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Top 11 for the week of July 13th

Here's the GFDA Top 11 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. 
1) The Great Falls Planning Advisory Board unanimously recommended the City Commission approve the annexation and subdivision for Phase 1 of the Great Falls AgriTech Park. On a 7-1 vote, the Board also recommended I-2 heavy industrial zoning for the entire Park. Thank you to the over 65 supporters who came to the hearing! The next day, we met with City staff and two Planning Board members and worked out the details of conditions for the Park. This week we also met with a BNSF team from Great Falls, Seattle and Dallas to begin planning rail service for Phase 2 of the Park.
2) The High Plains Financial Board approved a $491,000 SBA 504 loan to support a $1.8 million deal in partnership with Mountain West Bank.
3) The GFDA Board voted to join the new Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls. The Board also elected Glenn Lambert of Cascade Farmers Mutual Insurance to the Executive Committee as new Chair of our Public Policy Committee.
4) The GFDA and HPF Boards established aggressive goals for our new FY 2013 fiscal year that started July 1st: 10 primary sector expansion/attraction successes; 8 business start-ups; 6 downtown deals; 6 commercial deals; 6 lots sold in the AgriTech Park; and, 12 companies in high growth coaching -- resulting in 250 direct primary sector jobs and at least $25 million in capital investment. Goals also include aggressive marketing of Great Falls with roll out of a new Brand Alliance action plan and a new GFDA web site, and helping the College start an agriculture/energy/industrial trades program.
5) Supported Cascade County efforts to win a state grant to help with the next phase clean-up of the old County shop complex in the West Bank Urban Renewal District.
6) The City received bids for two City-owned economic development properties, a lot in the City's Med-Tech Business Park and a 10.64 acre parcel at 38th Street North and River Drive. The City still has 3 lots left in the Med-Tech Park.
7) Our business strategists helped a Great Falls company to apply for a state Incumbent Worker Training Grant so employees can gain higher levels of certifications and helped an entrepreneur assess whether to build new construction or renovate a property for a start-up business.
8) Save the date for Fire It Up!, our fall women-owned business networking event, September 6th from 6:00-8:00 PM. More details to follow.
9) AE2S published its annual survey of municipal utility rates in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming. Great Falls has the 2nd lowest surface water system rate in the 5 states, and the 2nd lowest overall water system rate in Montana. For total utility rates (water, wastewater and storm water) we come in 2nd lowest in Montana, just behind Sidney.
10) Thank you to Dr. Gwen Joseph for outstanding work as interim Dean and CEO of Great Falls College - MSU! 
11) The HPF Board elected officers for FY 2013: Dan Majerus, Chair; Robert Carette, Vice Chair; Leona Huidekoper, Treasurer; and, Wendy McKamey, Secretary.
Congratulations to TD & H Engineering for its acquisition of Progressive Engineering Group in Idaho!
If you know of a small business start-up or expansion that can't get all the financing it needs, let us know. We have funds available in our new MicroBusiness loan fund serving Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton and Toole counties.


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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