Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Frank Dufresne
Seeley Lake, Mont. 

Once-in-a-Lifetime Grant Only for Phase 1 - Leaves Other Phases on the Hook


SEELEY LAKE - Recent information misstated that a “once-in-a-lifetime” grant will pay two-thirds of sewer costs. It won’t. It is only for Phase 1. Later phases 2, 3, and 4 each need to re-apply for any grant money. This should especially concern anyone in Phases 2, 3, and 4. There is no guarantee grant money will be available in amounts large enough to allow construction and reasonable rates. Worse, there are indications to the contrary and a growing chance later phases may be without a sewer but forever ‘on the hook’ paying for Phase 1, a sewer they can’t use.

What’s worrisome, the “once-in-a-lifetime” part may really be true. Government is changing. The current administration is cutting budgets and programs wherever it can. Rural development money could have a short shelf life.

When we need more free/grant money for the next three phases, the pot may be empty and the office closed. The tax man and bank won’t care. If the proposal passes, you’ve already signed the contract.

For some reason, proponents and the Sewer Board are determined to have a sewer…no matter what…and no matter the vote. We’ve already voted twice.

The first was years ago at the grade school. A large crowd and a county commissioner were present. At a show-of-hands-vote that the commissioner asked for, the large majority voted NO to the sewer.

The second vote was a formal mail-in ballot last December with the same result…majority NO.

I want to know…will this next one count or not? If not, let’s not waste everyone’s time and money pretending that it will.

Respect the majority. That’s how it’s supposed to work.


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