Ventnor borrowing $20 million for lead pipe replacement

VENTNOR – The city is applying for a $20 million low-interest loan to finance the first two phases of its lead pipe replacement program.

“We are eligible for 50% forgiveness of the repayments on these low-interest loans. However, knowing that future terms and eligibility criteria for federal loans may not be as favorable, we have decided to combine the first two phases of our program into a single phase,” Mayor Tim Kriebel said Thursday.

The Supervisory Board approved the proposal during its meeting on 13 June.

The city originally passed a $22 million bond ordinance last August so the city could begin applying for grants to cover the cost of replacing lead water pipes across the city.

Ventnor was one of 10 communities in the state that received technical assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in November to identify and replace lead service lines.

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Commissioner Lance Landgraf said that while there is no set monetary value for the technical assistance the city would receive, the award will help cover engineering costs and also educate people about the project.

He estimated the cost of replacing pipes across the city at about $66 million.

New Jersey American Water will begin a $500,000 water infrastructure project on the border between Galloway Township and Egg Harbor City, the utility announced Thursday.

“This approach allows us to achieve maximum savings as quickly as possible and ensure that we take full advantage of the current repayment terms,” Kriebel said on Thursday.

Communities across the state are working to comply with legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy in 2021 that requires municipal, private and publicly traded water systems to replace pipes made of lead or other galvanized materials that the law deems harmful by July 22, 2031.

This is to prevent possible lead poisoning, which can lead to health problems and other potential hazards through galvanized pipes.

According to a report by the state Office of Legislative Services, there are a total of 2.4 million service lines in the state's 582 water systems.

The state estimated that the total cost to municipalities to replace all lead pipes by the end of the ten-year period would be about $2.65 billion.

The replacement would cost the state more than $2 billion.

Contact Selena Vazquez:

609-272-7225

[email protected]

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