Tester Secures Millions For Rural Water Infrastructure

Grant Will Upgrade Water Systems, Expand Access to Clean Water Across Montana

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured major investments to help deliver safe, clean water to communities across Montana.

Tester secured over $20 million through loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to upgrade water and wastewater systems in multiple communities across Montana.

“Whether it’s used for running a business, growing crops, or raising a family, water is life in rural Montana,” Tester said. “These investments will strengthen our water infrastructure, pave the way for more good-paying jobs, and benefit rural communities for years to come.”

Tester secured the funding through the 2018 budget agreement, and was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to support the bill.

The much-needed water improvement projects receiving funding include:

$1.3 million to the City of Glasgow to replace valves, pumps, storage reservoirs, and electrical equipment.

$850,000 to the Town of Belt to replace and upgrade the lift stations to prevent wastewater from backing up in local homes.

$3.9 million to the City of Scobey to upsize cast iron water mains and replace deteriorated pipes that may pose health risks.

$400,000 to the Town of Sheridan to construct a new well following a 2017 earthquake that limited the community’s water supply.

Thompson Falls
$14 million to the City of Thompson Falls to begin a four-phase project to connect 760 new users to the city’s wastewater collection system.

Sanders County
$1.1 million to Sanders County to construct a solid waste transfer station near Thompson Falls and make improvements to collection sites in Heron, Noxon, Trout Creek, and Plains.

“We feel very fortunate to receive the funds from Rural Development,” said Belt Mayor Jim Olson. “This investment will allow the community of Belt to replace one lift station that has been on emergency bypass, the second operating with only one pump and the third needs upgrades. These funds will help our small community stay viable.”

“This investment is much needed and much appreciated in our community,” said Scobey Mayor Danne Showers.

Tester has fought to make sure all Montanans have access to clean, safe water. In October, Tester helped passed the bipartisan the Water Resources Development Act to upgrade water systems, establish watercraft inspection stations, and boost access to clean water in rural communities.

Earlier this year, Tester helped pass the 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which includes much-needed investments to help deliver clean water to communities across Montana.