The Clancy Water and Sewer District board at its Nov. 26 meeting approved a statement of work that will cover past project management fees and upcoming work related to the proposed development of a public water supply. Grant funds will pay for the $49,300 contract between the District and Great West Engineering.

The primary project covered by this statement of work is a study of the area’s hydrogeology that will identify potential sites for drilling production wells and test wells “to verify quantity and quality of water available for the District’s new groundwater source,” Collette Anderson of Great West Engineering wrote in an email.

The work is a necessary next step to help the District determine whether or how to proceed with the project, proposed following a 2018 study of 89 houses that found elevated amounts of nitrates and uranium in some of the district’s drinking water.

According to the contract’s current terms -- it will be amended as new projects are identified in the future, Anderson told the board -- no wells will be drilled during this phase of work, which “will primarily be completed as a desktop study with limited field investigation.”

“The end product for this phase of work will provide direction to help prioritize the next phase of groundwater development and test well drilling,” the contract states. “Work will include identification of priority test well drilling locations to meet water quantity and water quality needs, and estimated cost for drilling test wells.”

The scope of this work was identified in the preliminary engineering report Great West Engineering previously prepared. Helena-based HydroSolutions will perform the hydrogeologic work under a subcontract.

The statement of work also covers time Great West Engineering will spend on managing the hydrogeologic work and on continuing to administer the various grants the District has been awarded to help cover the overall project’s cost. Part of the $49,300 fee will pay for work Great West Engineering has performed without a contract since the completion of the preliminary engineering report.

This previously uncontracted work has included budget tracking, invoicing, schedule management, meeting attendance, and miscellaneous management tasks, according to the contract.

Great Western’s work will be funded from two existing grants: a $125,000 grant from the Renewable Resource Grant and Loan Program of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established by the Water Resources Development Act.

Because the former grant has no match requirements, and the latter grant’s 25% match can be paid for out of the former’s funds, no monies outside the grants need be applied to pay for the project.

Other funding already secured for the estimated $2.9 million project include a $750,000 grant from the Treasure State Endowment Program and $450,000 from the Community Development Block Grant Program.

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