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Water project sets meeting on Tiber treatment plant

The heads of a project designed to provide water to nearly 30,000 people in north-central Montana will present Tuesday the designs for a plant slated for construction at Tiber Dam to treat the water for the system.

The Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Regional Water System authorities will hold the meeting starting at 1 p. m. in Chester at at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 10 East Adams Ave.

Mary Heller, general manager of the North Central Montana Regional Water Authority, said the meeting will present the design and construction of the treatment plant.

The project grew out of the water compact approved for the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in the 1990s. The compact included reserving use of water from Lake Elwell at Tiber Dam for the use by the residents of Rocky Boy.

The project also approved treating water for north-central Montana residents off of the reservation.

The system is designed with the "core system" — to provide water to Rocky Boy — and the "non-core system" — which will provide water to 22 communities off the reservation.

The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation announced in July that, as per the design of its system, its Tribal Water Resource Department will take over the operations and maintenance responsibilities of the core system on behalf of the U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The project has received piece-meal funding since Congress authorized it in 2002 for a total price at that time of $228 million.

Since then, the system requested more than $40 million in appropriations in the initial years of construction, but has typically received $5 million to $10 million, usually through congressional earmarks.


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