FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tash Wisemiller, Montana Main Street Program Coordinator, (406) 841-2756
Ronja Abel, Communications Director, (406) 841-2557
Montana Main Street Program Welcomes Thompson Falls, Hamilton, and Cut Bank as New Members
HELENA – The Montana Department of Commerce announced that the Montana Main Street Program has accepted Thompson Falls, Hamilton, and Cut Bank as new affiliate members of the statewide program.
“The Montana Main Street Program is helping communities throughout the state build and revitalize successful downtowns,” said Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary. “We are looking forward to working with our three new members to implement the comprehensive downtown vision, planning, and project potential clearly demonstrated at the local level.”
The program will assist new affiliate members Thompson Falls, Hamilton and Cut Bank with building organizational capacity and prioritizing projects. The Affiliate membership tier allows members the opportunity to learn and develop the Main Street Four Point Approach while accessing the resources and services of the program.
Thompson Falls is moving forward with a big vision and associated goals that demonstrate a broad approach to public facilities and parks, infrastructure and the economic impact of these components in a community. The community indicated the need for assistance with the strategy and planning necessary to build an organized approach to achieving its goals.
Hamilton is completing work on a downtown master plan and will look to the program as a resources to help implement the plan directives. The Hamilton City Council voted unanimously to pursue membership with the local effort led by a collaboration of the City, Hamilton Downtown Association, Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement District, and the support of numerous additional local organizations.
The City of Cut Bank and the Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce will work in tandem to create downtown housing and improved retail space that meets the demand of recruited businesses, develop area tourism, and encourage the walkability of the downtown core. The Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce recently purchased a landmark downtown building that had sat largely vacant for the last two decades and plans to rehabilitate its 17,000 square feet of retail and housing space.
In addition to receiving technical assistance and support, member communities may apply for competitive grant funding for eligible activities that include long-range planning, downtown revitalization, historic preservation, tourism and economic development projects. The Montana Main Street Program awarded just over $50,000 in grant funds during the last fiscal year, for projects including the development of a way finding plan in Lewistown, the creation of façade improvement design renderings in Great Falls, a downtown revitalization plan for Glasgow, the creation of an urban renewal tax increment district in Miles City, and the preparation of a preliminary architectural report and feasibility study for the historical Rainbow Hotel in Shelby.
The Montana Main Street Program is a collaborative effort between the Community Development Division (CDD) and the Montana Office of Tourism (MTOT) at the Montana Department of Commerce. The program helps communities strengthen and preserve their historic downtown commercial districts by focusing on economic development, urban revitalization and historic preservation through proactive long-range planning, organization, design and promotion.
For more information regarding the Montana Main Street Program, please contact program staff at (406) 841-2770 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.