Tester Secures Nearly $1.5 Million for Rural Water Infrastructure in Southwest Montana

Funding will improve access to clean, reliable drinking water

As part of his continued work to support economic growth in rural communities, U.S. Senator Jon Tester secured $1,450,000 for water infrastructure in Cooke City to complete sewer projects and improve access to clean, reliable drinking water.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester secured these funds through the 2024 government funding bill. 

“Water infrastructure is critically important to support businesses, create jobs, and keep folks healthy, and it’s especially important in rural areas like Cooke City that don’t have certainty when it comes to clean and reliable drinking water,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have secured these funds for Cooke City, and I’ll keep pushing to make sure these projects are completed effectively and efficiently.”

“This funding is such a great boost and sustains our hope and enthusiasm that a community of less than 60 people can complete the project,” said Deb Purvis, Board President for the Cooke Pass, Cooke City, Silver Gate Sewer District. “There is still a lot of work to be done, and we are committed to completing a system that will sustain the pristine nature of our community and the northeast portion of Yellowstone Park. Thank you, Senator Tester, for helping us secure a great start to funding a critical project.”

“The Cooke City/Silver Gate Sewer Board gratefully acknowledges the continuing support provided by Senator Jon Tester in helping us secure $1.45 million in funding from Section 595 the Water Resources Development Act,” said Bill Grover, CCSG Sewer Board Member. “These funds are vital to the construction of a wastewater treatment system for our small community of Cooke City, which sits near the border of Yellowstone National Park. These funds will go a long way toward allowing us to fulfill our responsibility to meet the public health and environmental challenges of this fragile and beautiful area of Montana.”

Tester has worked tirelessly to ensure that rural communities have access to modern, reliable water infrastructure. In his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), he secured $2.5 billion to complete all authorized Indian water rights settlements, $40 million in water, sewage, and sanitation projects for the Blackfeet Tribe, and $1 billion to complete all authorized rural water projects.

Tester also secured key wins for Montana in a package of annual government funding appropriations bills that passed the U.S. Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, including more than $41 million for Bureau of Reclamation and water systems.

A full list of Montana provisions Tester secured in appropriations can be found HERE.