ENID, Okla. – City of Enid officials late last week received an invitation from the United States Environmental Agency to apply for a $53 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 loan.

The invitation pertains to the Kaw Lake Water Supply Project, per city officials. Enid was invited to submit an application for financial assistance on part of the project's expenses, and the city has one year to make an application. 

"The WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects," according to the city.

The EPA invited 39 projects to apply for the WIFIA program, according to the agency. To date, it has issued four loans totaling more than $1 billion in credit assistance. 

Enid, along with the 38 other projects selected, was chosen by the EPA from a group of 62 prospective borrowers that submitted letters of interest to the EPA. 

In total, selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling up to $5 billion to help finance more than $10 billion in water infrastructure investments while creating about 155,000 jobs, according to the EPA. 

“Improving water infrastructure means improving the quality of life and public health for an entire community,” said EPA Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “Funding for the Kaw Lake project will benefit the people of Enid by increasing water security and adding jobs to the economy.”

City of Enid staff, along with the municipal financial advisor and bond counsel, will evaluate and analyze Enid's remaining financial needs for the Kaw Lake project and make recommendations to the Enid City Commission in the "near future" about the city's best options moving forward, according to a city release. 

"The Kaw Lake project has four infrastructure construction components: a micro-tunnel intake to withdraw water from Kaw Lake, a 70-mile pipeline to convey unprocessed water, a new water treatment plant with a 10.5 million gallons-per-day capacity, and improvements to the distribution system," according to the EPA.

To see more information about the EPA's involvements in Oklahoma, visit www.epa.gov/ok.   

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