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Frequently Asked Questions


Applying for Funds
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Executing a Contract (Legal Questions)
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Funds Disbursement and Loan Payments
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Using the PENNVEST Web Site
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Continuing Requirements After Settlement
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Managing your Personal Account Information
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Technical Questions Regarding Web Site
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Applying for Funds
Does PENNVEST have funding for individual homeowners?
  • PENNVEST has a program that is being administered in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and a series of local banks. This program offers low interest funding for individual homeowners to pay for repair or replacement of their malfunctioning on-lot system that serves their principle residence. They must obtain a sign-off from the local sewage enforcement officer that the improvements are necessary and the on-lot system will work. The township must also sign-off on the project to ensure that no public sewers will be extended near the home within five years.

How do I apply for the Growing Greener Funds that PENNVEST has available?

  • The regular single PENNVEST application makes your project eligible for consideration for Growing Greener grant funding. These grant resources are being worked into the application review process in order to provide supplemental grant funding to needy projects based upon the community’s ability to repay a loan and resulting residential user fees.
Can I use PENNVEST to pay for the local share of the Act 537 plan?
  • PENNVEST is prohibited from funding the costs associated with the Act 537 plan. Any engineering and design that is not covered by the Act 537 plan reimbursement is eligible to be included in the PENNVEST project.

How long will I have to pay back the loan?
  • The typical repayment is based upon a standard amortization of repayment of principle and interest over a 20-year period. In some cases the term may be extended beyond 20 years to as long as 30 years if needed to keep the user fees in line with other similar systems user rates. The construction period is added to this term in order to allow for an interest only period, principle and interest repayments begin after final inspection.
How do you calculate the interest rate and how much will it be?
  • The maximum interest rates are based upon a formula outlined in the PENNVEST legislation (Act 16 – 1988). They are calculated on a sliding scale, depending upon the particular county’s unemployment rate, the statewide unemployment rate and the interest rate being charged on the most current state bond issue. In no case will the maximum interest rate charged to project sponsors exceed 75% of the cost of funds to the Commonwealth. If the resulting residential user fee is determined to be higher than similar systems user rate, we can reduce the interest rate to as low as 1%, and perhaps work some grant funding in the project in order to keep the user fees in line with similar systems.
How do I make an application for a grant?
  • No separate application is needed to be considered for a grant as part of the potential funding package. Each application is reviewed and a financial capability analysis is performed based upon the system’s users. If grant funding is needed to help keep the resulting residential user fees in line with similar system’s user rates, the staff will consider including some grant funding as part of the funding package.
How do I know if I qualify for PENNVEST funding?
  • The first step in the PENNVEST application process is to participate in a Planning Consultation meeting. This meeting includes the project sponsor and their engineer, PENNVEST and DEP regional staff as well as local planning representatives. This meeting allows an opportunity for the project sponsor to describe their situation, and the potential project. DEP staff will go over the technical aspects of the project, and describe the ranking process and any requirements, permits and time frames relating to their review. The PENNVEST Project Specialists will go over the financial application submittal and review process, and provide an estimate of the potential funding package, based upon certain information that will be provided by the project sponsor. local/county planning agencies will provide comments and guidance relating to land use consistency.
What kinds of projects can PENNVEST fund and who can apply?
  • PENNVEST can fund any owner and/or operator of a water, sewer or municipal storm-water system with a project to construct a new system or improvements necessary to correct public health, environmental, compliance or safety deficiencies.
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Executing a Contract (Legal Questions)
What are the requirements for MBE/WBE?
  • The Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for administrating the MBE/WBE requirements. Information on the matter may be available on the Web at www.dep.state.pa.us. PENNVEST must have a copy of the DEP approval letter of the MBE/WBE effort, in order to close the Loan.
Does anyone other than the legal office review items on the Outstanding Items list?
  • Yes, upon receipt, the legal office forwards to the project specialist the following items for review:
    1. Organizational and Management Plan
    2. Total Cost Breakdown
    3. Funding Schedule
    4. Estimated Allocation of Cost (Federal Funded Projects only)
    5. Operator’s Five Year Continuing Education Plan (Construction Sewer and Water only)
      Note: The project specialist needs to sign off on the exhibits before closing. Project specialist would like these items 30 days, prior to closing.
What items on the Outstanding Items list does PENNVEST need before closing?
  • PENNVEST needs all the items in before the day of closing, in order to review the documentation and make suggestions for possible revisions.
What kind of evidence is needed for the Borrower’s equity contribution/other loan?
  • If the Borrower has another lender contributing in the project, PENNVEST will need evidence that that other loan has closed, prior to the PENNVEST Loan Closing. If Borrower has CDBG/DEP/DCED money in the project, PENNVEST will need a copy of the respective approval letter. If the Borrower is contributing their own funds to the project, PENNVEST will need a bank statement or some evidence that shows those funds are available to the Borrower.
Can PENNVEST funds be used for land costs with regards to sewer projects?
  • No, all land and associated costs are to be borne by the borrower.
As a Municipal Authority, do I need to extend my Articles of Incorporation before closing?
  • Yes, if the life of the Borrower is less than the term of the PENNVEST loan. This action must be taken prior to closing.
Can I use the loan proceeds to pay for easement and land costs?
  • If your project is a water project funded by Federal Funds, however, no loan proceeds may be used to pay the engineering, legal or actual land cost of condemnation proceedings. The eligible land cost for water projects are those easements and land cost obtained by purchase.
Why do I need all easements/right of ways in order to close?
  • PENNVEST must have evidence that the Borrower has the ability to construct the project on the property evidenced by the easement or fee. If condemnations have been filed the 30 day appeal period must have run prior to loan closing with no preliminary objections having been filed. PENNVEST will not disburse funds to a Borrower that may not be able to complete a project due to right of way issues.
Must construction contracts be awarded prior to closing?
  • Yes, PENNVEST must have sign a copy of signed contracts to close the loan as well as copies of the payment and performance bonds, labor and materials bonds and the contractors liability insurance.
Who should attend closing?
  • Normally, two people authorized to sign on behalf of and bind the Borrower (usually the President or Chairman to bind and the Secretary to attest and affix the seal), Legal Counsel and the Engineer.
How do I get a letter of no prejudice?
  • Contact the Project Specialist within your region.
Who do I contact to schedule a Loan closing or ask about draft documents/Outstanding Items?
For more information contact:

