The Oregon City Commission voted Wednesday to approve $33 Million in water improvements to be partially funded through a loan through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The loan, from the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), administered through the EPA, will fund approximately $16.2 million and the city will fund the remaining $17 million through water system revenues and money made available from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
A ballot measure in 2021 was approved by voters giving the City the go-ahead to pursue loans for water system improvements. WIFIA provides low-interest loans that allow applying governments options for using additional funding sources and flexible repayment terms. For Oregon City, the loan will be repaid over the course of 35 years, with no penalty should the City be able to pay the loan off earlier.
The City will combine the loan with $5.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to perform capital improvements on the system that will make it more reliable and resilient. The projects this program supports is anticipated to be largely completed by 2030.