The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has changed the way the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) helps finance the remediation of brownfield sites. Up to $20 million in low interest loans will be made available to municipal governments and their partners.
FCM reps told ReNew Canada, “This GMF offering is the product of a real rethink of how we’ve funded brownfield projects in the past: we consulted extensively with practitioners and redesigned the application process and the loan disbursement structure to better suit their needs. This is a step away from the RFP model of the past.”
“For municipal governments, GMF interest rates are 1.5 per cent lower than the Government of Canada benchmark bond yields for a similar term,” said Sherbrooke, Quebec Mayor and FCM President Jean Perrault. “For example, on July 10, 2008 FCM was offering municipal governments 2.2 per cent interest on disbursements of 10-year GMF loans: with low-interest GMF loans, communities can do the right thing for the environment and the right thing for their bottom line,” he said.
Interest rates on GMF loans are set at the time of each disbursement. GMF loans for private sector municipal partners are based on the applicant’s credit strength and a number of other criteria such as innovativeness and environmental benefits. As a result FCM may be prepared to finance projects that might have difficulty obtaining funds from many conventional lenders and at a price that may be much more attractive.
This call for applications introduces greater flexibility and longer timelines than previous GMF funding opportunities for brownfield projects. Applications will be received and processed continuously after July 10, 2008. Each application will be assessed individually on its own merits. GMF financing will be made available to successful applicants during site remediation, when it is often otherwise hardest to secure.
On top of the low-interest loans for brownfield remediation, FCM offers GMF grants for site assessments and for sustainable neighbourhood development plans. GMF grants and loans are also available in other sectors of municipal activity.