Havre Daily News
Havre Mayor Bob Rice said Tuesday he will send letters to two members of Montana's congressional delegation, asking their help to secure Federal Highway Administration funds to pay for a portion of the First Street reconstruction project.
Rice will ask U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns and U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, both Republicans, to help the city acquire $180,000 to pay for a part of a storm sewer project. Rice offered to pay the cost, which was originally Hill County's responsibility, after county commissioners said they didn't have the money.
Burns and Rehberg sit on appropriations committees in their respective houses of Congress. A spokesman today said Rehberg would review the request. Burns' spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Rice said he will look into other ways to get the money, which represents a third of the cost Hill County was initially asked to pay.
“I just don't see where we have the money to pay right now, so I'm going to explore all of my options,” Rice said. “We'll see how it plays out.”
Havre has until 2008 to come up with the money, Montana Department of Transportation district administrator Mick Johnson said today.
Rice offered to pick up a portion of the county's tab in order to keep the massive First Street reconstruction project moving forward. MDT agreed to pay the other two-thirds of the county's cost.
Spokesman Brad Keena said today that Rehberg will confer with Burns about possible funding. He said Rehberg pays particular attention to requests from Montana communities.
The $20 million First Street reconstruction project, which will include new water lines, sidewalks, pavement and beautification, is scheduled to start in 2007, Johnson said. It will take two years to complete.
The state is paying for 71 percent of the $9 million storm sewer project. The city will pay for 13 percent of the cost, and federal urban funds will be used to pay for 16 percent of the project.