Gov. Gianforte Announces Application Scores for Water and Sewer Investments
August 25, 2021
HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced the scores and ranking of the first round of applications for water and sewer investments by the state.
“Montana is helping lead the nation in investing federal funds toward critical water and sewer upgrades,” Governor Gianforte said. “I look forward to seeing as many projects as possible recommended for funding to serve our communities in greatest need.”
Ranking was conducted by a team of technical experts in drinking water, wastewater, engineering, and project management at the Montana Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC).
U.S. Treasury regulations require applications to be reviewed according to criteria from the federal Clean Water and Drinking Water revolving loan programs. The criteria prioritizes projects that improve access to clean drinking water and/or support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
Local governments were given higher scores in the ranking process for addressing serious health concerns, addressing affordability, and providing matching funds.
The scores and ranking of the first round of applications will be submitted to the ARPA Infrastructure Advisory Commission, who will make the final recommendation to the governor on which projects will be awarded funding. The commission will next meet on August 26.
Grant recipients will be required work within awarded amounts, which will not be increased to address changes in project costs. Local governments which submit projects not funded in the first round of competitive grants may reapply for the project in the second round. The timing and details of the second round has not yet been announced by the commission.
In HB 632, the legislature appropriated a total of $250 million of ARPA funds for water and sewer competitive grants. Last month, the governor announced over 320 applications were received from local governments across Montana requesting over $900 million in grants.
The legislature also appropriated $150 million of ARPA fund for water and sewer minimum allocation grants to cities and counties. These grants are not competitive, and applications are being accepted on an ongoing basis until January 1, 2023. Applications must be reviewed for eligibility by DNRC before it can recommend those projects to the advisory commission.
Agencies administering and assisting with the ARPA water and sewer grants include DNRC, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Department of Commerce.
Applicants for competitive water and sewer grants can visit arpa.mt.gov to log in to see their final score. The full list of ranked projects can be found here.
Prior to the Infrastructure Advisory Commission’s next meeting on August 26, public comments or letters of support regarding a specific project application can be mailed to [email protected] or submitted in the Public Comment Form online.