BSB Economic Development Mill Levy Awards 2018
The Butte-Silver Bow government enacted a one-mill levy more than a decade ago for the stated purpose of economic development, and each year offers community members the chance to apply for funding for community service programs, events, and business development. The one-mill levy amounts to about $68,000, and is calculated based on property values in the city/county. For every $1000 of property value calculated in Butte-Silver Bow, $1 goes into the economic development mill levy. It’s worth noting that the Butte America Foundation, the parent organization for KBMF, will receive a $500 award for this year, for a radio conference planned for April.
Bill Andersen, commissioner for district 10 in Butte, is chair of the economic development committee, which makes the funding decisions for the mill levy.
Asked about the decision-making process for the committee, Commissioner Andersen says the members charged with choosing awards have different priorities.
Recipients of this year’s economic development mill levy monies include arts and education organizations like the Covellite Theater, the Butte America Foundation, the Science Mine, and a new bike lab that’s going in on the corner of galena and Dakota. The top recipient this year was the Butte Local Development Corporation, with an award of $12,500, which did not respond for comment.
Mainstreet Uptown Butte, which hosts the annual Montana Folk Festival, was the next highest recipient at $10,000. Executive Director George Everett says this money will upgrade deteriorating electrical distribution equipment for the festival, but will also be of use to the community and local government.
While the economic development mill levy does serve to inject some cash into the larger economic efforts in Butte, Everett says the $10,000 award reflects only a small portion of the cost for the Montana Folk Festival.
The economic development mill levy dollars don’t only serve to foster community events and public assets like the Montana Folk Festival. The committee also takes applications from private corporations, such as Alpha Technology, which received an award of $8000 this year. Brandon DeShaw is vice president of Alpha Technology.
Alpha Technology received economic development mill levy monies in 2017 to further develop a product to improve body armor. He says this year’s award will further work on a biomedical product they’re working on.
A complete listing of this year’s economic development mill levy award recipients can be found with this story, at our website, butteamericaradio.org. The economic development committee meets at 6PM in the Butte-Silver Bow courthouse, in council chambers, in conjunction with the first regular meeting of each month, held on Wednesdays.
For KBMF, I’m Clark Grant.