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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $7 Million to Make Critical Infrastructure Improvements Needed to Protect Montana Businesses from Future Floods

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $7 million grant to Powder River County, Montana, to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to increase economic resilience in the face of natural disasters. The EDA grant, to be matched with $1 million in local investment, is expected to retain 48 jobs and spur nearly $7 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration continues to work diligently to rebuild and protect communities impacted by natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The three new bridges and enhanced roadways to be built with support from this investment will strengthen the economic resilience of southeastern Montana and protect the state from future natural disasters.”

“EDA plays a critical role in supporting local strategies designed to make communities more resilient to natural disasters such as flooding,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The improvements to be implemented along an approximately 18 mile stretch of the East Powder River Road will ensure the future competitiveness of agriculture and other local businesses.”

“Investing in modern infrastructure benefits our communities now and for generations to come,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “These Eastern Montana infrastructure investments will not only create good-paying jobs, but will better prepare the community for new growth and development and enhance the safety of our citizens.”

“The historic flooding that hit Southeastern Montana in 2018 upended the local economy and left a trail of damage and destruction in its wake, impacting everything from hunting and fishing to mail delivery and hauling grain,” said Senator John Tester. “This grant will help replace and repair the critical infrastructure folks there depend on, and get the economy back up and running full steam ahead in Powder River County.”

“This funding will update the critical infrastructure needs of Powder River County and help sustain jobs in the local community,” said Senator Steve Daines. “I’m glad to have partnered with the Administration to secure the funding needed for this project.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeastern Montana Development Corporation, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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