HELENA – The Montana Department of Commerce announced the recent award of $51,000 in planning grant funds to five Montana communities through the Montana Main Street Program. The recipients of the planning grants include the cities of Kalispell, Helena, Thompson Falls, Dillon, and Anaconda-Deer Lodge County.
“The Montana Main Street Program helps communities strengthen and preserve their downtowns and Main Streets,” said Director Meg O’Leary. “We’re excited and inspired by the projects envisioned by our member communities, and looking forward to helping them leverage the program’s resources to help them achieve their goals.”
The Montana Main Street Program offers technical assistance and expertise to member communities and awards competitive grant funding like this to communities actively working on downtown revitalization, economic development, and historic preservation. It is a collaborative effort between the Community Development Division and the Montana Office of Tourism at the Department of Commerce.
“The third Pillar of the successful Montana brand effort is ‘vibrant and charming small towns’,” noted Jeri Duran, Administrator of the Montana Promotions Division. “The efforts that these communities are engaging in not only help preserve the unique character of their Main Streets while supporting increased business activity, they make their communities more appealing to out-of-state visitors, driving local tourism economies.”
Montana Main Street Awards:
City of Kalispell - $15,000 – Downtown building façade improvement program forwarded by the Kalispell Business Improvement District that offers $5,000 matching grants to local business owners for improvements to downtown building façades.
City of Helena - $10,000 – The Helena Business Improvement District will develop a downtown master plan that creates a comprehensive and unified vision for the long range planning, development, preservation, and growth of the district.
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County - $10,000 – Develop a downtown master plan in an effort to accomplish goals in the areas of community and economic development, revitalization, and historic preservation.
City of Dillon - $10,000 – Develop a downtown master plan which will indicate the importance of business recruitment, historic preservation, heritage tourism, and improved streets cape design and safety.
City of Thompson Falls - $6,000 – Using the development of a downtown master plan as a starting point, the City will address the needs of the downtown and has indicated revitalization efforts to include renovation of historic structures, tourism development, and enhancing the business core.
Eligible funding activities include long-range community planning, downtown revitalization, historic preservation, tourism and economic development projects. Applications are evaluated by the Department of Commerce in the order that they are received and grants will be awarded on a continual basis until all funds are allocated.
For more information regarding the Montana Main Street Program, please contact Tash Wisemiller, Montana Main Street Program Coordinator, at (406) 841-2770 or e-mail DOCmtmainstreet@mt.gov.