  • Name: Tesra Schlupp
    Firm: PENNVEST
    Email: tschlupp@pa.gov
    Address: 22 S. Third Street
    3rd Floor
    Harrisburg, PA 17101
    Voice: (717) 783-6747
What are the requirements for the Local Government Unit Debt Act?
  • Information and requirements for the Local Government Unit Debt Act is available on the Web at www.inventpa.com. PENNVEST must have a copy of the entire approved DCED package in order to close the Loan.
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Funds Disbursement and Loan Payments
We signed up for ACH at loan closing and our payment came by check - why?
  • If a payment request was submitted immediately after closing, the ACH system may not have been put in place at your bank. Every ACH account must be pre-tested with a $0 dollar amount before any real funds are electronically transferred. This process usually takes a month from the time PENNVEST receives the ACH information and the account is set up.
I've received a portion of my money - where's the rest?
  • At this point, your Loan payment or disbursement can be electronically sent to your bank via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) program and your Grant payment or disbursement is issued by the PENNVEST Comptroller and sent by CHECK. In the near future, PENNVEST Grant disbursements will also be sent by ACH and all projects will be required to participate in the ACH program.
Will I get all my grant money first and then my loan money?
  • Loan and Grant funds are disbursed in proportion with each payment request.
How soon do I get my money after I mail a payment request?
  • PENNVEST typically processes payments, with money out the door within 21 working days, provided all the information sent with the payment request is correct and included. The first payment request may take longer if there are Outstanding Items from loan closing that prohibit the disbursement of funds.
My payment is being held by PENNVEST because I have been told that I’m (Project Borrower) on a Debarred List. What is the debarred list? What can I do?
  • PENNVEST is required to check the Debarred List for any disbursements that exceed $10,000. The Debarred List is maintained by the Department of Revenue. The List contains anyone that has a tax liability to the Commonwealth. We must check to see that all borrowers have paid their taxes to the state. You must contact the Department of Revenue, Collections and Tax Services or the Department of Labor and Industries, Employee Tax Operations, to be removed from the Debarred List prior to any funds can be disbursed. PENNVEST financial staff will assist you but all tax matters must be resolved prior to the release of any funds.
Will I get an invoice every month telling me how much interest that will be owed to PENNVEST?
  • Interest billings are based on the amount of money that was disbursed to the project. You will receive an interest invoice from the PENNVEST Comptroller’s Office each time you receive a disbursement of loan funds, i.e. if funds are disbursed to you monthly, you will receive a new invoice each month. If you do not receive a disbursement in a particular month there will be no new invoice. In this case, check the prior month's invoice. You may make a copy of the previous month’s interest invoice and submitted it for reimbursement as interest payments during construction are (may be) capitalized into the loan. You will find a notification of the amount due each month following the disbursement month on each invoice until there is another disbursement and a new invoice. Once your loan is Interim of Final Amortized you will make the same payment each month.
How will I know when my payment will be deposited in my bank account?
  • As some disbursements are sent electronic, you will need to check with your individual bank to know when the funds are actually deposited. Presently, a letter is sent to the principle borrower indicating that a payment has been processed. You can begin checking about two to three weeks after submission of a payment request; however, you should keep in mind that it typically takes 21 working days to receive payment after PENNVEST receives a payment request.
What is an Interim Amortization? How is it different from a Final Amortization?
  • As part of your loan closing documents an amortization date is established. If you have not drawn all your loan funds and proceeded through all the closeout steps by this date, your loan will be Interim Amortized. This means you will begin principal and interest repayment. The monthly payment amount is calculated on the full loan amount for the amortization term. This results in a monthly payment amount. However, when your payment is posted to your account the interest is calculated on the outstanding principal balance to date and not the full amount of the Loan and this amount is subtracted from the monthly payment amount, the balance of the monthly payment will be applied against the outstanding principal balance. You can continue to submit payment requests after Interim Amortization; however, you will not be allowed to capitalize any additional interest following Interim Amortization. When you have drawn all your loan funds, you must notified PENNVEST that you have submitted your Final payment request, and proceeded through all the closeout steps the loan will be Final Amortized.

