Another step for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Control Project.
The FM Diversion Authority has been invited to apply for a $510 million federal loan – at a low interest rate. The loan program is administered through the Environmental Protection Agency, and is created through the federal Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the Diversion Authority was asked to provide a “letter of intent” to apply, due this past July.
"We try to make sure that everybody has everything lined up for the project, the project is 'shovel-ready,' the financing is firm at the state and local level," Wheeler told Bismarck reporters. "That is all in place."
Now, the Authority will have to submit a formal application for the loan.
"I don't foresee problems there," Wheeler said. "I can't pre-judge it until I've actually seen it. But all indications are this project should go forward without any problems."
Gov. Doug Burgum said this will be very good for the taxpayers of Cass County.
"With this finanicng at Treasury rates, and over a term that could be paid back all the way out to 2060, this is a very attractive infrastructure loan program," Burgum said. "It will reduce the interest payments by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Burgum said one scenario shows a savings of $600 million over the next 40 years.
"It is one more piece of the puzzle for us," said Authority chairperson Mary Scherling. "We should be able to move forward pretty confidently."