“It doesn’t make sense to kick that can down the road when we are talking about critical infrastructure in someone’s community,” said Darryl James.
The rejected bonding bill only allocated about $30 million for critical infrastructure, like wastewater systems, roads and bridges. The coalition hopes to find support for a much larger investment this session, saying Montana could wisely spend $100 to $200 million on water and sewer projects alone. But James said even $200 million for waterline maintenance is only a “drop in the bucket.”
“Most of the urban water and wastewater systems were built between 75 and 100 years ago,” said James. “There are softball-sized holes in these water lines. We are going to reach catastrophic failure somewhere.”
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