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City of Three Forks could learn next month about FEMA Grant

The City of Three Forks could learn as early as next month if they will be officially awarded a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for the ongoing Flood Mitigation Project.

At the August 8 Council meeting, Flood Plain Administrator/City Treasurer Kelly Smith told the governing body that FEMA officials would be in town on August 9 to look at the site of the Three Forks project. Smith said the City had not received the grant yet, but FEMA officials are visiting Montana and wanted to look at different projects, including a stop in Three Forks. Smith added hopefully, by this time next month, the City will know if they officially have the grant.

In January 2022, the City of Three Forks submitted applications to FEMA for the project. The FEMA Grant would fund 75% ($4,152,375) of the Flood Mitigation Project.

In October 2022, the City of Three Forks unanimously approved the creation of a Flood Mitigation Special Improvement District (SID) to help gather funds for the project’s construction, maintenance, and incidental costs. The Flood Mitigation Project will create a conveyance channel and culvert crossing mitigation option designed to capture overflow flooding from the Jefferson River before reaching the City of Three Forks.

The Council voted in September of 2022 to approve a resolution of intent that selected a per-parcel assessment method that will charge a $194 increase to property owners in the SID.

In April, the Three Forks City Council unanimously voted to apply for a $3 million loan with 2.5 percent interest from the State Revolving Fund. The City will use the SRF funding for the SID and to purchase easements needed for the project. City officials say the municipality needs interim financing through a Bond Anticipation Note to purchase the easements. City Clerk Crystal Turner said at the April meeting that the City might not have to borrow all of the $3 million SRF funding.

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