KLYQ: Cleaner Water is a Goal of ARPA Montana Projects

by Steve Fullerton

Two water projects are among a group of infrastructure projects in the state, with funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA), according to Montana Senator Jon Tester.

Of the almost $2 billion for State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in Montana, Tester highlighted the Worden-Ballantine Yellowstone County Water and Sewer District Water project which is designed to ensure clean drinking water for that district, with funds of $2,837,000. He also mentioned a $2,280,000 project for the Bozeman Sourdough Water Transmission Main Phase 2. That work will continue to meet the city’s water needs and keep the main transmission line in good operating shape.

Other Fiscal Recovery Fund projects will be used for water, sewer and broadband infrastructure projects. For instance, in a news release, Tester’s office noted the Rocker Sewer District will use $937,000 for a sewer lift station to connect Rocker to the municipal wastewater treatment plant. And, in another area of the state, $591,000 will replace the Glasgow Transmission Main.

The Treasury Department recently announced its final rule on the ARPA funding to provide broader flexibility to projects, such as culvert and dam repairs, as long as the dam is directly tied to providing clean drinking water. Tester said the money is being used as it was intended by Congress and he called it a huge win for Montana that will create good-paying jobs, lower costs for families, and grow Montana’s economy.

Tester said more general ARPA announcements are expected in the coming months. He is expecting the resources to be used to reopen businesses, schools, and the state’s economy as the state copes with the COVID-19 pandemic.