Sen. Tester Talks Infrastructure In Eastern Montana

Jackie Yamanaka

by Yellowstone Public Radio

Senator Jon Tester met with local officials in Sidney Thursday to talk about the Bakken-area boom town’s strained roads, water and sewer systems.

Tester has made numerous trips to and held field hearings in Bakken-impacted communities. He’s wanted a first-hand look at how these communities are coping with what was rapid growth. The most recent field hearing was last fall.

Tester, speaking via FaceTime, said he wanted to return to the area now that 2015 Legislative session is over and listen to local officials and residents.

“I think they’re very, very, very resilient and self reliant, make no mistake about that. And I think they’re very disappointed in the lack of an infrastructure bill as am I, by the way. “

A bill with several infrastructure projects across the state failed on the final day of the 2015 Legislative session. It contained money specifically for eastern Montana.

Tester says he gets the sense communities like Sidney aren’t necessarily looking to government to bail them out. But he says he’s looking for ways to provide funds whether it’s in the next federal highway bill or through other grants.

Besides roads and water and sewer projects, Tester also met with law enforcement officials, judges, and drug treatment officials while in Sidney.

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