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Baxter project officially gets $5.9M loan
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Wastewater infrastructure will soon be underway for Baxter International as the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority awarded the Joint Development Authority a $5.9 million loan.

The JDA board of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties, was awarded a $5,900,000 Georgia Fund loan by The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority board of directors on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

The loan will finance constructing an on-site pre-treatment facility for Baxter International at Stanton Spring industrial park in east Newton County, according to a news release from GEFA.

The pre-treatment facility will reduce biochemical oxygen demand from a maximum of 4,000 milligrams per liter to approximately 300 milligrams per liter.

The JDA board approved applying for the $5.9 million GEFA loan for the wastewater treatment facility for Baxter at its Jan. 15 board meeting.

In April, the JDA entered agreement to fund a $7.9 million for a wastewater treatment facility on the site of Baxter. The JDA received $2 million of funding from a OneGeorgia EDGE grant. The additional $5.9 million would come from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, which has now been awarded.

Board of Commissioners for Newton, Jasper, Morgan and Walton counties all approved intergovernmental agreements in applying for the loan.

Newton and Walton counties will be responsible for repaying the authority 37.5 percent or about $2.2 million each; Morgan County will be responsible for repayment of 15 percent; and Jasper County for 10 percent of the loan.

According to the requested GEFA loan terms, there will be a 0 percent interest rate required for the loan during construction, which is estimated to take place from 2013 to 2014; a 1.82 percent interest rate on the loan for post construction; amortization for 30 years; and no payments until the start of the tax abatement period, which is expected to start between 2018 and 2020.

Though the loan is scheduled to be paid back with an amortization of 30 years, Wayne Tamplin, Newton County’s auditor, previously said the hope is to pay the loan off in about five years.

“Our intention is to pay this down as quickly as possible,” Tamplin said. “If conditions change, we certainly have the option to go to the longer period if necessary.”

This is the second GEFA loan for the Baxter International project. In November 2012, the GEFA board approved a $14 million Georgia Fund loan for the Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority, which will finance the cost of the Covington sewer connection and provide wastewater service to Baxter International.

“GEFA is pleased to support Baxter International and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties with this ambitious economic development project,” –Kevin Clark, GEFA Executive Director, said.

“The state’s commitment to helping cities and counties finance infrastructure projects contributes greatly to improving Georgia’s water resources.”