Wednesday, October 24, 2012 1:08:54 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Department of Commerce Announces Economic Development Grant Awards
(HELENA) – The Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) has awarded $44,050 of Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) planning grants, to two Montana organizations to promote business growth.
BSTF planning funds are awarded to local Certified Regional Development Corporations (CRDC), tribal governments and local economic development agencies not located in a CRDC region, to assist in planning efforts to promote long-term, stable economic growth in both the region and Montana.
“Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Grants are proven business expansion tools,” said Dore Schwinden, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “They help grow businesses and create jobs in communities across the state.”
The planning awards include the following:
Kootenai River Development Council, Inc., located in Libby, received $17,800 of BSTF funds to complete a concept and schematic design for the installation of a small band saw mill capable of processing large diameter timber. The processing facility would be located within the Kootenai Business Park in Libby and, once developed, is estimated to create five new jobs.
Snowy Mountain Development Corporation, located in Lewistown, received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist Central Montana Rail (CMR) with a Preliminary Engineering Report to assess the flood damaged railroad track. CMR is a private non-profit organization based in Denton with 84.2 miles of operating rail track in Judith Basin, Fergus and Chouteau Counties. In May of 2011, heavy floodwater damaged sections of the rail, resulting in CMR ceasing rail operations to the Denton and Geraldine areas. CMR’s primary customer is Central Montana Coop, who ships 2.5 to 3 million bushels of grain annually by rail serviced by CMR. Without the rail service, producers are forced to haul their products to a railhead, resulting in an increase of up to 30 cents a bushel in additional handling costs.
BSTF is a state-funded program. The goal of the program is to promote good-paying jobs and to promote long-term, stable economic growth in Montana. Besides planning projects, the BSTF program can provide assistance to basic sector Montana businesses, who are hiring net new positions within their company. For additional information about BSTF, visit www.bstf.mt.gov.