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City gets $4.6 million for Bryant Commons
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Hinesville got a $4.6 million loan this week to improve Bryant Commons’ pond and canal. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan was approved by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.
GEFA helps communities prepare for economic growth and development by providing low-interest loans and grants. The city will pay three percent interest on the 20-year loan and receive 15 percent of the principal be forgiven. The CWSRF is a federal loan program for a variety of wastewater infrastructure projects.
City Manager Billy Edwards said the city would solicit bids for improvements in the next 90 days. Edwards said the land around the pond and canal is “not as flat as you might think.” Improvements made to storm water quantity and quality will help prevent flooding, he said.
“Infrastructure improvements increase quality of life for Georgia citizens, and they help cities and counties create jobs and promote economic development,” said Gov. Sonny Perdue. “I’m pleased this investment is being made in storm water infrastructure.”  
“The federal water and sewer programs administered by GEFA assist local governments with improving their environmental infrastructure,” said GEFA executive director Kevin Clark. “Through the Clean Water program, affordable financing helps cities and counties improve water quality.”
Along with Hinesville, seven other state governments received financing from GEFA for environmental infrastructure projects totaling $18.2 million. DeKalb County, the White County Water Authority, and the cities of Hawkinsville, Nashville, Roswell, Royston and Summerville will receive funds to finance water, sewer and storm water system infrastructure improvements.
In addition to improving Bryant Commons’ existing pond and canal, plans to develop the property as a community park include an outdoor amphitheater, a 15-acre man-made lake, walking trails, a community center pavilion, picnic areas, a play structure and renovations to existing buildings.
In addition, Edwards said the 150-acre property has a 75-acre conservation easement so that “more than half of the property will be kept pristine and undeveloped.”
The price tag for future development of Bryant Commons is estimated at $8 million, the city manager said. Edwards said the project will be paid for with a combination of SPLOST funds and a OneGeorgia grant.
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