MILES CITY, Mont. (AP) - The East Valley Waterline Project in Miles City is almost complete, but it has run into some unexpected snags that could cause long delays.
The first was an unanticipated review from the state fire marshal that changed the required pressure the water lines need to deliver. The current pressure on the waterline is sufficient for city users. However, some of the recently located industries that are served by the East Valley Waterline have buildings with higher fire ratings that require more water.
When the waterline project was proposed and being developed, the industries along the water line had a lower fire rating and did not require high-pressure and high-volume water lines, the Miles City Star reported (https://tinyurl.com/kg86a6c ).
The issue of water pressure and volume was only learned in December. Since then, meetings have been held with the businesses, local fire departments and other groups. The county is hoping for cooperation from the state fire marshal so that a water tower can be built to provide the necessary pressure and volume.
“The needs of the industry changed, and we need to meet and service their needs,” said Mike Coryell, executive director of the Miles City Area Economic Development Council.
Meanwhile, the Big Sky Trust Fund that promotes jobs has been reluctant to release funds that were intended for the project. Julie Kurkow, who also works at the Miles City Area Economic Development Council, said there are questions whether all the jobs created at Sanjel are Montana jobs because the paychecks are issued from Denver. Sanjel sent a letter to the Big Sky Trust Fund verifying the jobs are in Montana.
Officials say the issues with the Big Sky Trust Fund could be resolved soon, but the water pressure and volume issues may take some time to fix.
Information from: Miles City Star, https://www.milescitystar.com
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