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Mineral County receives funds to assist with water, sewer projects

| January 5, 2022 12:00 AM

Mineral County has been allocated funds from the American Recovery Act to assist in meeting the critical need for investments in projects that improve access to clean drinking water and improve wastewater and storm water infrastructure systems.

Necessary investments include projects that are required to maintain a level of service that, at least, meets applicable health-based standards, considering resilience to climate change.

Funds have been allocated by the county to assist with projects located in towns, unincorporated communities or other places located outside incorporated towns that rely on systems managed by local boards or councils.

By permitting funds to be used for water and sewer infrastructure needs, Congress recognized the critical role that clean drinking water and services for the collection and treatment of wastewater and storm water play in protecting public health.

The interim final rule provides the county with wide latitude to identify investments in water and sewer infrastructure that are of the highest priority for area communities, which may include projects on privately-owned infrastructure.

The interim final rule does this by aligning eligible uses of the Fiscal Recovery Funds with the wide range of types or categories of projects that would be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

The county notes that it does not have enough money to fully fund large projects, but it may be able to assist with some of the matching requirements that are beyond the abilities of the local district to come up with. In addition, each district is eligible to apply directly to the state’s various programs (including ARPA) if their project has an engineer and the required preliminary engineering is underway.

Applications are available through the Montana ARPA Website arpa.mt.gov and technical help is being provided by the Montana Department of Commerce team. As of now, the deadline to apply is January 2023.

The county must have these funds fully obligated by Dec. 31, 2024, and fully expended by Dec. 31, 2026.

If you are considering upgrades to your system, complete the form and return it to the Mineral County Economic Development Corporation no later than Jan. 31, 2022. Proposals can be mailed to Emily Park P.O. Box 281, Superior, MT 59872 or emailed to mcedc.epark@outlook.com.

As the final rules regarding the use of these funds are published, the County will develop an application process – and establish award maximums and notify all that have responded to this request.

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