The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) has certified an application from the City of Three Forks for a $436,023 request for an American Rescue Plan Act Water and Sewer Minimum Allocation Grant.
The municipality would use the money for a project to increase supply capacity to meet current demands with the largest producing well out of service and improve water supply quality. The project has a total cost of $3,871,000.
Other funding sources for the project include $524,928 in ARPA Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, a $125,000 Renewable Resource Grant, a $625,000 Montana Coal Endowment Program Grant, and $2,160,049 from State Revolving Loan Funds.
In June, the Montana Department of Commerce announced Three Forks was one of 47 communities that would receive the infrastructure grant.
“Commerce is proud to partner with Montana communities to ensure the affordability of important projects like these,” Commerce Director Scott Osterman said. “These grants will help local communities address infrastructure and public facility needs while promoting the health and safety of residents across Montana.”
City officials have applied for the State Revolving Loan funds.
The awarding of the Minimum Allocation Grant Award would be contingent on DNRC approval of final scope, schedule, and budget including verification of all matching fund sources.
According to information provided by the DNRC, the Three Forks project will locate and construct new sources of groundwater supply away from existing animal operations, expand the existing arsenic treatment system capacity to treat the new wells for arsenic, and abandon existing wells with poor aesthetic quality.
The City of Three Forks project will include a hydrogeologic investigation, land acquisition, test wells, and water rights analysis before installing two new groundwater wells, each with a capacity of 250 GPM. The City has also been working with their water rights attorney on a strategy to ensure their existing water rights and reservation can be used for the entire service area. Approximately 4,000 feet of water main will be constructed to connect the new wells to the existing system. The project assumes newly drilled wells will meet all drinking water standards except for arsenic. The existing arsenic water treatment plant will be expanded by approximately 750 square feet to house additional treatment filters, contact tanks, valves, and piping. Three existing wells will be abandoned due to poor aesthetic quality and the threat of contamination from animal operations.