---- Countywide Assistance Available ---
The Board of County Commissioners this week approved a pilot loan program that will assist county residents with financing the cost of connecting their homes to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) water lines. The program is called CONNECT. It will be offered to residents throughout the county who are on well water systems where the ground water quality does not meet federally-mandated primary drinking water standards and where ABCWUA service lines are available.
“This important program is just one more step toward ensuring that the people that need it most have access to clean drinking water,” says Commissioner Wayne A. Johnson. “Many people who don’t qualify for low income grant programs, may not have the several thousand dollars it typically costs to connect their home to an available water line.”
CONNECT loans are made from the county to the resident in the form of direct payment to contractors and direct payment of various connection fees. The re-payment will be billed directly through the resident’s ABCWUA water bill over a 10 year period of time at a seven percent interest rate.
The county is providing all the funding for the CONNECT loan program and coordination of the water line connection, while the ABCWUA will provide the administrative function of billing and collecting payments and reimbursement to the county.
The CONNECT loan program will begin Nov. 1, 2012. The amount of funding available for CONNECT is $150,000. The money will come from the county’s general fund. As loans are repaid, the loan program account balance will be replenished and can be used to support a new cycle of loans.
In addition to the new CONNECT program, the county also administers the PIPE (Partners in Improvingand Protectingthe Environment) program. The PIPE program offers financial assistance in the form of grants to qualifying low income residents for water and sewer connection, as well as septic tank replacement.
For more information, residents should contact the Bernalillo County Public Works Division, Water Resources Program at 848-1524.
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