Great Falls awarded $20,000 for downtown microvisioning project

Great Falls was selected for a $20,000 grant through the Department of Commerce’s Montana Main Street Program, which supports the planning of economic development, urban revitalization and historic preservation projects.

The Great Falls grant is for a downtown micro visioning project, which involved studying individual blocks for development and revitalization projects.

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The idea has been promoted by Brett Doney of the Great Falls Development Authority for several years at the Downtown Development Partnership.

Doney said at Ignite Great Falls, a GFDA event last week, that the project would look at specific blocks to bring in outside developers and locals to come up with visions of “what could we do with these blocks?”

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Some downtown blocks need new construction, while others need rehabilitation or revitalization, he said.

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“These planning grants are the foundation for developing future Main Street projects,” Montana Department of Commerce Community Development Division Administrator Jennifer Olson said in a release. “Montana’s Main Streets are at the heart of our vibrant communities which attract millions of visitors to the state each year and support thriving local economies year-round.

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Other grantees this year are:

  • City of Boulder: $15,000 for a community branding plan
  • City of Deer Lodge: $15,000 for a wayfinding plan
  •  City of Ennis: $10,000 for a downtown master plan
  • City of Hamilton: $15,000 to complete a wayfinding plan
  • City of Hardin: $10,000 for a downtown master plan
  • City of Roundup: $5,000 for a preliminary architectural report
  • City of Thompson Falls: $15,000 for a preliminary architectural report

The Montana Main Street Program assists communities in revitalizing and strengthening downtown commercial districts, while also offering technical assistance, expertise and competitive grant funding to its member communities.