    Once the project is in a Final Amortized stage, principle and interest are applied in the amount listed in schedule and based on the repayment term.
What does it take to close out my loan? (Final Amortize)
  • The closeout steps necessary to Final Amortize your loan are: (1) construction is 100%, (2) the Department of Environmental Protection has completed and approved a final inspection of the project (3) a Final payment request (so marked) has been submitted to PENNVEST, (4) all Change Orders have been submitted and approved or disapproved, (5) a Continuing Education Plan is in place and current, and (6) all Financial Statements and Workouts have been submitted. Upon complete of these steps the Holdback will be released (disbursed), any unused funds released, and a final monthly payment amount calculated and a Final Amortization schedule issued. Your loan is now Final Amortized.
We have a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP). Why do I need to send in Status Reports before we close the loan? Do I have to send them monthly or quarterly?
  • When you were issued a LONP, a requirement was to submit a status report monthly. PENNVEST needs to monitor the progress of your project both from a construction and a financial point of view. Once certain benchmarks have been reached, PENNVEST must initiate certain actions. These reports ensure that when money is needed by any project; we will be able to provide it.

My loan is Interim Amortized. When I have requested all the money I want/need, is there anything else I need to do?
  • You need to advise PENNVEST that construction is 100% complete and that you have submitted your Final payment request. Be sure all Change Orders have been submitted for approval/disapproval. All Financial Statements should have been submitted and your Continuing Education Plan submitted and current.
We Interim Amortized our loan and have drawn all the money we need. DEP was here a long time ago and did the final inspection. Why are you now contacting us wanting information?
  • It is necessary for PENNVEST to close out all loans. PENNVEST was probably never notified the project was 100% complete and that there were no more payment requests to be submitted. You will need to contact your entity's attorney or engineer if there is no other employee who is aware of the PENNVEST funded project. You always contact us at PENNVEST and we will work with you.
We submitted a payment request at closing several months ago, but we haven't received our money. Why?
  • There are several reasons that a payment application can be delayed in being processed. Payment requests cannot be processed until all loan closing documents have been submitted and approved. When the Legal Staff notifies the Finance Staff that all documents have been received, the payment is processed. Additional time may be necessary to process the payment if there are errors or omissions in the payment request such as a correct authorized signature. In most cases, you will be notified of what you need to do for the payment request to proceed.
What kind of audits can we expect to be done on us by PENNVEST or others? When?
  • The PENNVEST Comptroller’s Office is responsible for conducting two type of audits, Construction or Financial. Each year, a random selection of PENNVEST borrowers is selected for audit. However, PENNVEST may request that an audit be conducted.

    These audits may occur at any time during construction or soon after.
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Using the PENNVEST Web Site
How do I ask a question about information that I found on the web site?
  • Please send PENNVEST an email at webmaster@pennvest.state.pa.us
    You should receive an adequate response within no more than 2-3 days. Most responses will be immediately or within the same day.
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Continuing Requirements After Settlement
We changed banks or my bank was merged with another bank, is there any thing that I need to do for PENNVEST?
  • Yes! All PENNVEST projects must be set up on the Automatic Clearing House system (ACH). Any banking change can affect the ACH number and account that has been tested and is being used to disburse funds and collect funds that are owed to PENNVEST.

