Senators announce $22+ million for Montana water projects

Funding for Fort Peck-Dry Prairie, Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana, nSt. Mary’s, others included in bill

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana is set to receive more than $22 million in federal funding to upgrade vital water systems across the state, Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced today.

The money will go to specific Montana projects that supply drinking water and manage wastewater for tens of thousands of Montanans across the state.  The money is part of an overall appropriations bill that funds the federal government for Fiscal Year 2009.  Both Baucus and Tester requested the funding last year.

“Water is precious in Montana, which is why Jon and I fought so hard for this funding,” Baucus said.  “These projects are literally life-sustaining, and they’ll create good-paying jobs and expands opportunities across our state.”

“Water is always worth fighting for,” said Tester, a new member of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees federal discretionary spending.  “Access to safe, clean water allows thousands of families to live and to do business across rural Montana.  As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will work hard to get Montana’s water systems the resources they need for the 21st Century.”

Baucus and Tester said the following projects will receive federal funding:

  • $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

These projects are eligible for additional funding through the recently enacted Jobs Bill.

Baucus and Tester are working closely with the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to secure the additional funding, which will be announced later this year.