City approves TIF funds for downtown storm water project

City Commissioners unanimously approved $18,000 in downtown increment financing funds during their May 16 meeting for a downtown storm water drainage improvement project.

The Great Falls Public Works Department has received multiple requests from business owners on the 400 block of Central Avenue to address increased flooding into their businesses due to an increased number of flash flooding events, according to the staff report.

Water regularly drains from 1st Alley North into the basements of the Johnson Building an Kaufman’s, according to the staff report.

Downtown stormwater project begins May 8

This area of the alley is between 1st Avenue North and Central Avenue, between 4th and 5th Streets South.

Businesses in that area have spent $10,000 in repairs due to flooding, according to the staff report.

Public Works is planning to install a doghouse inlet and make minor repairs to the alley surfacing, according to staff, beginning in late summer to early fall of 2023.

City Commission to consider ARPA fund agreement for downtown drainage project

City staff has determined the project is eligible for TIF funds under state law and city criteria.

The downtown TIF fund has a current cash balance of $4,316,637, according to staff, so there’s adequate funding for the project.

During the meeting, Commissioner Joe McKenney said that the project is “a perfect example” of what TIF is for.