DSC01130The RID Sewer was first constructed in 1900.  It was a series of clay tiles that traveled a direct route from the Pine Hills State School to the slough in Miles City.  It had been in serious decay for some time and needed replacement.  Custer County had limited funding to afford such a project.  Efforts began as early as 1992 to address the problem.  The Custer County Commissioners had at one time secured a Congressional appropriation for the project but were unable to provide the matching funds needed to complete the project.  At that time, an assessment was instituted to build a reserve fund up to have matching money to pursue grant funds with.  Gary Matthews picked the project back up in  2009 when that fund reached approximately $100,000 and together with Southeastern Montana Development Corporations’ grant administrator, Julie Korkow, the two submitted a CDBG application and TSEP application in 2010.  The grant applications were successful and notification that funding was received came in 2011.  Applications for additional funding were then submitted to USDA, Rural Development.  These too were successful.  In late fall of 2013, the project was advertised for bid and all of the bids received exceeded the budget.  Custer County did not have additional funding to put into the project.  It was feared that the project would be lost again, but USDA, Rural Development stepped up to the plate and provided more grant funding to help the project come to fruition.  The total project cost was $2.463 million.  RID residents provided $123,000 through their reserve fund and incurred a loan for $288,000.  $2.052 million was received in grant funds.  The project is now complete, the moratorium on hookups has been lifted, and ownership of the area is being transferred from Custer County to Custer County Water and Sewer District.  Residents of this area now have a safe and reliable sewer system and the project has opened up vacant lots that can be used for development.