Pondera County Receives Funding for Energy Project

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

Pondera Medical Center received word Wednesday morning that Pondera County had been awarded $450,000 to renovate the heating boilers, domestic hot water system, and lighting fixtures in our facility. The news came to us via press release from the Montana Department of Commerce, which we quickly confirmed with Rob Cook of the Pondera County Port Authority and the Pondera County Commissioners.

The press release, released Wednesday from the Community Development Division states:

12 Montana communities will share more than $5.2 million in federal funds through Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Public and Community Facilities Program. The funds will be used primarily for water and wastewater system infrastructure and public health facilities.

“Projects like these strengthen Montana’s communities,” said Jennifer Olson, Community Development Division Administrator at Commerce. “These funds support communities as they continue to provide vital services and respond to their local needs and challenges.”

Commerce’s CDBG Public and Community Facilities program provides funding to local governments to address community needs, including building or improving public infrastructure and constructing or rehabilitating facilities such as shelters, food banks, mental health centers, and senior centers.

The following communities have received CDBG Public and Community Facilities funding:

  • Big Horn County: $450,000 for construction of a new ambulance facility in Hardin

  • Town of Circle: $450,000 for water main replacements and installation of hydrants and valves

  • Hill County: $260,500 for wastewater system upgrades to the lift station and sewer lines

  • Lewis and Clark County: $450,000 to renovate the Good Samaritan Thrift Store with an upgraded roof and energy efficiency improvements

  • Missoula County: $450,000 for wastewater system improvements to install sewer mains and sludge removal in the Buena Vista community

  • Petroleum County: $450,000 for construction of a new community center/senior center

  • Pondera County: $450,000 to renovate the Pondera County Medical Center heating, cooling systems, and lighting fixtures

  • City of Roundup: $450,000 for water system upgrades to water main, hydrants, and valves

  • City of Shelby: $450,000 for water system upgrades and replacement of water mains

  • City of Thompson Falls: $450,000 for wastewater system upgrades to install and construct sewer lines, lift station and service connections

  • Valley County: $450,000 for water system upgrades to water mains, storage tank and install water metering in the St. Marie water district

  • City of Wolf Point: $450,000 for wastewater system upgrades to sewer lines and lift station

Bill O’Leary, CEO at Pondera Medical Center, reacted to the news, “Fantastic news on PMC being on the receiving end of the Community Development Block Grant. This grant will aid PMC in replacing our 50-year-old boilers and hot water system.” Mr. O’Leary went on to explain that PMC engaged Ameresco to analyze energy savings and conservation measures, with priorities being boilers and temperature control. Ameresco then created a preliminary engineering report and worked with Rob Cook at the Pondera County Regional Port Authority to apply for the Community Development Block Grant on our behalf.

Matt Thompson of Ameresco was glad to hear Pondera Medical Center would be receiving financial support for the project, he said “I’m excited to hear Pondera Medical Center will be receiving a CDBG Public and Community Facilities grant, this facility is important to the community and the grant funds will go a long way to help renew critical building infrastructure. We’re happy for Pondera Medical Center and also excited that the new equipment will reduce energy consumption helping the facility operate efficiently for years to come!”

John Ringdahl is the facilities manager at PMC and he spoke about the impact on our facility. “This is great news and the impact will be huge. We want our residents, patients, and employees to be comfortable when they’re in our facility. We’re a small, rural, non-profit that loves our community so something like this is big news for us at PMC and we are very blessed!”

Ameresco will continue to analyze the medical center to uncover additional facility improvements that can be funded with guaranteed energy and operating savings. The Ameresco team will provide updates on final engineering and other progress as they conclude their energy audit and we are committed to keeping our community up to date on projected construction dates and possible additional funding we may receive.

We are grateful for the good news to end 2020!