General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today joined state and local officials to tour upgrades to the Newport Waste Water Treatment facility, which are being financed with a $45 million low interest loan from Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank.
The project encompasses a series of upgrades that will increase the facility's capacity and mitigate sewer overflows. The work will see the installation of solar panels making it the first wastewater treatment plant in Rhode Island to utilize solar energy.
"Improving Rhode Island's aging infrastructure is vital," said Treasurer Magaziner. "Not only does this financing support construction and building jobs that our state needs, it will also help save taxpayer dollars by reducing utility costs while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Treasurer Magaziner was joined by Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, House Finance Committee Chair Marvin Abney, Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, and Newport City Manager Joseph Nicholson, and Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank CEO Jeff Diehl. The tour was led by Julia Forgue, Newport's Director of Facilities and Facility Manager Tom Ciolfi.
"This investment is a state and local partnership which will have a positive impact here in Newport. Through this investment, we're reducing odors at the treatment facility, saving taxpayer dollars, improving efficiency and resiliency, and protecting the local environment. At the same time, we are creating construction jobs and putting people to work", said Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed.
During its first round of financing, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank provided financing to support a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Pawtucket, Providence, Cranston, West Warwick, Westerly and Newport.
"The low-cost financing provided by RIIB assists cities and towns in making much needed improvements to their infrastructure that also reduce energy costs long term", said Jeff Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. "We look forward to working with the City of Newport on other projects in the future."
The first round of projects financed through Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank's Efficient Buildings Fund program is expected to create or support 263 jobs and ultimately save local taxpayers more than $20 million in energy costs.