The Importance of Preliminary Engineering Reports/Facility Plans

Facility Plans and Preliminary Engineering Reports (PER) are planning documents essential to a community’s decision-making process for major infrastructure improvements.  These documents are critical not only to help a community plan and prioritize projects, but they are also necessary to be eligible for most state and federal funding.  Infrastructure improvements are a significant capital investment for which many communities need assistance from outside funding sources.  When seeking external funding or grants for a project, the Facility Plan/PER must often support the funding applications.  Funding agencies require a clear understanding of the project’s feasibility and potential impacts before providing financial support.  Most of the available funding sources are competitive, furthering the importance of a comprehensive and accurate Facility Plan/PER.

Facility Plans/PERs are technical reports that evaluate the condition of a community’s existing infrastructure and assess the feasibility of potential improvements.  Through the evaluation of the existing system, the report identifies problems related to condition, capacity, and regulatory compliance, further determining the need for improvements.  Once the need for a project is established, multiple alternatives are evaluated.  The alternatives analysis helps assess if a proposed project is technically, economically, and environmentally feasible.  It examines potential challenges, risks, and opportunities associated with the project.  Based on information provided in the report, decision-makers can make informed choices about whether to proceed with the project.


Glendive Wastewater Treatment Plant – Over $16.5 Million in Funding Secured Due to High Quality PER 

Recent News

Homedale Wastewater Upgrades – $16 Million in Funding Secured Due to High Quality Facility Plan

Cascade Wastewater Upgrades – 54% Grant Funded Due To High Quality PER – #1 Ranked MCEP Project in 2022

A well-written Facility Plan/PER provides the technical documentation that confirms the benefits of a project are based on trustworthy data.  Without a Facility Plan/PER, making the case that the project is necessary is virtually impossible.  As recommended improvements are developed, initial cost estimates are established, and funding opportunities are identified.  Project budgets formed during the planning phases of a project allow for more accurate budgeting and financial planning by the community.  Additionally, the report serves as a communication tool for project stakeholders including regulatory agencies, potential funding sources, and the public.  Garnering public support early on in the process, especially when there will be a direct financial impact to users, helps a project succeed.

As projects move forward, it is the Facility Plan/PER that serves as the foundation for the detailed engineering design.  The report provides critical data and analysis that informs the design process as the engineer develops construction plans and specifications.  A quality Facility Plan/PER helps community leaders make the best decisions for their constituents, maximizes the competitiveness of funding applications, ensures regulatory compliance, minimizes risks, and sets a project on a path to success.

The Great West team is accustomed to developing well written Facility Plans/PERs which has led to securing over $414 million in grant funding for clients and thousands of successful projects.  To learn more about these documents and how Great West can help your community, contact us today.


Brandon Duffey Promoted to Billings Transportation Business Unit Manager

Brandon Duffey Promoted to Billings Transportation Business Unit Manager

We are pleased to announce Brandon Duffey has assumed the role of Billings Transportation Business Unit Manager. Based in Great West’s Billings office, Brandon will lead the Firm’s Transportation Business Unit for the region, ensuring responsive service and quality solutions are provided to Eastern Montana clients.

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