Senator Tester was the only member of the federal delegation to support these critical investments in Montana. Now it’s the state of Montana’s responsibility to get this funding out the door and to communities as quickly and responsibly as possible.
Hope you all are having a happy and healthy new year! I am reaching out because last week, the state of Montana released American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding secured by Senator Tester for water and infrastructure projects across the state, with a lot more to come in the coming weeks and months.
Senator Tester worked with Montana small business owners, Republican and Democratic local elected officials, and public education leaders to ensure the American Rescue Plan delivered for Montanans. These resources have been utilized by Montanans to reopen businesses, schools, and our state’s economy as we fought back against COVID-19.
Senator Tester was the only member of the federal delegation to support these critical investments in Montana. Additionally, Republican politicians in the state legislature and other state officials opposed these resources, despite their support from small business owners, working families, and school leaders. The American Rescue Plan’s positive impact can be seen by the fact that Montana’s unemployment rate has dropped consistently since its passage and is the lowest it’s been in 15 years.
Now as water and various infrastructure funding begins to get rolled out to local communities after numerous delays by state officials, it’s important to remember that the state is using this funding exactly as it is intended by Congress. State officials have not found a creative or new way to spend American Rescue Plan resources—on the contrary, they are using them for the exact purpose Senator Tester and countless Montanans intended when they worked together to craft the American Rescue Plan. For example, Tester secured $1.89 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for Montana in the American Rescue Plan, which can be used for water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure projects.
Just a few of the projects American Rescue Plan funding has been allocated for include:
- $2,837,191 for the Worden-Ballantine Yellowstone County Water and Sewer District Water Project to help ensure clean drinking water for the district
- $937,476 for the Rocker Sewer District for a sewer lift system to connect Rocker to the municipal wastewater treatment plant
- $2,280,781 for the Bozeman Sourdough Water Transmission Main Phase 2 to support continued city water distribution needs and ensure the community has a reliable transmission main into the future.
- $591,874 to replace the Glasgow Transmission Main Replacement
And there are many others. Please get in touch with our office for more information about funding provided by the American Rescue Plan for Montana.
Additionally, as the Treasury Department put together final guidelines on what kinds of water projects the resources could go towards, Tester pushed Treasury Secretary Jane Yellen to include dam and reservoir projects like the Milk River Project to provide relief and maintain an adequate water supply for Montana communities.
Last week, the Treasury announced its final rule on the ARP State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund would grant the flexibility Senator Tester pushed for, providing state, local and Tribal governments with even broader flexibility to pursue a wider range of uses to respond to local public health and economic needs. In particular, it allows ARPA funding to be used for culvert repair and dam repair, as long as the dam is directly tied to providing clean drinking water supply.
This is a huge win for Montana that will provide even more ways for federal ARPA resources secured by Senator Tester to be used for critical infrastructure projects that will create good-paying jobs, lower costs for families, and grow Montana’s economy.
Now it’s the state of Montana’s responsibility to get this funding out the door and to communities as quickly and responsibly as possible.
As always, please give me and Sarah a shout with any questions.
Deputy Communications Director
U.S. Senator Jon Tester
(202) 224-8544 (desk)
(202) 913-0188 (cell)
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