Glacier Regional Port Authority

The mission of Glacier County Regional Port Authority is to promote, stimulate and advance the general welfare, commerce, economic development and prosperity of its region.

 

What is a Regional Port Authority?
As the name implies, the Port Authority concept began in cities along the ocean and major inland rivers and lakes. Port Authorities provide quasi-governmental services with the ability to move at a much faster pace than government in providing the necessary support to develop and retain businesses. The Montana legislature recognized this by passing laws to support and fund activities of a port authority.

What can the Port Authority do?
(a) Promote, stimulate, develop and advance the general welfare, commerce, economic development and prosperity of its jurisdiction and of the state and its citizens;
(b) Endeavor to increase the volume of commerce within the jurisdiction of the port authority and the state through planning, advertising, acquisition, establishment, development, construction, improvement, maintenance, equipment, operation, regulation and protection of transportation, storage or other facilities that promote the safe, efficient and economical handling of commerce;
(c) Cooperate and act in conjunction with other organizations, public and private, in the development of commerce, industry, manufacturing, services, natural resources, agriculture, livestock, recreation, tourism, health care, and other economic activity in the state;
(d) Support the creation, expansion, modernization, retention, and relocation of new and existing businesses and industry in the state and otherwise stimulate, assist in, and support the growth of all kinds of economic activity that will tend to promote commerce and business development, maintain the economic stability and prosperity of its jurisdiction and of the state, and thus provide maximum opportunities for employment and improvement in the standard of living of citizens of the state;
(e) Promote economic development through the education and training of the region’s citizens.

How is the Port Authority governed?
The County Commissioners, the town of Browning and the city of Cut Bank appointed nine governing board members according to a prescribed criterion, who will serve staggered four-year terms, after which the members of the board will be elected or appointed.

How was the GCRPA formed?
It was established by a joint resolution of Glacier County, the City of Cut Bank and the Town of Browning. All three governments determined that there exists a need to stimulate commerce, develop employment opportunities, and increase taxable valuation in the Town of Browning, the City of Cut Bank and Glacier County.

In 2014, the Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce applied for and received an Economic Development Fund grant from the Glacier County Regional Port Authority to work towards the renovation of a historic downtown building in Cut Bank. The funds were used to work towards making our property safe and more marketable for eventual redevelopment. Without the Glacier County Regional Port Authority’s generous grant, we wouldn’t have been able to complete the first phase of our project within our budgeted time and continue making forward progress of creating a revitalized downtown in Cut Bank.
This letter is written with the intent of expressing our sincere thank you for awarding us a grant of $10,000. As promised the entire amount of the grant will be used to construct an inclusive playground within the City of Cut Bank. Your grant when combined with other revenue sources are bringing the first accessible public playground to our community. As the project continues, I will update the Port Authority on the progress of the playground construction. Please take a moment to reflect upon the impact of your work on the children, parents, and grandparents in our community. Once again, thank you.
Nicholas Bradford, Glacier County EMS
The City of Cut Bank would like to thank the Port Authority for their generous donation of $10,000 towards the pavilion cover at the City Park stage. Without donations like this, these projects would not be possible. The Port Authority is a valuable asset to the citizens and communities in our area by helping to support worthwhile projects that enhance our communities. The 38’ x 46’ Poligon pavilion cover will protect the stage at the City Park from the weather and allow more events, including the spring and fall, making the stage a three-season venue. More events will not only make Cut Bank a more attractive tourist destination; it will make the City Park more inviting to both those who live and visit our community.
Thank you for your support,

Mayor Raemaeker

Dan Raemaeker, City of Cut Bank
Nisto Amsskapi Pikanii ki niitsii topii abastan. Hello, my name is Abbi Fitzpatrick. I am Southern Blackfoot, and I am from Cut Bank. My home is near the backbone of the world, Glacier National Park. Most of my family lives on the Blackfeet Reservation. My father is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe. I am aware of hardships living in a reservation-border town as well as on the reservation. I have tremendous pride of this challenging environment that has made me resilient.
My greatest interest stems from my involvement in 4-H. As a member of Blackfeet 4-H, I was introduced to the Intertribal Agriculture Youth Council. Intertribal Agriculture Council is a network of people who advocate for tribal food sovereignty for all tribes across our great nation. For the last three years, I have gained tremendous opportunities from my experiences through IAC. My greatest interest has been food sovereignty in Indian Country. I have learned several solutions reservations are pursuing to enhance healthy and independent food choices. Having the opportunity to work with Intertribal Agriculture Council, I have a voice as a youth leader for my tribe and my community.
Today, food related health diseases, poverty, and food deserts are challenges for Indian Country. As an advocate for food sovereignty, I understand the importance of traditional foods and their relation to healthy living. With the high percentage of poverty on reservations, Native Americans receiving assistance through commodities or the SNAP program have limited funds for nutritious foods. Furthermore, whether they are SNAP recipients or can afford to fill their cupboards with groceries on their own, healthy food choices are limited due to food desert areas. A food desert is an area removed from access to affordable, nutritious food options. We have a few designated food desert areas in my immediate community.
In January of 2017, I began fund-raising to purchase 100 cases of mini-produce boxes to be distributed to two community programs. The project was covered by $570 from local and GoFundMe donations while Glacier County Port Authority funded $1,030. The project’s goal is to share with low-income families about how they can provide their families with healthy produce at a low cost through a local vendor. The first group of 50 boxes was delivered to the community of Heart Butte, Montana during the first part of May 2017. Fifty food boxes were then delivered to the local kid-pack program in my hometown of Cut Bank at the end of May 2017. Heart Butte is a designated food desert along with several reservation towns in Indian Country. I included a flyer for each mini-box with easy recipes using the ingredients in the boxes along with an introduction about the local vendor.
On June 2, 2017, I was notified that I had been chosen from a competitive applicant pool for a grant from the Red Ants Pants Foundation. I received $500 to put towards my project. I also raised an additional $90 to add to the sum during the summer. On November 16, 2017, I was notified that Glacier County Port Authority would again fund the project with an added $910 to complete a second drop of 100 boxes. In December, I also learned that the Siyeh Corporation will be adding to the drop with an additional $2,000. In January of 2018, I will organize a distribution of boxes to Seville Head Start, Cut Bank Head Start, and Browning Public Schools. I am hopeful to get cooperation of my local student council along with the student council of Browning High School for such a large distribution of over 230 boxes.
Oki nitaniko Abbi Fitzpatrick

Tom McKay, Board Chairman
Patrick Murphy, Vice Chairman
William Morris, Secretary
William McCauley, Treasurer
Amie Allison
Neal Bartleson
Ken Hoyt
Tyson Michaels
Tony Sitzmann

Useful Links

Economic Development Fund Overview                          GCRPA Bylaws

Economic Development Fund Application                      GCRPA Loan Policies

Montana Non-Profit Association                                      Montana Small Business Development Center

FundingMT.org                                                                 BlackfeetNation.com

Small Business Administration                                         Montana Women’s Business Center

Veterans Business Outreach Center                                  SCORE

Sweetgrass Development

Special Thanks to our Sponsors!

3Rivers Communications in Fairfield

3 Rivers Telephone Co-Op – RadioShack Dealer