HELENA, Mont. – Each year, more than $5 million is awarded to Montana towns for community development projects that improve infrastructure, access to affordable housing, and increase training and job opportunities. The Montana Department of Commerce is recognizing National Community Development Week, April 17-22, by celebrating the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.
“Montana’s vibrant towns are what attracts visitors, entices business owners to stay, and creates a healthy place for our kids to grow,” Director Pam Haxby-Cote said. “A ribbon-cutting on a CDBG project means that a local community has planned and invested well, setting down roots for a more dynamic and secure future.”
CDBG funds support local projects allowing communities to address their greatest development needs. Here are a few recent examples of this work:
The Blackfeet Community College health sciences students in Browning will soon have a new facility that will educate approximately 185 students annually. The new building will offer medical courses that will provide students improved job training and tools they need to secure stable and good-paying jobs to better serve Montana communities.
Harlowton residents will soon have new water infrastructure. Work has begun to remedy public health and safety issues by replacing 80-year-old cast-iron water pipes that leak 30-to-40 percent of the water they carry. After more than a mile of new water lines are in place, Harlowton residents will have improved access to clean, affordable water.
Flathead County senior citizens will enjoy renovated senior centers in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Kalispell. These centers are an important community resources for the folks they serve, providing a place to gather with friends, eat balanced meals, and receive health care. These centers will allow local seniors to have a higher quality of life, supporting their ability to live independently and continue to be an active part of their community.
Almost every community across the state has experienced achievement through CDBG investments since the inception of the Montana CDBG program in 1982. The CDBG program is federally-funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
For more information about Community Development in Montana, visit our website at comdev.mt.gov or call 406-841-2700.
Source: Emilie Ritter Saunders