Whitefish to Receive $506,000 for Critical Infrastructure Improvements

Loan to Whitefish will be used for improvements to its wastewater treatment system

By Beacon STaff

Gov. Steve Bullock announced July 25 that ratepayers in the city of Whitefish will save $170,470 thanks to changes in the State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program made in 2014. The savings come as a result of a $506,000 SRF loan to Whitefish for improvements to its wastewater treatment system.

Using the new loan and a $125,000 Renewable Resource Grant from DNRC, Whitefish will replace more than 5,000 linear feet of sewer main and rehab up to 35 manholes, seals and rings.

To finance the project, Whitefish has borrowed $506,000 from the SRF loan program for 20 years at 2.5 percent interest.

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 are required to have.

“Through strong fiscal management and a bit of common sense, we’re ensuring communities like Whitefish can keep more money in their pockets,” Bullock said. “This project will address water infiltration problems that reduce the efficiency of the city’s wastewater treatment and collection system. We’ll continue to work with local communities to find responsible ways to make critical infrastructure improvements and create jobs while saving money for Main Street Montana businesses and customers.”

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.

PEC, Inc., of Helena has been awarded the bid for the project, which is expected to be completed in December of 2016.