In 2017, Ohio’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs financed a record 225 loan agreements totaling more than $1 billion. Go to DEFA’s 2017 Annual Report for details about Ohio’s record $1 billion loan award year.
So far this year, Ohio EPA has processed more than 200 loan agreements. With continued, growing demand for SRF program funding, Ohio EPA is focusing more attention on those projects most likely to successfully make it to loan award during the year, or those projects that are ready to proceed.
Ohio EPA uses a self-nomination process to identify potential loan recipients. Loans are awarded when proposed projects meet all program requirements and has received acceptable as-bid costs. Experience has shown that as many as two-thirds of the nominated projects do not proceed to loan award in any given year. Consequently, a big challenge is tracking which ones are actively moving forward, and which are not.
Accurately identifying these projects is especially important for projects eligible to receive principal forgiveness funds, because those funds must be awarded within the given program year. Therefore, Ohio EPA is placing an increased emphasis on readiness to proceed, including planning, design and possibly even bidding status.
What are some characteristics Ohio EPA looks for when determining which projects are ready to proceed?
- Completed/approved planning information (or preliminary engineering reports).
- Completed detailed plans.
- Plan approval/permit-to-install in-hand.
- Enacted user charge systems or rate increases (where applicable).
Projects having one or more of these attributes will be considered more ready than projects that do not.
Ohio EPA expects projects requesting financial assistance for construction (especially principal forgiveness applicants) to demonstrate an appropriate level of readiness when they nominate their projects. More information about readiness to proceed is included in the 2019 draft Program Management Plan (PMP) for the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. If you have questions, please contact Jon Bernstein at email@example.com or (614) 644-3715.