SHELBY, Mont. – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that communities served by the North Central Montana Regional Water Authority System (NCMRWA) will save $336,900 thanks to changes he made to the State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program in 2014. The savings come as a result of two SRF loans worth $252,000 each for NCMRWA to develop Phase 3 of the regional water system, bringing the towns of Shelby and Cut Bank online.
“Through strong fiscal management and a bit of common sense, we’re ensuring communities like those served by North Central can keep more money in their pockets,” Bullock said. “The project as a whole creates efficiencies by linking rural communities that share a common need for clean and healthful water. We’ll continue to work with local communities to find responsible ways to make critical infrastructure improvements, create jobs, and save money for Main Street Montana businesses and customers.”
Using the new loans, NCMRWA will add 23 miles of pipeline, a 105,000-gallon storage tank, and a booster pump station to the existing system. With completion of this phase, Cut Bank will overcome chronic seasonal limitations in its municipal water supply.
To finance the project, North Central has borrowed a loan of $252,000 from the SRF loan program for 20 years at 2.5 percent interest, along with a second SRF for $252,000 that will be forgiven if certain loan provisions are met. The project will also draw $11 million in funds from DNRC’s Regional Water Program.
The changes to the SRF interest rate were made in 2014 as part of Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project. He reduced long-term interest rates from three percent to 2.5 percent. In addition, he reduced the amount of financial reserves communities must hold in order to receive a loan, and reduced the debt-service coverage communities must have.
The Main Street Montana Project is building and implementing a business plan for the state of Montana that helps businesses grow, supports job creation, and increases wages. One of the goals of the project is to ensure Montana businesses and communities have efficient and reliable infrastructure.
Downing Construction, Inc., of Columbia Falls is the project’s pipeline contractor; Central Excavation, Inc., of Great Falls will serve as contractor for the storage tank and booster pump station. The Phase 3 project is anticipated to be complete by the fall of 2017.
Bullock noted the State Revolving Fund loan program administered by DNRC and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) enables Montana communities to upgrade or expand critical drinking- or wastewater treatment facilities at the lowest possible cost.
For more information on the State Revolving Fund program, contact Anna Miller of DNRC at (406) 444-6689, or visit the Montana DNRC Web site at http://dnrc.mt.gov/.