas Clean Water State Revolving Fund to the City of Crossett.

Under the approval, the ANRC’s executive director will set the rate of interest and additional loan terms and conditions for the 30-year loan, which could include that the city must establish and maintain a depreciation reserve fund.

“The funds will be used to make improvements to the East Crossett Sewer Collection System,” said Mark Bennett, ANRC Water Development Division Manager.

Crossett city officials have long said the sewer upgrade is necessary to be able to handle and ultimately attract new industry.

Crossett Sewer Commissioner Claude Spainhour told the Crossett City Council in January that companies that have considered the area in the past have immediately rejected it when they learned the sewer system’s wastewater capacity.

The approval does not obligate the city to the full amount of the loan, and city officials have said in they past they plan to seek grant funding that will offset the cost of the project, using loans to pay the balance not covered by grants.

The ANRC also announced the approval of a grant and a loan to the City of Portland last Thursday.

The grant was for $98,880 from the Arkansas Water Development Fund for a project located to the east of Portland along Highway 160, involving the construction of 11,910 feet of 6-inch PVC water line and appurtenances to provide wholesale water to the Chicot Junction Water System.

The grand funds will be used for the portion that U.S. Department of Agriculture’s RD is unable to provide as additional grant funding that USDA RD feels the applicant is unable to take as additional debt.

“In addition, this project is to provide water to Chicot Junction, which is also unable to absorb additional debt associated with loan funds,” Bennett said.

The loan approved for Portland was for up to $1,545,000 from the Arkansas Water, Waste Disposal and Pollution Abatement Facilities General Obligation Bond Fund.

The ANRC executive director will establish the rate of interest and additional loan terms and conditions for the 30-year loan.

“The funds will be used to replace the existing mechanical sewage treatment plant with a 3-cell oxidation pond plant,” Bennett said.

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