Montana Main Street Program Historic Preservation Grant Presentation Held September 13

Tash Wisemiller, community and economic vitality program manager for the Montana Department of Commerce, was in Sidney on September 13. Wisemiller toured the town and gave a presentation to community members, leaders and business people at the Meadowlark Public House in downtown Sidney.

The Montana Main Street program was established in 2005 and currently serves 35 Montana communities. This is a collaborative effort between the Community Development Division and the Montana Office of Tourism at the Montana Department of Commerce. The program provides services and assistance to communities wishing to increase their economic vitality while maintaining local historic integrity. The program provides technical assistance and expertise to member communities and provides competitive grants to communities actively working in downtown revitalization, economic development and historic preservation. They also help facilitate project tracking to gauge project success that can be compared to other projects in communities across the state. A few of the cities participating in the program with projects completed or underway include Roundup, Great Falls, Lewistown, Kalispell, Glasgow, Glendive, Baker and Ekalaka. For more information on the Montana Main Street program, go to https://comdev.mt.gov/Programs-and-Boards/Montana-Main-Street-Program.

The Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program is a state-funded program created in 2019 with the passage of Senate Bill 338, Sections 1 through 17. This program provides grant funds to public or private entities intending to preserve historical sites, historical societies or history museums. The program supports the preservation of Montana’s historic structures, sites, societies and museums, helping to maintain and demonstrating the economic impact of historic resources throughout the state. For more information on the Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program, go to https://comdev.mt.gov/Programs-and-Boards/Montana-Historic-Preservation-Grant.

In order to be eligible for Montana Main Street Program opportunities, Sidney must first participate in a competitive process to become a Montana Main Street Community Affiliate. The Sydney Chamber of Commerce initiated this process with the blessing of many businesses and local authorities. If and when Sidney is selected as an Affiliate Community, the Sidney Chamber intends to utilize the city’s revitalization and marketing opportunities. There will be a process of creating a strategic plan in which the Chamber expects to use as many companies as possible. Sidney Chamber Director Kali Godfrey said, The Montana Main Street program is our number one strategy for creating a community where businesses thrive, families settle and great memories are created. This environmental effort is what will bring people to Sidney and keep them.

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