The long-discussed Havre wastewater system improvement project took another step forward Monday night, as the Havre City Council approved applications for a few different funding sources to cover the nearly $9 million project.
The whole $8,966,411 will be split, the city hopes, between federal, state and local funds, some granted and some loaned, but almost all dependent on approval by the respective bodies.
The proposal approved last night relies mostly on $7,841,411 from the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. Thirty percent of that would, hopefully, be simply granted to the city, with the remaining 70 percent being loaned to the city on a 40-year 3.25 percent interest loan.
The city is also applying for $725,000 from the state.
The Treasure State Endowment Program could provide $625,000. Pam Lemer, infrastructure specialist from Bear Paw Development Corp. who is helping the city with the proposal, said that the city’s project is ranked 39th on the list of applicants being considered by the Legislature. She explained that this is below the cutoff of likely approved projects, “but we have absolutely no idea what they’re going to do. ”
Another $100,000 could come from the Montana Renewable Resource Grant Program through the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Lemer said the Havre project is ranked 62nd out of 98 applications, but that this is above the likely approved line. Though, again, it depends entirely on what happens in the legislative session.
No definitive answers are likely until the session ends in April.
The city will cover the remaining $400,000 from an existing fund set up for this exact purpose, maintaining the city’s water and wastewater systems.
Lemer said this morning that, even if none of the state funding is approved, the city’s initial obligation would not be affected. Anything not granted will be tacked onto the USDA loan.
Council member Rick Dow, who had questioned the necessity of some of the project’s goals, said nothing during this portion of the meeting and voted to approve the request.
Dow did speak up later, to announce his resignation from the Vibrant Futures Consortium board, in anticipation of his resignation from the council sometime in the next few months. Fellow Republican council member Brian Barrows quickly asked to replace him.