Great Falls receives $15,000 grant for wayfinding plan

The Great Falls Business Improvement District on behalf of the Downtown Development Partnership has received a $15,000 grant from the Department of Commerce’s Montana Main Street Program for development of a wayfinding plan.

The BID is an accredited member of the Montana Main Street program and is a nationally recognized Main Street America member.

The BID and DDP with the City of Great Falls, released a request for proposals in October and has selected Cushing Terrell, formerly known as CTA Architects Engineers, for the project.

Downtown groups seeking proposals for wayfinding plan

Since the BID was notified of the of the grant award, the wayfinding planning process will get started, according to a release from the BID.

According to the RFP that was released in October, the city will provide grant administration and the BID will provide oversight of the project.

Wayfinding project planned for downtown in effort to improve economic development, connectivity and tourism

The downtown organizations and the city have been discussing options for wayfinding plans for years but have had little success in securing a grant for the project so far. Officials and downtown groups have often said they’d prefer to develop an organized plan for the downtown area, or the entire city, versus piecemealing signage for things like parking.

The city earmarked $25,000 in 2017 from the downtown tax increment financing district toward wayfinding.

Parking board continues strategic planning effort

“The need for a wayfinding plan in Great Falls stems from the challenges the city faces with connecting pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles with downtown Great Falls and adjacent destinations including the River’s Edge Trail, city parks and other community attractions,” according to the RFP. “To that end, the city intends to develop signage oriented to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.”

Vision for a vibrant downtown Great Falls, microvisioning project designs unveiled

The DDP provides a central focus for downtown development, encourages collaboration and cooperation between downtown organizations and is a champion for Downtown Great Falls, according to their release.

The DDP works in conjunction with the City of Great Falls, the Great Falls Business Improvement District, the Downtown Great Falls Association, Neighborhood Council 7, NeighborWorks, Great Falls Development Authority, Cascade County, Great Falls Public School District, City-County Historic Preservation, Parking Commission and the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about what’s been happening downtown, contact the Downtown office at 318 Central Avenue, 727-5430 or 453-6151.