Infrastructure Bank Celebrates 30 Years
As part of its annual Legislative Day event, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Rhode Island State House this past Tuesday, March 5. 

The celebration featured remarks from Infrastructure Bank CEO Jeffrey Diehl, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, House Majority Leader Representative Joseph Shekarchi, Senate Finance Committee Chairman William Conley and Director of the RI Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) Janet Coit.

“The Infrastructure Bank is one of Rhode Island’s best-kept secrets and has saved Rhode Island communities millions in debt service payments over the last 30 years,” said General Treasurer and Infrastructure Bank board member Seth Magaziner.

“For the past three years, the Bank has migrated to an outward-facing, customer-centric business model. This transition intends to make our programs more accessible to municipalities, business owners and homeowners,” said Infrastructure Bank CEO Jeffrey Diehl. “While there is more work to be done, I can confidently say we are beginning to see the impact of our efforts. This year will be a record year for the Bank and over 33% of our lending volume is coming from new business.” 
Infrastructure Bank Addresses Water Contamination in Burrillville
The Infrastructure Bank has invested $2.85 million through a principal forgiveness loan to address water contamination in the Burrillville villages of Harrisville and Oakland. The Harrisville Fire District and Water Department (Harrisville Water) is utilizing the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) to replace Oakland Association’s current contaminated well-based system. This capital will allow Harrisville and Oakland homes to connect to municipally managed water in the late spring and early summer of 2019. 

Researchers discovered high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in wells managed by the Oakland Association and at private residences in Mapleville. 

“Simply put, the Infrastructure Bank was the solution to our pollution. The entire Oakland Association community thanks the Infrastructure Bank for standing by us in our time of need,” said Richard Nolan, treasurer of the Oakland Association Water System.
The Bank Launches Municipal Resilience Program
In partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the Infrastructure Bank launched the Municipal Resilience Program (MRP), a pilot that aims to equip municipalities with the tools and funds necessary to address the effects of climate change in Rhode Island. 

The Bank is seeking three Rhode Island municipalities to be part of the initial pilot program. They will have access to technical assistance with The Nature Conservancy. After successful completion of the program, MRP municipalities will be eligible to apply for project implementation funding. 

The program supports the goals outlined in the state’s Climate Resilience Action Strategy (Resilient Rhody) released by Governor Raimondo in 2018. Resilient Rhody outlined steps the state can take to prepare for evolving weather patterns and severe weather events. The MRP enables municipalities to accurately assess their vulnerability to the stressors of climate change, while providing the necessary funding to take on specific community resilience projects.

All cities and towns are eligible to apply, but only three municipalities will be selected for initial funding. Responses are due March 29, 2019.

The Request for Responses may be accessed on the Infrastructure website here.
Brownfield Listening Session w/ RI DEM
The Infrastructure Bank and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) offered a listening session on the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund recently. The organizations partnered to bring awareness to the program, discuss case study examples, offer assistance and answer questions.

The loan fund makes financing available to public, private and non-profit borrowers for the remediation of properties contaminated with hazardous substances. For a project to be eligible for financing, it must be placed on DEM’s Project Priority List. The program allows for the transformation of previously hazardous spaces into useful pieces of land.
Online Application Portal System is Live
Municipalities and businesses seeking to apply for one of the Infrastructure Bank’s diverse financing programs may now utilize a new online portal system. Applicants must set up a username and password to log into the Online Financing Application Portal and access the appropriate applications.

Applications are now available and may be viewed here.

For borrowers initiating projects that will need funding in fiscal year 2020, applications are due no later than March 22, 2019.