Three Coal-Impacted Montana Communities Receive Over $627,000 in Grant Funding

Lavina School HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Department of Commerce announced today that over $627,000 in grant funding has been awarded to three Montana communities to support vital public safety and development projects in coal-impacted areas. The funding was allocated to these communities by the Montana Coal Board.

The grant awards will allow Ashland residents to continue using their gymnasium for community activities and sporting events; help Big Horn County residents receive specialized medical services; and keep Lavina students comfortable while learning in the classroom.

“The Montana Coal Board continues to serve coal impacted communities in significant ways,” said Scott Osterman, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “In the last five years, more than $14 million of Coal Board grant funding has been awarded to eight counties, six school districts, six cities or towns, two hospitals and one tribe.”

The Montana Coal Board met in Billings recently to review project applications submitted by several Montana communities requesting financial support for each of the applications submitted. Board members selected the following communities and projects for funding:

In 2021, Big Horn County received $90,086 in Coal Board grant funding to purchase two new four-wheel-drive vehicles that have helped the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Department protect local communities and citizens. With no other funding sources identified, the Coal Board grant funding was essential to the success of the project.

The Montana Coal Board awards Coal Board Impact Grants to counties, communities, school districts, tribal governments or other governmental units to assist them in adequately providing governmental services or facilities that are needed as a direct consequence of an increase or decrease in coal development, or in the consumption of coal by a coal-using energy complex.

The Board was created by the Legislature in 1975 and is administratively attached to the Montana Department of Commerce. For more information, visit

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