Revolving loan program for unsewered Iowa communities sails through Legislature
April 3, 2009

The Iowa General Assembly has unanimously approved a bill to create a revolving-loan program for unsewered communities. The program (if approved by the governor) would create a program for no-interest loans with terms of up to 40 years for small unsewered communities to install wastewater treatment systems. For most communities, these will most likely involve lagoons, which under the increasing standards of stringency for discharge into Iowa's waterways, will probably in many cases require baffle curtains and aeration. The Iowa Legislature is also considering a bill to establish stormwater utility districts, which are likely to become increasingly important as Federal regulations on stormwater impose greater burdens on local governments to act. In order to act, though, the communities will have to establish methods to tax, which the proposal appears to accommodate. The Iowa General Assembly also just passed a bill to loosen the pursestrings on state aid for communities seeking to upgrade their municipal wastewater treatment systems; required community matching funds have been replaced by a scoring mechanism that gives priority to projects using "alternative" wastewater treatment and to communities where sewer rates are high when compared to median household incomes.

April 2009
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last revised April 2009