Two Coal-Impacted Communities Receive More Than $1.2 Million in Grant Funding

Colstrip Montana HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Department of Commerce announced today two Montana communities will receive more than $1.2 million in grant funding to support vital public development projects in coal-impacted areas. The funding was allocated to these communities by the Montana Coal Board.

“These Coal Board grants will help Colstrip with the completion of a crucial infrastructure construction project that will improve an aging water system for its residents. Additionally, the new fire truck and ambulances that will be purchased with this funding are critical to improving public health and safety services for the Colstrip and Forsyth communities,” said Scott Osterman, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce.

The Montana Coal Board met in Billings recently to review project applications from Montana communities requesting financial support for each of the applications submitted. Board members selected the following communities and projects for funding:
In 2019, the City of Colstrip was awarded $350,000 to purchase a fire truck with an aerial apparatus for its volunteer fire department, replacing a more than 50-year-old vehicle that could no longer be repaired due to lack of available parts. The new truck has reduced time and money spent on repairs and reduced the number of firefighters and staff needed to operate it, making more people available for other calls.

“The City of Colstrip, as the most heavily impacted community with coal development and power generated from coal, has received tremendous benefit as a recipient of Coal Board Grant awards,” said John Williams, Mayor of Colstrip. “These awards have had a positive impact in all areas of service provided to our public safety, fire and police protection, our water and sewer infrastructure, our streets and most importantly, our schools and medical districts.”

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

Tags: Community MT