A Senate committee chaired by Sen. Brian Joyce has reported an infrastructure bill that would allow municipalities to make significant repairs and upgrades to their local water and sewer systems.
The Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets renamed the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust and empowered the Trust with the flexibility to offer lower interest loans to municipalities to fund water and sewer infrastructure projects.
“Cities and towns are facing a $39 billion funding gap over the next two decades for the maintenance of our sewer, water, and stormwater resources,” said Joyce “The cost of doing nothing would hinder the Commonwealth’s ability to provide stable infrastructure for businesses.
Under the proposed legislation, the Trust could go as low as 0 percent and authorize principal forgiveness for qualifying municipalities looking to make significant changes to their water and sewer infrastructure. Currently, the Trust can offer loans to local governments with interest rates as low as 2 percent.
Joyce also proposed a matching grant program in the legislation that would allow cities and towns to dedicate a portion of the revenues collected from residents to support infrastructure upgrades in their municipalities.