Senate approves bill to bring more than $77 million to Montana

Baucus, Tester Say Funds Will Go To Water Projects, Roads, Hospitals, Agriculture, And More

(WASHINGTON D.C.) The U.S. Senate sent a bill to the President today that will bring more than $77 million to Big Sky Country, Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced.

The FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations combines several funding bills that were not completed last year. The bill will bring millions of dollars in funding to Montana for projects ranging from highway construction to wastewater treatment to housing assistance. 

“This bill is about bringing important funding to Montanan projects. It will help create and sustain good paying jobs and keep Montana’s economy moving forward,” Baucus said. “Jon and I made sure this bill was right for Montana- helping to build roads, protect our outdoor heritage and keep folks safe and healthy.”

“This bill will provide much needed and much deserved funding for projects in Montana,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This bill will help Montana take the next step toward rebuilding the economy from the ground up for the long haul.”

The measure passed the House of Representatives last week. The President is expected to sign the bill into law by the end of the week.

Montana projects included in the Appropriations Bill:

Billings Area Projects:

  • $4.75 million for the City of Billings to upgrade Shiloh Road.  An expanded roadway will result in an estimated $750 million in capital development investment.
  • $269,000 for the City of Billings Police Department to purchase in-car video cameras for 70 police cars.  The cameras will make citizens and officers safer and will help prosecute criminals.
  • $475,000 to help the City of Billings to clean up and put to use the site of the former Naval Reserve Center.
  • $308,750 for the Big Sky Economic Development Authority to redevelop and bring new businesses to the section of Billings between downtown and Metrapark.
  • $247,700 to for the City of Billings’ MET Transit system to replace its specialized bus for disabled passengers.
  • $350,000 for Montana State University-Billings’ Academic Workforce Development Program at the Montana Women’s Prison.  The program provides life skills to inmates by offering coursework for certificates and associates degrees.
  • $285,000 for Billings Clinic’s internal medicine program.  The program partners with the University of Washington School of Medicine to allow doctors and other health care providers to train in Montana.  The funding will also help Billings Clinic build additional facilities in rural Montana.
  • $238,000 for St. Vincent Healthcare to allow pediatric specialists from around the region care for children through telemedicine and to help fund the Montana Pediatric Project.
  • $333,000 to help Red Lodge’s Beartooth Hospital build a new, modern 48,000 square-foot facility.
  • $333,000 for Roundup Memorial Healthcare to upgrade the hospital’s waiting room and make its restrooms wheelchair-accessible.
  • $1 million to help the Bureau of Land Management purchase 520 acres of land near Red Lodge that is home to the Meeteetse Spires, a unique geological formation.

Bozeman/Butte Area Projects:

  • MSU Animal Bioscience Facility- $2,192,000 To build a facility to help boost the quality of Montana seed stock and the commercial livestock industry
  • Barley for Rural Development – $514,000 To research the role of sheep and goat grazing as means of controlling the spread of non-native weeds
  • Brucellosis Vaccine – $305,000 To research and develop brucellosis vaccine.  Brucellosis outbreaks can have a devastating impact on livestock industry throughout the state.
  • Montana Sheep Institute, Targeted Grazing for Invasive Species – $254,000 To conduct research into ways to use ruminant animals to control noxious and invasive weeds.
  • Sustainable Beef Supply – $682,000 To help boost Montana's $900 million-per-year beef industry
  • Gallatin County for a new 911 Center – $500,000 To help build a new Emergency Communications facility that will be built jointly with a new Bozeman city fire station.   
  • Montana State University for a collaborative distance science and technology education program- $200,000 To fund a partnership between the Oregon OMSI and MSU that will capitalize on regional collaboration with higher education, public libraries, and distance learning networks to bring high quality science education to learners of all ages throughout Montana. 
  • Department of Energy for the MSU Center for Zero Emissions Research and Technology program – $5,709,000 To allow MSU-Bozeman to continue research on issues related to carbon sequestration
  • Montana State University’s Manufacturing Extension Center – $100,000 To provide manufacturing, engineering and managerial assistance to existing and emerging bio-products manufacturers.
  • Technology Venture Center at Montana State University- $100,000 To support entrepreneurs and start up technology companies in Montana
  • US Forest Service Land Acquisition, Gallatin National Forest, MT –  $4,000,000 To secure the first 735 acres of 1,470 acres of mining claims near Cooke City in the Gallatin National Forest. 
  • Healthshare Montana- $714,000 For a health information technology expansion project.
  • Small Public Water System Technology Assistance Centers (to be split evenly among 8 existing centers nationwide, one of which is at MSU) – $2,000,000 To develop training tools for water system operators nationwide to protect public health and improve small public water system sustainability.
  • Livingston Railroad Undercrossing – $332,500 To develop the environmental documentation, project design, and contract documents for construction of a railroad grade separated undercrossing.
  • National Center for Appropriate Technology – $2,582,000 To support sustainable agriculture efforts including educational resources, and assistance to farmers, ranchers and agriculture information providers from all 50 states who are interested in sustainable agricultural technologies and marketing methods for farm sustainability.  
  • Sunlight Business Park in Whitehall – $142,500 To assist local entrepreneurs to grow and develop businesses that will help boost the local economy and improve communities.
  • Department of Energy for Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup by the Western Environmental Technology Office (WETO ) – $1,903,000 To provide environmental solutions for control and cleanup of the legacy waste throughout the Department of Energy. 

