R.I. Infrastructure Bank closes on $26M loan to E.P for water system upgrades

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank has closed on a $26 million loan to the city of East Providence so the municipality can make upgrades to its water infrastructure.

The loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund also includes $3.9 million in principal forgiveness for the city.

The bank – a quasi-public agency that provides low-cost financing for infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses and homeowners – said funding for the loan was made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed by Congress in November 2021.

East Providence officials say the money will be used to pay for the cleaning and lining of about two-thirds of the city’s water mains, as well as some other water infrastructure improvements.

- Advertisement -

“Safe drinking water is something people take for granted,” said William Fazioli, executive director of the infrastructure bank and former director of planning and economic development in East Providence. “But behind the delivery of that water to customers’ taps is billions of dollars in infrastructure that needs to be maintained. Thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, our State Drinking Water Revolving Fund will be making loans and grants, like this one, to cities and towns across the state to maintain and upgrade their drinking-water infrastructure.”

East Providence Mayor Roberto DaSilva said the financing was inked at below-market interest rates, which will save the city an estimated $6.4 million over the term of the loan. The city nor the agency disclosed the interest rate and term length in a news release about the loan.

“Access to safe drinking water is one of the foundational building blocks of any community, and with this funding from Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, East Providence will be making a generational investment,” DaSilva said.