Southwestern Montana slated to receive nearly $20 million for vital projects

Baucus, Tester Say Funds Will Create Good Paying Jobs and Boost Montana’s Economy

(Washington, D.C.) Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced today nearly $20 million dollars to create and sustain good paying jobs and fund vital projects in Bozeman, Butte, Livingston and Whitehall.

The FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill will combine several spending bills that were not completed last year.  The funding includes dollars to fight Brucellosis, to fund MSU research projects, help complete water systems and efforts to preserve Montana’s outdoor heritage.

“These dollars will fund projects and programs that are vital to the communities of southwestern Montana,” said Baucus. “Jon and I are proud of this funding because it will create and sustain good paying jobs and keep our economy moving forward.”

“This funding is good news for folks in southwestern Montana,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Working with Max, we were able to make sure this bill will create good jobs now in Montana, and take the next step toward rebuilding the economy from the ground up for the long haul.”

The bill will bring a total of more than $77 million to Montana for projects ranging from highway construction to wastewater treatment to housing assistance.

The bill will be voted on in the House of Representatives this week, and then be voted on in the Senate early next week. The bill is expected to pass both the House and the Senate.

The Omnibus Appropriations Bill being considered by Congress this week is separate from the more than $600 million headed for Montana through the Jobs Bill- which President Obama signed into law earlier this month. This appropriations money is part of the regular spending plan that Congress passes each year to help fund important programs. In contrast, the Jobs Bill is a one time package focused on tax cuts and investments in projects that will create good paying jobs and boost the nation’s economy.

Bozeman/Butte Area projects funded by this bill include:

  • 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 – $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