Great Falls Area Projects:

  • Great Falls Police Department: These funds will be used to improve police facilities- $282,000
  • Benefis Hospital: These funds will go towards Health IT. – $143,000
  • Benefis Hospital: These funds will be used for facilities and equipment – $761,000
  • Glacier County Schools in Browning: These funds will help pay for academic programs and equipment for the new high school-$381,000
  • Fish and Wildlife Service Land Acquisition, Rocky Mountain Front Conservation Area: These funds will be used to purchase conservation easements –  $1,000,000 
  • National Park Service Save America’s Treasures – Historic Havre US Post Office and Federal Courthouse: These funds will be used to restore the courthouse –  $100,000
  • Chippewa Cree Tribe: These funds will be used for transportation and rehabilitation of Malmstrom Housing Units for use on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation – $712,500
  • Great Falls Development Authority for Black Eagle Road Infrastructure: These funds will be used for water and sewer infrastructure to attract industrial investment – $950,000

Helena Area Projects:

  • Environmental Protection Agency State and Tribal Assistance Grant – City of Helena:  These funds will help repair the Missouri River Water Treatment Plant Reconstruction to provide clean drinking water in the Helena-area – $300,000
  • ExplorationWorks: These funds will go to ExplorationWorks which is an interactive museum- $950,000
  • Montana Meth Project: This will help fund the Montana Meth Project which helps prevent kids from using meth – $1,000,000
  • Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association: These funds will go towards helping track offenders in rural areas- $200,000
  • Last Best Place bill language:  SEC. 105. “Hereafter, notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds appropriated under this Act or any other Act shall be used to register, issue, transfer, or enforce any trademark of the phrase ‘Last Best Place’.”
  • Montana Dept of Commerce for the Native American and WIRED program: These funds will help economic development on reservations, and across the state – $494,000
  • Montana AFL-CIO: These funds will go towards workforce development and training activities- $190,000
  • Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee:  To improve coordination of federal, state, and private actions to eliminate brucellosis from wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Area and preventing transmission of this disease from wildlife to livestock – $650,000.
  • Tri-State Predator Control – $926,000 Funding for this program goes to State of Montana, and is available for statewide efforts to fund a variety of activities to control the resurgent wolf population in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

Kalispell Area Projects:

  • Highway 93 bypass in Kalispell: These funds will go towards helping complete the bypass in Kalispell – $2,850,000
  • City of Kalispell: These funds will go towards building a new testing and training center for law enforcement – $750,000
  • Libby School District: These funds will support academic programs as the district saves for a new elementary school  $381,000
  • US Forest Service Land Acquisition North Swan River Valley: These funds will help protect Montana’s outdoor heritage- $2,000,000
  • Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) Clinic in Libby: These funds will go towards the work at the CARD Clinic – $190,000
  • North Valley Hospital Foundation: These funds will go for facilities and equipment – $404,000

Missoula Area Projects:

  • $300,000 for the City of Missoula for a new police headquarters.
  • $750,000 to build a new Public Safety and Operations Center for Missoula County.  The facility will house a 911 dispatch center, a training center, and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department.
  • $400,000 for the University of Montana Safe Schools program to provide teacher training, curriculum development, and awareness initiatives to prevent school violence.  
  • $300,000 for UM’s Montana World Trade Center to continue trade missions and trade shows.
  • $238,000 to establish the Institute for Leadership and Public Service at the University of Montana’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center.
  • $238,000 for curriculum development at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. 
  • $476,000 for Community Medical Center for facilities and equipment. 
  • $285,000 for St. Patrick’s Hospital to help establish a new mental health care center. 
  • $950,000 for the Burns Street Square project to help renovate a building to provide services to a low-income neighborhood. 
  • $285,000 for the Poverello Center to expand its facilities.
  • The City of Hamilton is eligible to receive money to upgrade the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  
  • The City of Stevensville is eligible to receive money to upgrade its water system.
  • The legislation also clarifies that previous funds from the Fiscal Year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act for the “Bridge Over Broadway” project may be used for a pedestrian-friendly crossing. 

