Rule change for state fund for land preservation groups

January 23, 2020 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A change in Vermont’s clean water fund will save money and improve the ability to acquire property, according to nonprofit land preservation groups.

Nonprofits, such as the Vermont Land Trust and the Trust of Public Land, will be able to apply to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for assistance acquiring land or completing projects in instances where it will improve or protect water quality, The Rutland Herald reported Wednesday.

Terisa Thomas, water infrastructure finance director for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said the low interest rate on the fund will save land trust organizations a significant amount of money. The interest rate on the fund is 1%, compared with 5% to 7% offered at financial institutions.

Thomas said there were safeguards put into place before the rule change to prevent the fund from being depleted. It currently has about $100 million, however only about $20 million can be lent at a time.