Diamond Valley Water District (DVWD), a Domestic Water Improvement District (DWID), is very excited to announce that we have qualified for a WIFA (Water Infrastructure Finance Authority) of Arizona loan. This is one of the lowest interest rate loans available to Water Districts for system improvement and replacement projects. There are many more steps to accomplish before the final approval at the WIFA Board meeting on August 20th and loan closing which could be as soon as four weeks after that.
Our first step is to attend the WIFA workshop in Phoenix on April 10th which should give the District invaluable information about the process. The workshop will cover the following topics:
- “An overview of WIFA, including the cost savings and financing terms available through WIFA’s programs;
- Opportunities for loan forgiveness subsidies that may be available for disadvantaged communities;
- Examples of WIFA-funded water infrastructure projects;
- Incentives for green projects;
- Grant and loan application process; and
- Timeline and anticipated funding levels for the upcoming year.”
The District will also have the ability to meet one on one with the WIFA staff to discuss our specific project needs at the workshop.
The next step is to approve the proposed budget with new rates for 2014-2015 which WIFA will need to show that the District can support the loan repayment. The District will publish the proposed budget for two consecutive weekends and then hold the Public Hearing after which the budget and rates are set for approval. Once approved, the budget and rate information will be forwarded to WIFA.
The Project Finance Application (PFA) will be sent to the District by WIFA and must then be completed and returned to WIFA before June 20th. This application will be reviewed by the WIFA Board on August 20th. The District representatives will be required to attend this meeting. After being approved at the WIFA Board Meeting, the loan could close as soon as four weeks later.
The District will be commissioning and then reviewing an Engineering Study which will provide the Scope of Services for the replacement project. This study and the project will address only the underground distribution system: water mains, active service lines, isolation valves, air relief valves, blow off valves, isolation valves, and automated meter reading (AMR) meters.
The District is currently repairing and upgrading some of the above ground equipment. The Ramada site is our first priority for this work as it is in the worst condition. We expect to be able to complete the above ground issues for less than originally anticipated in the Rate Analysis, which is covered in the current District budget ending June 30, 2014.