Hill County Unlikely to Receive Competitive ARPA Funds for Levee Project

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – The Hill County Commission held a meeting last week with representatives from Great West Engineering, The Army Corps of Engineers, and the Montana DNRC to discuss the latest developments on the project to rehabilitate the Milk River Levee so that it will be in compliance with federal standards once the floodplain remapping is completed later this decade.

Unfortunately, the Commission said that they are not expected to receive the $1.2 million in competitive state ARPA funding they had hoped for, as they did not rank high enough on the list.

Despite this news, the Commission says they still need to move forward with the project, and have already allocated over $800,000 in their own ARPA funds. They will be looking at other methods to acquire funding

The surveying of the levee has been completed, and easements have been documented and monumented. Most encroachments to the levee are minor things such as shed and fencing, but there is one home that is a concern. A potential land swap with the homeowner was floated as a possible solution, while Commissioner Mark Peterson asked the officials on the call to look into the possibility it could be considered a legacy encroachment.

Two other items discussed were the potential creation of a special district to provide funding, and the need for a risk assessment to be completed.

The risk assessment from the Army Corps of Engineers will require a 50/50 cost share and is expected to cost between $300,000-$700,000.

In addition closure structures for the areas of the levee the railway has penetrated are currently in the design phase.

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