Bill funding Bozeman area energy, infrastructure projects advances in Senate

Measures will also strengthen public safety in Gallatin County

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester and his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee have passed legislation that will lower energy costs, improve transportation and strengthen law enforcement in the Bozeman area, Tester and Senator Max Baucus announced today.

The Energy and Water Appropriations Act includes funding to help build a generator that will turn naturally produced gas from Bozeman’s sewer facility into energy.

Bozeman Mayor Jeff Krauss says the project will save Bozeman residents an average of $230,000 per year while boosting renewable energy production.

“Harnessing energy from the Water Reclamation Facility is an innovative way to produce our own, renewable electricity,” Krauss said. “We appreciate the Senators’ hard work securing appropriations for the Energy Recovery Project and the West College Street upgrade. These two projects will save taxpayers money while increasing public health and safety.”  

The Appropriations Committee today also approved two similar bills:

  • The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act includes funding to rebuild West College Street from Main Street to 11th Avenue with two travel lanes in each direction, bike lanes on each side, a sidewalk, and a raised median.  Funding is also included for the ongoing Belgrade I-90 interchange project to build a connector road to Frontage Road from Gallatin Field Road.
  • The Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act, which includes funding to equip the Gallatin County’s law enforcement fleet with mobile computers.  The computers would provide a connection to statewide emergency systems and access to dispatch information.

“As Bozeman continues recovering from last year’s explosion, and as we continue working to create jobs for Montanans, these dollars are a smart investment that will go a long way,” Tester said.  “Putting folks to work making needed improvements to our physical infrastructure and boosting energy and safety are exactly the kinds of projects I’m proud to be fighting for.”

“I’m proud to support these resources to help create a safer and cleaner Bozeman,” Baucus said.  “This funding not only means jobs for the community, but better public safety and better energy use that will be around for future generations of Montanans.”

Under the current legislation, the City of Bozeman would receive $750,000 each for energy efficiency at the Water Reclamation Facility and to reconstruct West College Street.  Belgrade would receive $750,000 for road construction for the proposed  I-90 Belgrade East Interchange.  Gallatin County would receive would receive $650,000 for new mobile computers.  

The legislation must first pass the full Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives before the funding can be signed into law.

For a full list of funding for Montana under the Energy and Water Appropriations Act, click HERE.

For a full list of funding for Montana under the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, click HERE.

For a full list of funding for Montana under the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act, click HERE.

What is an appropriations bill?
  • A federal appropriations bill funds the federal government.  12 appropriations bills will fund the federal government for the next Fiscal Year.
  • Less than one half of one percent of these appropriations bills consist of congressionally directed funding (also called “earmarks”).  This funding is not additional spending for the federal government, nor does it increase federal deficit.  Rather, it is a set of directions telling the government where it must use existing funds.
  • In the past, appropriations funding had been abused by anonymous requests with little transparency.
  • Since 2007, the process was overhauled to guarantee transparency and fair debate in Congress.
  • All of Tester’s and Baucus’ appropriations requests are online HERE and HERE.