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Friday, February 26, 2010 - 12:19pm

Water Conservation Groups Don't Like Loan Sell Off

A move to sell off loans the state made to local governments in order to fill a budget gap is drawing criticism from Water conservation groups.

Governor Perdue wants to sell off half of what’s known as the Georgia Fund. It’s a revolving loan program used by local governments to get low interest financing for sewer lines and other big public projects.

Perdue’s spokesman Bert Brantley says the sell off would earn the state an immediate and much needed 300 million dollars.

“By doing this we are saving the equivalent of ten teacher furlough days,” Brantley says.

But the Georgia Water council opposes the move. It’s president April Ingle says the fund has been instrumental in helping local government meet federal clean water laws by giving them a cost effective way to update infrastructure. Using the fund to plug the budget, she says is not a good option.

“There are a lot of choices that have to be made", Ingle says. "We believe that selling off these funds that are so vital to our community isn’t the way to go.”

If the sell off goes through the Georgia fund, Brantley says it would return to it’s 2005 level. He say there would still be some money available for loans.