Eastern Montana Projects:

  • $2.85 million to pave a section of road (Montana Secondary Highway 323) between Ekalaka and Alzada.
  • $1.5 million to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sell cabins and land on Fort Peck Lake.
  • $430,000 examine the best land and water management practices along the Yellowstone River, which includes 13 counties in Montana.
  • $300,000 for tribal court upgrades at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, which will improve law enforcement in the community.
  • $300,000 to upgrade the failing sewer system in Crow Agency.
  • $250,000 to build a juvenile detention facility and to educate juvenile inmates on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
  • $100,000 to fund the 911 call center on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.  The call center is the only 911 call center serving Roosevelt County and the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes.
  • $95,000 for Miles Community College to expand its Pathways to Careers in Health Care initiative, which provides health care to people in rural Montana.
  • $95,000 for Sidney Health Center to upgrade its facilities and equipment.

Montana Water Projects:

  • $10 million for the Fort Peck-Dry Prairie Rural Water System. This project is a rural water system for the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, which also serves Valley, Daniels, Sheridan and Roosevelt counties.  Once completed, the project will deliver treated water from the Missouri River through 3,200 miles of pipeline to 31,000 people in northeast Montana.
  • $7 million for the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana Regional Water System.  When completed, this project will deliver clean, safe drinking water to more than 50,000 people who live across north-central Montana.  The project will eventually deliver treated water from Lake Elwell to the Chippewa Cree Tribe and 22 public water systems. 
  • $500,000 for the St. Mary’s Diversion, a project that diverts water from the Milk River to systems across northern Montana.
  • $4.785 million for the following projects (exact amounts to be determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers):
    • Improve Bigfork County Water and Sewer District facilities
    • Improve Billings’ water treatment plant
    • Upgrade the County Water District in the Billings Heights
    • Purchase the Homestead Acres Water and Sewer Well in Black Eagle
    • Rebuild the Bozeman Water Reclamation Facility
    • Replace Butte’s Big Hole Drinking Water Supply Diversion Dam
    • Improve Carter County’s water district system
    • Improve Columbia Falls’ Wastewater Treatment Plant
    • Improve Crow Agency’s wastewater system
    • Expand the Eureka water facility
    • Improve the Greater Woods Bay Wastewater Collection System on Flathead Lake.
    • Upgrade Fort Belknap’s water treatment plant
    • Improve the Gildford Wastewater System 
    • Improve the Great Falls Upper/Lower River Road Water and Sewer District
    • Upgrade Hamilton’s wastewater facility and to improve the Daly Ditches water system.
    • Rebuild Helena’s Missouri River Water Treatment Plant and to improve the Ten Mile Estates/Pleasant Valley wastewater system.
    • Improve Judith Gap’s wastewater system 
    • Build the Muddy Cluster Water Line in Lame Deer
    • Improve the Loma county water district system 
    • Build the Manhattan Water Project and improve facilities
    • Upgrade the Seeley Lake Water System
    • Improve the City of Shelby’s wastewater system
    • Improve Stevensville’s water system
    • Upgrade Troy’s water system

Indian Country Projects:

  • $100,000 for the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation for a 911 call center.
  • $300,000 for Fort Belknap to add additional staff, updated electronic data systems, equipment and training to ensure quality judicial services in the tribal court.
  • $250,000 for Rocky Boy’s juvenile detention facility. 
  • $712,500 for the Chippewa Cree Tribe for transportation and rehabilitation of Malmstrom Housing Units. 
  • $381,000 for Glacier County Schools in Browning for academic programs. 
  • $238,000 for Salish Kootenai College in Pablo for curriculum development. 
  • $300,000 for the Crow Tribe in Crow Agency for a wastewater lagoon replacement. 
  • $10 million for the Fort Peck-Dry Prairie Rural Water System.
  • $7 million for the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana Regional Water System.
  • $494,000 for the Montana Department of Commerce for technical assistance and operating expenses of the Native American loan program for economic development on reservations.  
  • Fort Belknap is eligible to apply for money to upgrade its water treatment plant.
  • The Crow Tribe is eligible to apply for money to improve its wastewater system.