MOULTRIE, Ga. — The cities of Doerun and Funston have been awarded loans to improve their water systems, according to a press release from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority board of directors.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) provides loans for waste, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The loan was awarded with the purpose of funding a project that will aid in reducing water loss and increasing billing accuracy, as well as improving water resources for the city.

The city of Funston was awarded a $206,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

Funston Mayor Ferrell Ruis said the town council plans to finalize the loan at its September meeting.

“There’s nothing wrong with the city’s drinking water,” said Ruis. “We’re simply expanding the water line. The water line will loop around the city and should there be an issue where we have to turn the water off in one part of the city, we won’t have to shut it down for the entirety of Funston.”

The loan will also finance the replacement of the manual-read water meters with an automatic meter reading system (AMR), which the city hopes will improve meter reading efficiency.

“We’re going to install a meter that reads the gallons of water used by the city,” said Ruis. “Instead of having to go up to the top of the water tower to read the meter, the city can read it through a device that can be used in a car as you drive down the street.”

The city will pay 0.50% interest on the 10-year loan. According to Ruis, the city will be able to pay it back in sums each month.

Doerun’s DWSRF loan totals $760,000 and will be paid back over 20 years. The loan finance the updating of the city’s water distribution system, the construction of a new well and the installation of an automatic meter reading system.

“The backup well that we have in use will not sustain the city. It operates fine but we have issues with it; say, if we have a fire in town, we were concerned that we would not be able to keep the water tank full. This was the best decision to drill another well,” said Kevin Branch, the city manager of Doerun.

Doerun is expected to pay 1.57% interest on the loan.

The project is expected to take up to a year to complete.

Both cities’ loans benefit from an interest rate reduction because each includes conservation-related work.

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