Baucus, Tester announce $60 million for northern Montana water projects

Stimulus money will go to Ft. Peck/Dry Prairie and Rocky Boy’s/North-Central water systems

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Two Montana water projects will receive $60 million in additional funding thanks to the recently passed stimulus bill, Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced today.

The funding will help rebuild Montana’s economy by creating jobs and investing in clean, reliable drinking water for tens of thousands of people across northern Montana.

Baucus and Tester said $40 million will go to the Ft. Peck/Dry Prairie Rural Water System. The funding will:

  • Complete the system’s water treatment plant near Wolf Point.
  • Complete a raw water pipeline from the Missouri River to the water treatment plant.
  • Build a new waterline to the community of Poplar.
  • Build a new waterline to the community of Wolf Point.
  • Build new waterlines to the communities of Nashua and St. Marie.

Baucus and Tester said another $20 million will go to the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Regional Water System to:

  • Complete the intake structure, which is located at Lake Elwell, behind Tiber Dam.
  • Begin building the main waterline from Lake Elwell to the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.

The $60 million announced today brings Montana’s share of federal stimulus dollars to nearly $1 billion. The stimulus plan, which Baucus and Tester call the Jobs Bill, is already delivering more than $500 million in tax relief to Montana residents.

Both Baucus and Tester helped write, supported and voted for the Jobs Bill earlier this year.

“This is enormous news for all of Montana,” said Baucus, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. “This is real money that will go straight to Montana for clean, reliable water, and it will create good-paying jobs and opportunities for Montanans and for our small businesses.”

Tester is a member of the influential Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for water infrastructure. He met last month with the Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Bill McDonald to push for funding these projects.

“Smart investments like this are exactly why Max and I voted for the Jobs Bill,” Tester said. “Investing in Montana’s water infrastructure will boost the entire region, create new jobs, and it will help rebuild our economy from the ground up.”

In addition to the $60 million for the Dry Prairie and North Central water systems, Baucus and Tester also announced that Montana will also receive $1.5 million to upgrade facilities at Canyon Ferry Reservoir near Helena. The money will retrofit facilities to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, upgrade the dam spillway and the power plant.

Montana will receive another $380,000 for an irrigation pump and an intake facility to conserve drinking water at Yellowtail Government Camp.

Baucus and Tester recently secured and voted for $17 million for the Ft. Peck/Dry Prairie and Rocky Boy’s/North-Central water systems as part of the 2009 Appropriations Bill.