    If you require a change in your ACH Banking information, please use the ACH Change Form. You will need to complete each box on the form with your new banking information. Even if you are only changing your account, all boxes must be completed.

    Simply fax the form to Jan Napoli at 717-705-1656 or email the form to jnapoli@pa.gov.

    As long as your form is received before the 20th of the month, your change will be effective on the first business day of the following month.
What kind of audit am I required to submit to PENNVEST?
  • The kind of audit required to be submitted to PENNVEST on an annual basis is listed in the Loan Agreement. Generally, the Financial Statement/audit is the report prepared by your independent public accounting firm prepared in accordance with generally accepted governmental accounting principles and practices. It must be in a satisfactory form and certified as true and correct by the chief financial officer of the Borrower.

    If you are a municipality, a copy of the report to the Department of Economic and Community Development (DCED) may be submitted in place of an audited financial statement.

    If you are an authority whose loan has been guaranteed by a municipality(s), an audited financial statement of the authority AND a DCED report for the municipality(s) are required.

    If you are a private entity with revenues in excess of $25,000, a tax return is required.
I’m paying my loan on time. Why must I submit my financial statement?
  • Submitting your annual Financial Statement is a requirement of the PENNVEST Loan Agreement. PENNVEST uses your Financial Statement as a tool to monitor your financial health and can make determinations and/or recommendations before your entity experiences serious problems. These statements reveal information about a borrower that otherwise may not be disclosed.
When is my financial statement/audit due?
  • Generally, your Financial Statement is due one hundred fifty (150) days after the end of each fiscal year. For example, if your fiscal year end is December 31, your Financial Statement is due on or before May 31 of the following year. If your fiscal year end is June 30, your statement is due by November 30 of the same year. You must submit your Financial Statements annually until the loan is paid in full.
When am I required to submit a Single Audit?
  • If your project number begins with a “7” or “8”, it would be wise to have your auditor request in their audit confirmation how much in federal funding was disbursed to your project during the year of the audit. Projects funded from the Clean Water Act, Title VI or Drinking Water Act, as amended, are classified as subrecipients of federal funds. These borrowers may be subject to reporting requirements of the Office of Management and Budget Circular (OMB) A133 as follows:
    1. If a subrecipient expends $500,000 or more during its fiscal year, it is required to have a Single Audit prepared in accordance with OMB A133. :
    2. If a subrecipient expends between $25,000 and $500,000 during its fiscal year, it is required to have a Single Audit prepared in accordance with OMB A133 or with Federal laws and regulations governing the programs in which they participate. If the funds are received and expended under one federal program, a Program-specific audit may be performed in place of the Single Audit.:
    3. If a subrecipient receives less than $25,000 during its fiscal year, it is exempt from compliance with OMB A133.
Do I have a federally funded loan or a state funded loan? What impact does that have on the Loan Number for the project (ME Number)?
  • Your loan documents will indicate if the loan is Federally funded. Your loan number will begin with either a "7" or and "8" if it is Federally funded. If there is no indication in the loan documents and if the loan number starts with something other than a "7" or "8", it is a state funded loan.

    If your loan is Federally funded, you will need to request on any audit confirmations how much of the funds you have received is Federal dollars and how much is either State Match or Recycled dollars. If you receive more than $300,000 of Federal dollars in a fiscal year, you are required to do a Single Audit.
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Managing your Personal Account Information
Can anyone else update my personal access account information?
  • No. You are the only one who can change your personal access account information, including password, contact information and email address.
How do I change my Personal Account Information?
  • Once you are logged into the PENNVEST Portal you simply click update profile and you will be able to change your PENNVEST portal profile.

    In the PENNVEST Login Portal registered users will be able to update their profiles by clicking "Update Profile" in the upper left corner after they log in. Note: CWOPA users cannot update their account information here.
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Technical Questions Regarding Web Site
How to Print Loan Tracking Information?
  • Many people print the information under the loan tracking section of the web site. If you are experiencing any issues printing, try changing the configuration of the Internet Explorer/Netscape Browser page setup. Listed below are the instructions for changing the page setup for Internet Explorer and Netscape browers.

    Instructions Changing Page Setup Configuration

    For Internet Explorer:

    Step 1 - Go to File, Page Setup
    Step 2 – In Page Setup, for Orientation select Landscape. Once selected, click OK.
    Step 3 – Then Print.

    For Netscape:

    Step 1 – Go to File, Print
    Step 2 – Click on the Properties tab.
    Step 3 – Click the Layout tab, for Orientation select Landscape and click OK.

    Please see the detailed instructions in this attachment. Change Page Setup Configuration
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