The Seeley Lake Sewer District was formed in 1992 to assist the community in determining the need and cost for a centralized sewer system. The District’s goals are to:
1) Identify grant opportunities and other funding strategies that support an affordable sewer project;
2) Address water quality concerns from high density septic system influence;
3) Facilitate solutions related to design, construction, acquisition or financing needs for proposed improvements.
Seeley Lake Sewer District
PO Box 403 Seeley Lake, MT 59868
Voice: (406) 677-2559
Fax: (406) 677-2039
Recent Sewer District News:
- We will hold our second community information meeting at the Community Hall on Monday, November 13 at 6 p.m. We encourage you to attend and bring your questions. (This is the rescheduled date for a September meeting that was postponed due to ongoing effects of the fire season.)
- On October 19 the district board of directors revised its method for spreading assessments. All properties within each phase of the district now would pay the same assessments, regardless of whether the properties are residential or nonresidential. This change was in response to feedback from members of the community, bond counsel, and funding agencies. See the section titled “What will the sewer system cost me, and how does that compare to current costs of my septic system?,” below, for a detailed explanation.
- The change to assessments also impacts how protests will be counted. See the section titled “How do I make my voice heard?,” below, for a detailed explanation.
- The Seeley Lake Sewer District Board of Directors voted September 14th to accept the revised funding offer provided by USDA Rural Development in response to the district’s request for additional funding. See the section titled “What is the status of the federal grant?,” below, for a detailed explanation.
The following Notice of Proposed Levy of Special Assessments will be mailed out to all property owners of record as well as being published in both the Pathfinder and the Missoulian on November 16th and 23rd.
The protest period will conclude on December 18th and the Board of Directors will host a public hearing to consider the protest on December 21st at 5:15pm at the satellite office located at 3360 Highway 83 North.
A sewer for Seeley Lake:
Your water. Seeley’s future. Your Choice.
This autumn, Seeley Lake property owners will determine whether to construct a sewer system and wastewater treatment facility in our community. Construction would be financed with a combination of grant funds and special assessment bonds. Seeley Lake property owners within the sewer district would each pay an additional assessment on their annual property tax bills to service the debt on those bonds and to cover the cost of operation and maintenance of the system.
The information on this web page was updated on October 20, 2017, and includes new cost and assessment methodology information, updated timelines, as well as a change to the notice-and-protest process.
Following are frequently asked questions about the sewer system. Click on each question for a detailed answer:
Still want more info? Call the Seeley Lake Sewer District at (406) 677-2559, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the office at 3360 Highway 83 North, open weekdays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
WHY A SEWER SYSTEM?
Studies of Seeley Lake’s groundwater indicate significantly elevated nitrate and chloride levels in the groundwater. Those studies draw a clear link between the location and density of septic systems in our community and the location and degree of the problem.
The contaminants pose a health hazard to people drinking untreated well water. Consumption of nitrates can cause methemoglobinemia (a potentially serious blood disorder), cancer and birth defects in humans. High nitrate and chloride levels additionally may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms in the groundwater.
At the same time, the lake at the heart of our community is suffering from elevated and rising levels of nutrients (phosphorous and nitrates). We’re seeing a growing problem with algae blooms in the lake and the Clearwater River downstream, occasionally with toxic blue-green algae. Over time, this ongoing degradation of water quality may impact the recreational value of the lake, which in turn impacts our local economy.
This growing, community-wide problem can only be addressed with a community-wide solution. That’s why voters in Seeley Lake approved the formation of the Seeley Lake Sewer District. Led by a local staff and local volunteer board of directors, SLSD has spent years studying the need and developing a comprehensive, staged plan for a sewer system and treatment facility. CLICK HERE to view a map that shows which properties would be included in the Seeley Lake Sewer District, and which phase of construction would affect them.
HOW DO I MAKE MY VOICE HEARD?
Notice of a protest period will be mailed to all property owners on November 16, 2017. If you support construction of the sewer system and treatment facility, you needn’t do anything. If you oppose construction, you will have 30 days to file a protest at that time. All property owners in all four phases of construction will have a right to protest during this period. The mailing you receive will include detailed instructions.
In October 2017, based on feedback from community members, bond counsel, and funding agencies, we changed the assessment methodology that determines how costs will be distributed among property owners; there is now no longer a two-tier system that differentiates between residential and nonresidential property owners. As a result of this change, residential and nonresidential property owner protests will now be weighted equally within each phase. Protests from property owners in phase 1 will still have a somewhat larger per-property weighting in the initial protest period, because they have a higher assessment for total debt; this is a requirement of state law. However, property owners in phases 2-4 will have a separate right (later) to protest debt prior to construction of their phases of the collection system.
At the conclusion of the protest period, if valid protests are received from property owners who collectively bear less than 50 percent of the cost of the system, then the sewer district’s board of directors may proceed to sell bonds, levy assessments, and undertake construction of the sewer system. If that occurs, all properties within the district — regardless of protest status — will be able to connect to the sewer once it is constructed.
If valid protests are received from property owners who collectively bear more than 50 percent of the cost of the system, the board of directors cannot proceed to finance and construct the system as planned.
Prior to the notice and protest period, we encourage you to discuss this issue with your neighbors in Seeley Lake. If they have questions, you can point them to www.SeeleySewer.org for more information. They (and you) can also speak with district staff or connect with board members by calling (406) 677-2559; emailing us at email@example.com; or visiting the office at 3360 Highway 83 North, open weekdays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
For the latest information, please 'like' our Facebook page dedicated specifically to this project.
Meetings take place every third Thursday of the month at the Missoula County Satellite Office, 3360 Hwy 83 N, Seeley Lake, MT 59868.
- Bob Skiles, Director
- Mike Lindemer, Director
- Mike Boltz, Director
- Davy Good, Director
- Mark Butcher, Director
- Resolution Creating and Establishing Subdistricts
- District By-Laws
- Resolution Submitting to Qualified Electors of the District the Question of Incurring Bonded Indebtedness
- Sewer District Map.
- District Project Phases.
- Agreement with Missoula County.
- Nitrate and Ground Water presentation.
- May 2012 PER Executive Summary.
- April 12, 2012 Great West Engineering Presentation.
- Report from Clearwater Resource Council on 30 years of Seeley and Salmon Lake studies.