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Porterdale Council approves federal loans to start sewer upgrades within 90 days
Porterdale City Hall.jpg

PORTERDALE, Ga. — Porterdale’s city council Monday approved $4.3 million in federal loans and a grant to upgrade the city’s aging sewer system that was 10 years in the making, the city manager said.

Frank Etheridge said he anticipated construction will begin within 90 days on the project after the Council approved an Amended Letter of Conditions and Loan Resolution.

He said the upgrades were needed to reduce the number of sewage backups that, at times, have happened in residents’ homes in the historic mill town.

The council needed to approve the loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture by Monday night or face a 0.75% interest rate increase that would raise the amount the city owed on the loan, Etheridge said.

He said city leaders have been working to get the sewer system upgrades under construction since about 2012.

The plan would upgrade the sewer system through much of the downtown area and the historic residential areas along Ga. Hwy. 81 that is between 100 and 60 years old and made of clay in parts.

Newer areas of the city, such as Worthington Heights, would not be affected by the upcoming construction project, he said.

The loans and grant will allow the city to pay off a 20-year, $2.5 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority it received in 2018; and a previous $2.27 million USDA loan it received in 2014. 

Increased sewer rates the council approved in December will be used to help pay off the new loans, Etheridge said.