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Libby to accept payments via state water assistance program

by DERRICK PERKINS
Editor | November 23, 2021 7:00 AM

Mayor Peggy Williams announced Nov. 15 that Libby City Hall would soon accept payments through the new state Low Income Home Water Assistance program.

Administered through the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the program aims to help eligible residents cover water and wastewater costs. Gov. Greg Gianforte celebrated the launch of the program on Nov. 5.

“This program will go a long way to help ensure Montanans maintain access to water at their home, without worrying about disruptions to service,” Gianforte said in a statement at the time.

The initiative is funded through federal dollars via the American Rescue Plan Act. Gianforte set aside $1.6 million from ARPA for the program with another $2.1 million allocated through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, according to a press release.

Eligible residents are connected to a public water system and responsible for paying the bill either through an individual account or a rental agreement. They must prove they are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Those interested must also meet income and resource benchmarks. Households already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program may automatically qualify for assistance.

Williams made her announcement during the tail end of a regularly scheduled Libby City Council meeting. She did not offer a timeline, but indicated it would not take long to implement.

“We are in the process of signing the city up to accept payments through the Low Income Home Water Assistance Program and it should be in effect soon,” she said.