Tester Delivers Resources to Boost Central Montana Economy

Grants Will Bolster Economic Development, Create Jobs in Lewistown

(Billings, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester recently delivered resources to boost business, create jobs, and clean up hazardous waste in central Montana.

The grants, worth a combined $650,000, will benefit the Snowy Mountain Development Corporation in Lewistown, allowing it to provide economic stability to farmers and ranchers hit by recent droughts and clean up contaminated sites for future use.

“Investing in job creation and local communities in Central Montana will benefit everyone,” Tester said. “These grants will strengthen the economy and provide lasting stability for Lewistown and the surrounding communities for generations to come.”

The first grant, worth $250,000, comes via the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and will provide revolving loan financing to agricultural producers impacted by drought, flooding, and devastating wildfires. The EDA estimates the grant will leverage a further $2 million in private investment.

The other is a $400,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to clean up “brownfields” which need proper management to fully achieve their economic potential. EPA Brownfields grants are directed at properties where the presence of hazardous substances can complicate the properties’ expansion, redevelopment, or reuse.

“Our six county region and its businesses have been hit by disasters five out of the past seven years,” said Snowy Mountain Development Corporation Executive Director Kathie Bailey. “So many businesses don’t reopen after a disaster as they don’t have the resources to assess their risks and develop recovery plans. We are thrilled with the announcement to award revolving loan funds to our agency to help businesses directly or indirectly impacted by disasters, including drought, fires and flooding.”

The grants Tester secured will benefit Fergus, Judith Basin, Petroleum, Golden Valley, Musselshell, and Wheatland Counties.