Three Forks Voice: Tester makes stop in Three Forks
U.S. Senator Jon Tester met with officials in Three Forks last week to learn more about the City’s Flood Mitigation Project.
Tester said it is smart of the municipality to be moving forward with the project that includes a recently adopted Special Improvement District.
“Anytime you can be proactive as a community, that is really critically smart. Doing the best you can to prepare and minimize the risk can save a lot of money. So, I applaud those efforts,” Tester said.
In October 2022, the City of Three Forks unanimously approved the creation of a flood mitigation special improvement district to help gather funds for the project’s construction, maintenance, and incidental costs. In January 2022, the City of Three Forks submitted applications to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to obtain funding for a flood mitigation project to reduce flooding risk from the Jefferson River.
In late 2021, Tester joined four other Democrats to craft the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provided $3.5 billion for FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance program.
Tester said he wants to make sure FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has the resources they need to push the ball forward.
“If they have the resources and we have the contractors available in Montana, they can do a lot of good work,” he said.
Over the past several years, the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office has utilized Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Grants to help hire deputies to work in the county’s southern end. Shortly after being elected as the new Broadwater County Sheriff last November, Sheriff Nick Rauser hoped to apply for another COPS grant to hire another deputy in the area.
Last week, Tester discussed both the need for more funding for COPS Grants and the importance of them in communities like Three Fork.
“The reason they are important is they allow communities to keep cops on the beat. The most effective law enforcement you’ve got is when you have the manpower out there,” said Tester. “When you have high population growth, and it’s tough for the tax base to keep up with the demand, these COPS Grants can help because it’s federal dollars to keep these officers on the beat.”
Tester also visited Bozeman last week, where he took part in a Law Enforcement Roundtable on public safety, border security, and the fentanyl epidemic.
“Keeping Montana communities safe is a top priority of mine. Each year I work with law enforcement in the state to fight for increased funding for law enforcement and first responders,” Tester said. “The folks across Montana know we need to do more to support our law enforcement, specifically when it comes to more boots on the ground. We need to recruit the best and brightest and keep our top-notch officers on the job. That is why, this week, I am proud to back the bipartisan Recruit and Retain Act. This is a bill that will improve law enforcement recruitment and retention.”