S'side Port lands $3.3 million loan

Sunnyside Port officials learned this week they will have an additional $3.3 million to aid with the construction of a sequencing batch reactor at the Port's industrial wastewater treatment facility.

The State Department of Ecology has awarded the Port of Sunnyside a $3,381,818 loan.

The sequencing batch reactor construction project, which is designed to reduce the levels of nitrates being returned to the Port's ground water, has primarily been funded from the sale of bonds, said Amber Hansen, Port manager. She said the Port will use the loan, which carries a 1.5 percent interest rate, to refinance the total debt for the $7 million project.

By refinancing the bonds, which have a 7 percent interest rate, we can save our industrial users a substantial amount of money on the total cost of the project, Hansen said.

Hansen explained the savings to the Port users could be as high as $259,000 per year for the next 10 years.

She said the Port, which held industrial use rate hearings for the 2005 budget earlier this week, has already made adjustments to the industrial users' rates for the coming year.

The new rate reflects the impact of the loan, she added.

To repay the construction costs of the SBR, Hansen said the users will pay $.1191 per pound of the chloride discharged and $.8369 per pound of the TKN (Total Kjeldhl Nitrogen) discharged during the coming year.

"Receiving the DOE loan makes the total construction finance package a win-win situation for everyone," Hansen added.


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