On Tuesday, the Great Falls City Commission awarded $2.88 million in funding to projects after a year-long application process.
The funding includes:
- $600,000 - Centene Stadium repairs
- $496,810 - NeighborWorks Great Falls
- $375,000 - Peace Place renovations
- $287,278 - Alliance for Youth
- $228,980 - Ideal Option
- $215,000 - Great Falls Tourism
- $197,350 - Great Falls College MSU
- $97,750 - Opportunities Inc.
- $85,000 - United Way
- $75,000 - YWCA
- $70,894 - Great Falls Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic
- $56,595 -Cascade County Historical Society
- $49,900 - Helping Hands
- $49,000 - Discovery Family Counseling Services
The largest recipient, the Great Falls Voyagers' Centene Stadium, is due for repairs. A professional playing surface is generally redone every seven to eight years, while amateur fields are redone every 15 years.
According to Scott Reasoner, the Voyagers' general manager, Centene's playing surface is more than 70 years old. It was originally put in in 1948 and the irrigation is original from that time.
Reasoner explained, "Over 70 years, the field is no longer completely flat which, as you can imagine, with athletes everywhere from high school to professional, it is certainly important we provide a safe and usable space for them."
Reasoner anticipates the stadium will be used 150 to 200 days throughout the year as a result of the improvements: "Everything from private events to concerts to legion baseball to voyager games to high school baseball starting here soon. Lots of fun out there on the stadium."
The construction on Centene Stadium will be using private contractors in Great Falls, even more of a benefit to the city.
Many of the recipients were heavily affected by the COVID pandemic and Reasoner says they would not be able to make the renovations without the funding: "It was no longer financially viable for the city to take on this project, so ARPA funding was really the only way to get this done."
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