Stimulus money helps Whitefish projects

Daily Inter Lake

The city of Whitefish is getting federal stimulus money to offset the costs of a new water line, sewer lift station and the city's new Emergency Services Center.

Whitefish will get a $222,000 grant and $178,000 low-interest loan from the State Drinking Water Revolving Fund for the Reservoir Road water-line project, City Manager Chuck Stearns said.

The city also will get a $78,100 grant and $71,900 low-interest loan from the State Wastewater Revolving Fund for a new sewer lift station at City Beach to eliminate a shallow sewer line.

Whitefish's allocation from House Bill 645 is $146,023, which will go toward the new Emergency Services Center.

The awards are not yet under contract with the state.

"We have other 'stimulus' applications submitted, but no other awards yet," Stearns said.

The city has a couple of applications pending with the federal COPS program for hiring and retaining police officers, he added.

The Obama administration has made a commitment to hire or keep about 5,000 law-enforcement jobs through the COPS Hiring Recovery Program.

Stearns said the city has submitted an application and is preparing another for further financial assistance to offset the costs of the new Emergency Services Center.

The city also is considering applications for energy-related projects such as weatherization and a hydroelectric plant the city wants to get up and running again.

Improvements to the 1983 hydroelectric facility at the city reservoir could allow it to produce enough power to serve up to 200 average-sized homes, a consultant recently told city leaders.