City Commission sets special meeting for amended plan for CDBG funds

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 20:26:02-04

The Great Falls City Commission set a special meeting for Monday, April 9, to discuss the amended annual action plan for the proposed use of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program on Tuesday.

The amended plan includes the addition of new projects and the removal of six existing projects.

The removal of the existing projects is due to conflict of interest concerns raised by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

Commissioner Owen Robinson expressed apprehension about moving to adopt or not adopt the amended plan before the April 6 public comment deadline was up. 

He said he didn’t feel approving something in times of comment was proper. 

"I just make note that last time we thought we were proper the way we did everything with HUD and it turned out we weren’t," Robinson said. "I would hate to have HUD come back and notice that and say, ‘Well, wait a minute. The period wasn’t over.’ And then this whole thing goes awry and we lose all that money."

Instead of moving the decision to the next City Commission meeting on April 17, the special meeting was set for next week due to the city needing to expend $172,208 by May 2.

"This is a really, really tight timeline and we need to really keep moving on it or we’re going to lose a significant amount of money," Planning and Community Development Director Craig Raymond said.

Commissioners Tracy Houck and Bill Bronson both recused themselves from moving on the matter. Commissioner Bronson stated that he met with City Attorney Sara Sexe to discuss his participation. 

"Even though technically nothing in this particular action benefits NeighborWorks, which employs my wife," Bronson said. "Because the decision of that elimination was made HUD, and even though really what we’re doing here this evening is transferring funds to a number of other working projects, she [Sexe] and I concluded that I’m not going to participate in this particular matter."

The 2017/2018 annual action plan amendment includes the following projects for removal: 

  • Great Falls Development Authority – Job Creation
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Opportunities, Inc. – Roof
  • Paris Gibson Square – ADA Bathroom
  • Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc – Affordable Housing Construction
  • Rural Dynamics, Inc. – Rent Reporting

The 2017/2018 annual action plan amendment includes the following projects for addition:

  • Great Falls Park and Recreation – Kranz Park Pavillion and Amenities – $28,000
  • Great Falls Park and Recreation – Kranz Park Play Structure – $45,000
  • Great Falls Public Works – sidewalk and curb ramps – $27,495
  • Great Falls Housing Authority – boiler purchase, entry door system, and furnaces – $40,000

The public comment period remains in effect until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 6. Comments are requested in writing at the address listed below or emailed to

Civic Center
Planning and Community Development Department 
2 Park Drive South, Great Falls, MT 59403