Tester delivers $10 million to revitalize business development in Kalispell

After urging from Tester, City of Kalispell awarded prized transportation grant to establish “Glacier Rail Park”

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today announced the City of Kalispell and the Flathead County Economic Development Authority will receive a $10 million transportation grant to spur economic development in the heart of the city.

The $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant will revitalize downtown Kalispell, build a new rail yard north of town, and construct a pedestrian trail. This rail yard’s new location, known as Glacier Rail Park, will promote business investment opportunities in downtown Kalispell and will help generate manufacturing infrastructure at the new rail yard north of town.

“This transformative project will create jobs, open up incredible opportunities for businesses, and diversify the economy of northwest Montana,” said Tester, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Today’s announcement is the result of years of hard work from folks on the ground in Kalispell. As this project moves forward I will continue to work with local leaders and businesses to help create investment opportunities for folks in the Flathead.”

“The TIGER Grant award is the result of years of focus and hard work on the part of our community leaders and our representatives in Washington, DC,” said Kalispell Mayor Mark Johnson. “This award is an investment in our community that will spur increased economic activity and bring much needed jobs along with it. This is truly an investment in our future. I want to thank Secretary Foxx for believing in our project and Senator Tester for his commitment to our community.”

The City of Kalispell and the Flathead County Economic Development Authority were joined by BNSF Railway, Watco Companies, and Mission Mountain Railroad who will provide $11 million in matching funds to develop the new rail park, making it one of the region’s largest public/private partnerships.

TIGER grants are awarded annually by the U.S. Department of Transportation to repair and upgrade critical transportation networks, improve safety and increase economic development.

In June, Tester wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recommending the Glacier Rail Park be chosen as one of the prized TIGER grants. He also met with Secretary Foxx in July to urge him to invest TIGER money in Montana.