Exploring Montana’s economic future

Montana, as the saying goes, is one big small town with really long streets. The Long Streets Project aims to cover it like that, focusing on the economic trends and issues that shape the opportunity Montanans have — or don’t have — to make a decent living.

Funding for Long Streets is provided by The Greater Montana Foundation — encouraging communication on issues, trends and values of importance to Montanans.

Study argues pro-duplex zoning would ease Montana housing crunch

Study argues pro-duplex zoning would ease Montana housing crunch

A new report by the conservative Frontier Institute says Montana cities should roll back development restrictions to allow more mid-density housing in existing neighborhoods. It also calls for the state Legislature to step in if they don’t.

The initiative that could upend Montana’s tax system

The initiative that could upend Montana’s tax system

CI-121, inspired by California’s Prop 13 tax revolt, would cap residential property tax growth in the name of keeping Montanans from being priced out of their homes. The fiscal consequences could ripple across the state for generations.

State unveils broadband access map, solicits grant applications

State unveils broadband access map, solicits grant applications

Data presented by the state broadband office indicates two-thirds of Montana addresses have current or pending 100 mbps service. Private internet providers who want to reach underserved areas can apply for help from a $266 million fund.

¾ of Montana’s return-to-work bonus funds went unclaimed

¾ of Montana’s return-to-work bonus funds went unclaimed

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s Return to Work bonus program, announced last year as he scaled back expanded pandemic unemployment benefits, ultimately paid about one-fourth as many bonuses as the state had initially funded, according to a new post-program report from the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Growing home in Ekalaka

Growing home in Ekalaka

Eastern Montana’s Carter County is bucking longtime trends toward population declines in rural plains communities, adding 255 residents according to the 2020 census. How? Oil money, dinosaurs and family.

Stimulus infrastructure funds headed to water and sewer projects

Stimulus infrastructure funds headed to water and sewer projects

The awards, totalling nearly $127 million, were formally announced Thursday by Gov. Greg Gianforte. They follow an allocation process that was outlined by the Montana Legislature this spring in which project applications were submitted by local government entities, ranked by staff at the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and reviewed by an advisory committee…

Labor Department touts economic rebound

Labor Department touts economic rebound

Montana’s economy is rebounding quickly from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Labor & Industry economists write in a report released Wednesday.

The town that turned its stimulus money down

The town that turned its stimulus money down

Montana towns and cities have been allocated a total of $86.4 million in local COVID-19 relief from the American Rescue Plan Act. The mayor of Ismay, the 17-person town that once renamed itself Joe, says his community doesn’t need it.

Census releases detailed 2020 counts — with an asterisk

Census releases detailed 2020 counts — with an asterisk

The U.S. Census Bureau released detailed statistics Thursday on the 2020 populations and racial compositions of Montana counties, cities, towns and neighborhoods, providing a once-in-a-decade look at demographic change across the state, and also handing the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission the block-by-block data it will use to define the state’s two U.S. House Districts.

Sharing the love of the Lower Yellowstone

Sharing the love of the Lower Yellowstone

Residents of eastern Montana say it’s about time the Lower Yellowstone River is recognized for its recreational opportunities and untapped economic potential. The Legislature has allocated $4 million to start bringing that vision to life.

Gianforte wants 10,000 more jobs paying $50,000-plus this year

Gianforte wants 10,000 more jobs paying $50,000-plus this year

Gov. Greg Gianforte says he wants at least 10,000 jobs paying more than $50,000 a year added to the state economy this year, putting a firm metric to the Republican governor’s widely publicized pledge to lead a Montana “comeback.”

Reporter’s notebook: Oil town

Reporter’s notebook: Oil town

A group of young professionals in Sidney, Montana put on a conference aiming to show off their town to peers across the state. The weather had other plans.

Bitcoin fracking turns waste gas to digital gold in Bakken oil field

Bitcoin fracking turns waste gas to digital gold in Bakken oil field

Natural gas produced as a byproduct of Bakken oil production is often flared as a waste product, frustrating regulators, environmentalists, and conservation-minded energy producers. MTFP’s Long Streets Project turns up an alternative in operation near Sidney: Using it to mine cryptocurrency.

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