The Clancy Water and Sewer District is set to receive $250,000 from Jefferson County to assist in establishing a centralized drinking water system in the town, but the funds won't flow to the district quite yet. The Clancy Water and Sewer District board on Dec. 28 voted to table a vote to formally accept a $250,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant from the county that came from ARPA funds the county received with the purpose of distributing to local jurisdictions.

The County Commission in July awarded the district $250,000 of the $500,000 it had applied for. Accepting the grant has been “tentatively approved” by the board, according to member Lori Gilliland. But the board decided, on the recommendation of County Commissioner Cory Kirsch, to table discussion and formal acceptance of the funds until the board's Jan. 25 meeting because it did not yet have a memorandum of understanding with the commission.

A memorandum would formally acknowledge a mutual goal and plan of action between the commission and the district board if the board formally accepts the money.

The project supported by the grant would “include the construction of two water supply wells, an emergency backup generator, 3,110 feet of water transmission main, an 85,000-gallon water storage tank, approximately 7,000 feet of distribution main and 6,000 feet of water service line, and 60 water meters,” according to a ARPA Water and Sewer Grant Summaries and Project Certifications document published Oct. 19.

Clancy has long been weighing a centralized water system. The Monitor previously reported that the community’s wells contain elevated levels of nitrate and uranium, according to a 2018 Treasure State Endowment Program grant application. Nitrates can cause methemoglobinemia, or blue baby syndrome, which can be fatal to infants, according to the application, which also stated that uranium can cause kidney damage and "has been linked to cancer." 

The board also applied for a $5.4 million ARPA grant via the state, hoping to bundle that funding with other grants and loans to fully fund the $7.7 million needed for the centralized well project. In September, Governor Greg Gianforte approved the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s recommendation to make a $2 million grant.

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