Montana U.S. Senator Max Baucus says Custer County is one step closer to constructing a new water main that will support dozens of construction jobs in the short term while investing in infrastructure to help the local economy grow. As part of Baucus' ongoing Call to Action in the Bakken, Baucus says the infrastructure grant will help the local community handle increased pressure on services related to the oil and gas boom in Eastern Montana.
"Infrastructure projects like this will open the door to new businesses while supporting good-paying jobs during the construction phase," said Baucus. "It's a win-win for Custer County as it works to absorb the impacts of the energy boom and grow for the long haul."
"The water main project will literally serve as a lifeline to a whole host of commercial and economic activity in Custer County. Initially this will mean over 30 new jobs just between Sanjel and OptiBlend and already there is interest in the area from other companies," Mike Coryell, Miles City Economic Development Council for the Custer County Commission. "We're thankful for Max's support in understanding that smart investments into our public infrastructure are necessary not only to keep up with the demands of the energy boom, but to help us plan wisely for future growth."
A grant approved today from the Economic Development Administration will support construction of a new water main to extend water service to a growing commercial area along Highway 12 to Interstate 94 that currently does not have service. The project is considered a lifeline to a new housing, commercial and industrial development. The $368,000 EDA grant is anticipated to support 30 jobs and help leverage $6.3 million in private investment.
This project is estimated to have substantial economic development impact on the regional economy by greatly enhancing the value of the land and positioning the area to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the emerging energy industry.