Havre Daily News - News you can use

Water funding passes House, goes to Senate

 

October 6, 2009



Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]

Funding including $65 million for water and energy projects in Montana and some high-profile projects in northcentral Montana has been approved in the U.S. House of Representatives and now will go to the Senate for a vote. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., was one of the congressmen who voted to pas s the Ene rgy and Wat e r Appropriations Bill after it came out of a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. The bill passed 308-114. “So much of Montana's economy and quality of life depends upon energy production and clean drinking water,” said Rehberg. “(My) serving on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee gives Montana a pretty big seat at the table when it comes to funding these prioriTies.” Montana's Democratic senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, who served on the conference committee that resolved the differences between the bills, said they will vote for the bill in the Senate. “We're in the home stretch for getting Montana this money to pay for much needed projects like water infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy technology development,” said Tester, who serves on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. “I'm proud to support these kinds of projects because these investments will pay us back for generations.” Funding in the bill includes $3.5 million for the rehabilitation of the St. Mary Diversion, a system of canals, dams and siphons approved for construction more than 100 years ago, which provides much of the water flowing through the Milk River each year. Baucus secured $153 million in authorization for the project in 2007. The bill also includes $9 million for the Rocky Boy's-North Central Montana Regional Water System, which will treat water from Lake Elwell south of Chester and distribute it to some 30,000 people on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation and from Loma to northern Hill County, including Havre, and west as far as Cut Bank, Conrad and Dutton. The members of Montana's congressional delegation have been unable to come close to the $42 million requested each year by the regional system, earmarking $5 million to $10 million. The system was awarded $20 million t h ro u g h t h e American Reinvestment and Recovery Act this year, in addition to the $9 million in the regular budget. Tester toured the project at Tiber Dam Saturday and said that night he saw the work being done on building the infrastructure for the system there. “It's moving along. It's a big project, it's an important project,” he said. The bill also includes $8 million for the Fort Peck/Dry Prairie Rural Water Project, which will treat water diverted from the Missouri River and distribute it to some 31,000 people on the Fort Peck Indian reservation and other communities in north east Montana. That project, farther along than the Rocky Boy's-North Central Montana system, will use the funding to complete their regional water treatment plant and extend the main transmission pipelines to Poplar and Wolf Point. Baucus said securing funds for the Montana projects will continue to be a high priority. “These are critical projects for Montana because they are investments in good-paying jobs,” said Baucus, who worked closely with Tester in securing Montana's funding. “I'll always do my part to make sure essential projects get funding so that Montanans can have access to safe, reliable and clean water.”

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020