Missoula Economic Partnership sees opportunities in $13M federal grant

Greant Kier, president and CEO of the Missoula Economic Partnership, left, and Joe Easton with Jackson Contracting Group, celebrate the groundbreaking for High County’s new 69,000 square foot Coca-Cola bottling facility. A new federal grant announced this week could help businesses land and expand west of Reserve Street. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current)

(KPAX) A handful of private partners worked in collaboration to bring a big $13 million federal grant to Missoula.

The Missoula Economic Partnership played a key role in the process with CEO and president Grant Kier saying he and his team are thrilled about the money. They see Missoula as a vibrant community with potential for growth.

“It’s a beautiful place that people are naturally going to want to come and live,” said Kier, who’s been an advocate for the project. “We just received a $13 million grant for Missoula County and the city of Missoula.”

That grant will enhance Missoula’s infrastructure, something Kier says is crucial as the city continues to serve its current residents while welcoming new Missoulians in the future.

“What we can do now is build the kind of housing, and the space that we need for our companies to grow,” Kier told MTN News. “And the people that are looking for affordable housing to have places that they can afford to go home every night and feel like they’re building a home, a family, and a future.”

But Kier knows creating new housing and making other changes like improved transportation infrastructure will have road blocks of its own.

“We know this is a very exciting time of growth for the community, but that growth comes with challenges,” Kier explained. “What this funding allows us to do is invest in the infrastructure that can allow us to mitigate those challenges and really showcase the growth that we want to see here, and we have the potential to embrace here.”

The $13 million has to be spent by 2026 and Kier hopes to see the funds allocated towards increased safety measures, traffic challenges, and affordable housing options for Missoulians.