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Financing the Clean Water Atlanta Initiative

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Over approximately a 15-year period, the City of Atlanta will invest nearly 4 billion in its water and wastewater infrastructure, in part to ensure compliance with Consent Decrees entered into in the late 1990s related to Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs). This investment has occasioned execution of a strategic financial plan integrating a variety of rate and capital financing measures, including:

implementation of system-wide rate increases and new rate structures,

adoption of a Municipal Option Sales Tax (MOST),

enhanced use of available State Revolving Fund loans, and

implementation of a Tax-Exempt Commercial Paper program.

These measures are being implemented to ensure the availability of funds to maintain compliance with a herculean capital improvement construction schedule, equitably distribute revenue responsibilities, and minimize the cost of capital financing. In combination, they represent an innovative and effective approach to major program financing that holds lessons for other communities faced with substantial capital investment needs. This paper will review the City of Atlanta's experience and capital financing strategy, highlighting key considerations related to individual financing measures that may be instructive for other communities' strategic financial planning efforts. It will also provide projections of the impact of the City of Atlanta's financing program, in terms of both financial performance metrics and prospective water and wastewater bills.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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