Senate panel advances funding to revitalize abandoned Missoula mill site

Measures will also strengthen services for children, victims of domestic violence

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester and his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee have passed legislation that will help fund a much-needed new road and improve services for traumatized children and victims of domestic violence in Missoula, Tester and Senator Max Baucus announced today.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act includes funding for the construction of a new roadway linking Cregg Lane to Wyoming Avenue, which will connect two of the major north-south roads, Orange and Russell Streets. The project will also build a park in an abandoned mill site.

The Appropriations Committee today also approved the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act, which includes funding for the Missoula YWCA to provide shelter and transitional housing to victims of domestic violence and increase girls leadership programs in Missoula County Public Schools. The measure would also provide funding for the University of Montana Safe School Center to provide training for teachers and school employees to help children suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Missoula Mayor John Engen says the city will greatly benefit from the funds. 

“This funding brings the City of Missoula a giant step closer to realizing the dream of a vital redevelopment of an abandoned mill site in the heart of the city,” said Missoula Mayor John Engen. “Money for civic infrastructure is hard to come by these days, so Sen. Tester’s and Sen. Baucus’ efforts here are much appreciated."

“Revitalizing this part of the city while adding additional roads increases public safety is a good investment in the long term economic strength of Missoula,” Tester said. “Investing in our kids and in support programs for victims of domestic violence will improve the overall public health of everyone who lives in the Garden City.” 

“This is great news for the City of Missoula, the YWCA, and the University,” Baucus said.  “These are three very worthwhile appropriations that will make Missoula stronger and safer.  I’m proud of this funding because it exemplifies a very smart use of federal resources in the name of public safety and infrastructure improvement.”

Under the current legislation, the City of Missoula would receive $1,825,000 for Cregg Lane/Wyoming Street Connector and Silver Park Project.  The YWCA would receive $750,000 for to help victims of domestic violence and the university will receive $500,000 for the Safe School Center.

The legislation must first pass the full Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives before the funding can be signed into law.

For a full list of funding for Montana under the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Act, click HERE.

For a full list of funding for Montana under the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, click HERE.

What is an appropriations bill?
  • A federal appropriations bill funds the federal government.  12 appropriations bills will fund the federal government for the next Fiscal Year.
  • Less than one half of one percent of these appropriations bills consist of congressionally directed funding (also called “earmarks”).  This funding is not additional spending for the federal government, nor does it increase federal deficit.  Rather, it is a set of directions telling the government where it must use existing funds.
  • In the past, appropriations funding had been abused by anonymous requests with little transparency.
  • Since 2007, the process was overhauled to guarantee transparency and fair debate in Congress.
  • All of Tester’s and Baucus’ appropriations requests are online HERE and HERE.