Press Release

Okemah Utilities Authority

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February 15, 2022

Press Release

Okemah Utilities Authority receives $22,870,000 loan from the OWRB for water system improvements

OKLAHOMA CITY – Okemah Utilities Authority (Authority) received approval for a $22,870,000 Financial Assistance Program (FAP) loan Tuesday from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to improve their water infrastructure.

The Authority will use these funds to construct a new three (3) million gallon per day water treatment plant, a new raw water intake structure at Okemah Lake, installation of new Automatic Meter Infrastructure (AMI) water meters, and for the construction of two (2) new 500,000 gallon water storage tanks.  

According to Joe Freeman, chief of the OWRB’s Financial Assistance Division, the Authority’s customers will save an estimated $3,772,197 over the life of the 30-year loan compared to traditional financing.  The loan shall be secured with a lien on the revenues of the Authority’s water and sewer systems, a one (1) cent sales tax, and a mortgage. Okemah’s City Manager, Jayne Hughes, stated, “We appreciate the ability of the Board to help with water needs in Okemah and throughout Oklahoma. This approval will help us in looking forward to growth under our economic development plan.”

Since 1983, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board has approved over $5.4 billion in loans and grants for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout Oklahoma.

“We are grateful to State Senator Roger Thompson and Representative Logan Phillips for their support of our financial assistance programs,” said Julie Cunningham, Executive Director of the OWRB.