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Clinic signs pact in Livingston

Livingston HealthCare and Billings Clinic have completed a governance arrangement between the two organizations.

In the arrangement, Billings Clinic will continue providing management services for Livingston HealthCare as it has for the past 11 years. Additionally, Billings Clinic will appoint 25 percent of the members for the governing board of Livingston HealthCare.

A new medical campus is planned for the east edge of Livingston on land that was donated by Ted and Georgann Watson. Plans for financing of the project are nearing completion and are proposed to be accomplished through a variety of sources.

Sources include a low-interest loan that has been secured through USDA, financing through local Livingston banking institutions and philanthropic efforts. Tentative plans for construction are slated for later this year. Construction of the new bridge across the Yellowstone River on Highway 89 is under way and is estimated for completion in time to coincide with construction of the medical campus.

"We are very excited about how this journey is resulting in a relationship with Billings Clinic that will help us continue to enhance medical services for our community," said Michelle Becker, president of the Livingston HealthCare Board of Directors.

The affiliation agreement covers a wide spectrum of ways to collaborate that are intended to enhance patient care in Park County and the surrounding area.

"Billings Clinic believes in the longterm benefits of this relationship and that by working together, we can make a positive difference in how health care is delivered in the region," said Dr. Nicholas Wolter, Billings Clinic’s chief executive officer. "We are in this for the long run."

Main Street grants awarded

The Montana Department of Commerce is awarding nearly $36,000 to five Montana Main Street communities, one of which is a new member to the program. The previously enrolled communities of Glendive/Dawson County, Shelby, Terry and Whitehall will receive grants, along with the newest Affiliate Community Member, the City of Helena.

The Montana Main Street program is dedicated to bettering the economic, historic and cultural vitality of Montana downtowns through community development, revitalization, and historic preservation. MMS fosters grass-roots efforts through coordination and technical assistance, focused on a comprehensive approach to restoring healthy community commercial districts and preserving the historic structures that contribute to Montana’s unique sense of place.

The Affiliate Community tier allows all eligible communities the opportunity to learn and develop the Main Street Four Point Approach while accessing the resources and services of the program network. This tier is designed for communities entering the program and in the early stages of organization and capacity building.

The Helena Main Street efforts will be led by the city of Helena Community Development Department, Helena Business Improvement District, and Downtown Helena Inc. Other organizations associated with the downtown are encouraged to participate in the process of strengthening the district through long-range planning and more specific prioritized projects.

FY2013 Montana Main Street Grants (to date):

Helena: $7,500 — The City of Helena plans to conduct a property tax analysis and revenue mapping project to better understand the value of downtown development and investments made in the downtown commercial district. The project would include the creation of a citywide set of maps demonstrating land and property valuation with revenue production charts, collaborative Helena GIS training, and a pair of community presentations to report the findings and issues unique to Helena.

Glendive/Dawson County: $15,000 — The city of Glendive, in coordination with Dawson County, will update their existing growth policy in response to recent significant regional economic growth related to oil and gas development. The update will integrate goals and policies related to the preservation and revitalization of downtown Glendive, improving commercial opportunities, and developing long-range plans to collaboratively promote tourism throughout the jurisdiction.

Shelby: $3,000 — Shelby will utilize Main Street grant funds for the creation of a historical walking tour in the Main Street business district and adjacent historic neighborhoods. The project is part of a larger effort to identify and list historic properties, promote tourism in the community, and connect the downtown business district to the Shelby heritage tourism plan.

Terry: $1,500 — The town of Terry will utilize Main Street grant funds for the continuation and completion of a growth policy (started in FY2012 using Main Street Funds) to plan for sustained growth and promote regional economic development in coordination with a strong downtown district.

Whitehall: $8,800 — Whitehall was awarded Main Street funds to assist in the creation of an urban renewal tax increment finance district to address blight, promote investment in streetscape beautification, and generate a funding source for infrastructure improvement.

The most recent Affiliate member to be accepted into the program in June 2012 was the City of Deer Lodge. The community has since begun major planning efforts, spearheaded by the Deer Lodge Development Group, to restore the historic Hotel Deer Lodge, filling the vacant building with an operating hotel and retail space along main street. The larger plan aims to strengthen the downtown commercial core with new business, save the landmark historic building from disrepair, and connect the downtown with the wealth of historic and cultural attractions in the area.

The Montana Main Street Program is housed within the Community Development Division of the Montana Department of Commerce and offers technical assistance and expertise to member communities and awards competitive grant funding to communities actively working on downtown revitalization, economic development, and historic preservation.

MDU to install gas turbine

BISMARCK, N.D — To help meet the region’s power demands, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. will install a GE 7E 3-series gas turbine adjacent to Montana-Dakota’s coal-fired Heskett Generating Station near Mandan, N.D. Operating on pipeline natural gas, the 7E 3-series will generate 88 megawatts of power when it begins commercial service in 2014.

Since introducing the 7E 3-series gas turbine more than 40 years ago, GE has continued to update and improve the technology, positioning it to meet the changing needs of today’s energy industry. The 7E 3-series has demonstrated durability and highly reliable starting capability in nearly 1,200 operating units with more than 29 million hours of service across a wide range of applications.

“We needed to add a reliable, proven gas turbine to our fleet, to ensure that we can meet our growing capacity needs,” said Alan Welte, generation director for Montana-Dakota Utilities. “We are confident in GE technology and were looking for a gas turbine that is highly reliable and cost-effective.”

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