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Firm secures stimulus funds for wastewater plant

ROCKLIN, CALIF. — Infrastructure funding experts at ECO:LOGIC Engineering secured a critical funding package from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 for the city of Live Oak, Calif. The stimulus funding agreement, which includes a $10 million grant — the maximum amount possible — and a $6 million low-interest loan, will offset the cost to build a new wastewater treatment facility for the city.

A new wastewater treatment plant is necessary to keep Live Oak in compliance with its wastewater discharge permit. Permits are issued by the California Water Resources Control Board and are subject to renewal every five years to protect California’s drinking water supplies. New regulations often result in stricter operating permits that require California communities to improve their wastewater treatment facilities. The cost to protect drinking water can create a financial burden for small communities such as Live Oak.

“The financial study completed by ECO:LOGIC was critical to securing the grant and low-interest loan for Live Oak,” said Mike Harrison, project engineer for ECO:LOGIC. “It would have been a real burden on Live Oak’s residents and businesses to have to build the plant without this financial assistance.”

The new plant, which is designed by ECO:LOGIC, will use less energy than similarly sized plants, protect public health and the environment, and include capacity to meet the city’s general plan for growth. Construction is scheduled to be complete in December 2011.

In addition to saving money, the city is pleased that new jobs and business opportunities will come to the area. “The construction of this plant has a significant, positive impact on our local economy,” said Jim Goodwin, Live Oak city manager. “We will have over two years of construction going on creating a daily boost for our restaurants and other service businesses. After that, there will be long-term employment opportunities for skilled workers to operate the plant.”

In the last 2 years, ECO:LOGIC has secured $28 million in grants and $71 million in low-interest loans for small disadvantaged communities in California including Live Oak, which is the fourth biggest stimulus project in the Sacramento region. Other awards include $10.5 million for the San Andreas Sanitary District’s new wastewater treatment plant and a $2 million grant plus a $32.98 million low-interest loan for the Merced wastewater treatment plant.