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By Addrien Marx
Former Owner, Roveros 

The Cost of Not Building a Sewer System


SEELEY LAKE - People are asking what a new sewer system will cost the residents of Seeley Lake. Like my friends and neighbors here, I look forward to hearing those details when they’re available. In the meantime, I am writing to talk about the costs of not building a sewer system.

As the owner of Rovero’s, I have the pleasure of serving our beautiful community cradled between two mountain wilderness areas and a stunning chain of lakes. As Seeley Lake has grown, so has Rovero’s. Two years ago, my engineers informed me that our heavily used restrooms required an upgraded septic system.

As you may know, our community is currently under special regulations from the Missoula County Health Department. The regulations add extra requirements and major costs for any new or expanded septic system.

In order to comply with those regulations, my upgraded septic system cost more than $100,000. Did I grieve over that amount lost in my upcoming retirement or the dreamed ability to help my grandchildren attend college? No question about it! But I acknowledged I was the rarity: thankfully, I could swing it. It was a cost of doing business and mine was booming.

What has left me sleepless lately is the realization that, while I was able to afford this, many others in our community will not when their time comes. My friends, my neighbors, other local businesses, the children, the old-timers are at risk. The reality is that no septic system lasts forever. As time goes on, we face more systems failing in our community. And installing a new or upgraded septic system is a lot more expensive than most people realize, especially with these regulations.

Do you have thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to put into a septic system when it happens to you? Do your neighbors?

Here’s the good news: the US Department of Agriculture has offered millions of dollars to help build our sewer system. This will cover two-thirds of the cost of our sewer system and is the largest grant ever offered to a community in Montana.

I am so grateful for this solution to a dilemma that has haunted this community for years! It would be such a wasted opportunity — a huge cost to our community — to pass up this once-in-a-lifetime grant.

When I think about my friends and neighbors, about our customers and visitors, and especially about the future prosperity of Seeley Lake, this is an incredible answer for me.

A sewer system is the only long-term solution to keep our lake clean and beautiful and to keep our community growing, without adding huge extra expenses that drive up the cost of housing and doing business.

Urgently, I encourage you to show your support of the Seeley Lake sewer project. So many in this state love our area and our watershed. This decision will affect us all!

Thank you.

Addrien Marx,

Former Owner, Rovero’s...but caring about our community Seeley Lake, Mont.


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