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1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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Governor approves $11.6 million infrastructure project for Lockwood


LOCKWOOD, Mont. – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that the Lockwood Water and Sewer District (WSD) has completed an $11.6 million infrastructure financing package to develop the second phase of its sewer system project.

“This phase will expand the Lockwood WSD to serve an additional 1,207 households and further reduce the community’s reliance on private septic and drain field systems, which have contributed to high nitrate levels in groundwater,” Bullock said. “Lockwood will have a reliable and economical sewer system when this project is complete.”

Financing for the project comes from local, state and federal sources:

 -- The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) has approved $3.5 million State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan for 30 years at 2.5% interest, a Renewable Resource grant for $100,000 and a Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) grant for $750,000. DNRC also approved a $200,000 loan that will be forgiven after the construction phase is complete

-- Lockwood will also receive a USDA Rural Development Grant worth $1.8 million and a Rural Development Loan for $3 million

-- Yellowstone County Public Works will contribute $785,555 for the repaving of some streets in the project area; the Lockwood Capital Improvement Plan has also contributed $1,420,216 towards some water system improvements.

“Throughout the process of combining funds from local, state and federal sources into one package, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) staff worked very hard to find solutions to the various hurdles they encountered,” Bullock said. “Without their expertise, Lockwood might not be moving ahead with phase II of this project.”

In 2014, Governor Bullock reduced long-term interest rates on loans through the SRF program from three percent to 2.5 percent, and reduced interest rates on construction loans from three percent to 1.5 percent. The changes were part of Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project.

“Those changes are going to save Lockwood ratepayers a total of $1,978,764 in interest payments over the terms of the loans,” said Bullock. “The community gets an upgrade to critical infrastructure and business owners and residents get to keep more money in their pockets.”  

Woody Woods, recently retired as manager of the Lockwood Water and Sewer District, said new businesses have already expressed interest in building in Lockwood now that phase I of the sewer project is complete. “Existing businesses are upgrading or expanding to better serve the community,” said Woods. “It’s proof that having up-to-date infrastructure can drive economic development.”

Now that Lockwood has both domestic water and sanitary sewer, Woods said the town is being considered as the site for a Targeted Economic Development District by the Yellowstone County Commission. “This would be a 600-acre industrial site built around the new Billings Bypass project, which will connect Lockwood with Billings Heights via a new bridge over the Yellowstone River,” Woods said.

Bullock noted the State Revolving Fund loan program administered by DNRC and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) enables Montana communities to upgrade or expand critical drinking- or wastewater treatment facilities at the lowest possible cost.

“Lockwood is ready to grow and expand in the future, and they couldn’t have gotten to this point without the State Revolving Fund and the help of a lot of dedicated people,” Bullock said. “When we invest in new sewer infrastructure, we protect the health and well-being of citizens; we protect our soil, groundwater and surface water. Communities are better prepared for new growth and development. And the projects create good-paying jobs for Montana workers.”

COP Construction LLC of Billings has been hired as contractor for the project.

For more information on the State Revolving Fund program, contact Anna Miller of DNRC at (406) 444-6689, or visit the Montana DNRC Web site at http://dnrc.mt.gov/.