Resolution #2014-6 EASTERN MONTANA IMPACT PROJECT LOCAL GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT PROGRAM

BACKGROUND

Eastern Montana is experiencing significant growth impacts related to infrastructure and public safety as a result of rapid population growth resulting from the resurgence of the oil and gas industry in Eastern Montana. Most Montanans welcome the economic opportunities connected to this development, but Eastern Montana does not have the resources and support necessary to proactively plan for and address the infrastructure and public safety needs of the growing population.

Governor Bullock recently made changes to the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) loan programs which significantly reduced interest rates charged by the program and thereby provided immediate savings to the water and sewer ratepayers of communities taking advantage of the SRF loan programs.

Governor Bullock has proposed the Eastern Montana Impact Project Local Government Infrastructure Grant Program, which includes $45 million to help meet the need for local water, wastewater, and public safety infrastructure to serve the growing population. Historically low interest rates will allow the state to use its sterling bond rating to provide cash to fund these long-term infrastructure projects. The $45 million Eastern Montana Impact Project Local Governmental Infrastructure Grant Program will provide Eastern Montana with additional resources and support to help plan and address the infrastructure and public safety needs of the growing population

ACTION

MLCT will:

Support and promote Governor Bullock’s $45 million Eastern Montana Impact Project Local Governmental Infrastructure Grant Program, including up to $4.5 million for public safety infrastructure, and calls upon the 64th Montana Legislature to authorize $45 million in state bonding authority to fund the Program.