Tester and Baucus secure more than $16 million for Montana
Money will create jobs, fund schools, hospitals, health care & transportation
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved for Montana more than $16 million requested by Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus.
Tester, a member of the influential Appropriations Committee, and Baucus secured the $16.525 million for Montana projects that will create jobs by investing in schools, hospitals, health care and transportation across the state.
Most of the funding will go to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure and workforce training—two cornerstones of economic development.
“This is a smart investment that will put Montanans back to work,” Tester said. “The projects will strengthen communities by investing in our infrastructure and our workforce. They will give Montanans new opportunities. This funding will go a long way for Montana and the people who live here, which is why I’ll vote for these projects every step of the way.”
“Whether it’s funding highways or hospitals, schools or children’s shelters, these projects will make a big difference for the Big Sky State—and all the people who live here,” Baucus said. “These projects will create good-paying jobs, and they’ll give Montanans the tools needed to make Montana a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
The projects for Montana, which are included in two funding bills approved today by Tester and the Appropriations Committee, include:
- $3 million for the Interstate-15/Custer Avenue interchange in Helena.
- $3 million to fund various construction projects along U.S. Highway 93.
- $1.5 million for the long-awaited Belgrade interchange on Interstate-90.
- $1 million for more secure drinking water in Billings.
- $1 million to help the City of Bozeman rebuild after this year’s downtown gas explosion.
- $1 million to replace aging buses in Great Falls.
- Funding to improve health care and education through Montana hospitals and colleges.
- Funding for cutting-edge workforce development and job training.
The Montana projects are part of the Senate’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill and the Labor, Health & Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill. The measures are two of 12 appropriations bills that will fund the federal government for the next fiscal year.
The two bills now go to the full Senate for approval. They must also be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law by the President.
Below is a complete breakdown of Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus in both bills.
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill
MONTANA TOTAL: $16,525,000
BILLINGS – $1.9 million
- City of Billings: $1 million to improve public safety by investing in an emergency power backup system for the City’s water treatment plant. This funding will lower the risk of a dangerous water shortage during drought or emergency power outages.
- St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation: $350,000 to improve the region’s only pediatric intensive care unit, at St. Vincent Healthcare. This project will improve health care and save money by cutting the cost of transporting young patients to out-of-state facilities.
- Billings Clinic: $250,000 to improve health care by expanding the hospital’s information system, diabetes center, clinical translation research and residency programs.
- Montana State University-Billings: $100,000 to improve the college’s South-central Montana Workforce Incubation and Retention Center, which will improve Montana’s economy by providing job training through computer labs and distance learning.
- Youth Dynamics: $100,000 to develop an intense, in-house workforce training initiative. Youth Dynamics will focus on recruiting people who have roots in Montana communities and provide job training, education, orientation, mentoring and supervision.
- Billings Public Schools: $100,000 to expand classwork and training at the school district’s Career Center. The project will link high school coursework with specific skilled construction and craft trade training programs.
BOZEMAN/BELGRADE/LIVINGSTON – $3.725 million
- Montana Department of Transportation: $1.5 million to help fund a long-awaited interchange on I-90 just east of Belgrade. The new interchange will greatly improve traffic and boost the area’s economy.
- City of Bozeman: $1 million to help the City of Bozeman recover from significant losses caused by a March 5 gas explosion that flattened four historic buildings downtown.
- Park County: $625,000 to help rebuild the Ninth Street Island Bridge, which was damaged by high water in June of 2008. The bridge spans the Yellowstone River and connects Livingston to Ninth Street Island.
- City of Livingston: $600,000 to improve public safety by funding the design and construction of a railroad undercrossing at 5th Street. When completed, drivers, bikers, pedestrians and emergency responders won’t have to wait for long freight trains in order to cross town.
- Montana Tech: $100,000 to improve health care job training by expanding Montana Tech’s Health Care Informatics Department. The department’s information technology undergraduate degree program helps meet Montana’s demand for health information technology professionals.
- Ft. Belknap Indian Community: $100,000 to develop a summer employment and training project for young residents on the Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation. The project will connect young participants to elders, to other young people, and to job site supervisors.
GREAT FALLS/SHELBY – $2 million
- Great Falls Transit District: $1 million to help the City of Great Falls purchase much-needed buses. Of the 19 buses in the city’s fleet, 15 have exceeded their expected life cycles.
- City of Shelby: $1 million to help build extra freight train track at the Port of Northern Montana in Shelby, which will make shipping goods in and out of the state more efficient, thus improving Montana’s economy.
HELENA – $3.1 million
- Montana Department of Transportation: $3 million to help the State of Montana continue building the four-lane Custer Avenue interchange and Interstate-15 overpass in Helena. The finished structure will also accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Lewis & Clark City-County Health Department: $100,000 to improve facilities at the Helena-based health agency, which plans to modernize medical records and to move to a bigger location in downtown Helena.
KALISPELL/LIBBY/THOMPSON FALLS – $3.6 million
- Montana Department of Transportation: $3 million to create jobs by funding various projects along U.S. Highway 93, which is the busiest non-Interstate highway in Montana. Funding will help complete highway construction projects in Montana between Idaho and the Canadian border.
- Sanders County: $300,000 to help upgrade the historic High Bridge in Thompson Falls. The funding will pay for safety upgrades including new decking and railing. When finished, the renovated High Bridge will be open to pedestrians, bikers and certain emergency vehicles.
- Center for Asbestos-Related Disease (CARD Clinic): $200,000 to help fund a database at the renowned Libby clinic. The database will be available to researchers and will benefit numerous studies of asbestos-related disease.
- Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC): $100,000 to put more people back to work in the Kalispell area. The money will help fund FVCC’s Career Opportunities Through Retraining and Education initiative, which trains dislocated and laid off workers for new jobs funded by the recently passed Jobs-Stimulus Bill. The project will focus on heavy equipment training, diesel mechanics and welding.
- Miles Community College: $100,000 to create jobs and boost the state’s economy by funding Miles Community College’s Bioenergy Education Action for Montana (BEAM) project. The project will help students learn how to produce oilseed biodiesel and ethanol in eastern Montana.
MISSOULA – $1.9 million
- Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks: $750,000 to help build a pedestrian trail and bridge for a new public park at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers—the former site of Milltown Dam.
- HomeWORD: $500,000 to help the Missoula organization build affordable housing for working families. This project will create jobs and economic growth in the Missoula area.
- Watson Children’s Shelter: $250,000 to enable Missoula’s Watson Children's Shelter to build a second, significantly larger facility that will provide shelter for an estimated 150 children every year.
- Community Medical Center: $150,000 to help fund new equipment for the hospital’s Women and Infant Care Center. The money will allow Community Medical Center to buy new, state-of-the-art infant warmers, replace ventilators and IV pumps, and to fund a new security system to protect patients.
- St. Patrick’s Hospital: $150,000 to help create a permanent and secure record system that will improve health care by allowing the hospital to share records with doctors, other hospitals and clinics throughout the region. The new system will allow health care providers to communicate with other professionals and patients in real-time.
- The University of Montana: $100,000 to help fund UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, whose mission is to promote greater understanding of public policy issues and public service.