Community Members Work Towards Achieving Goal of Improving Area
October 9, 2019
Two Rivers Economic Growth and its four subcommittees have continued working over the past few months to improve the community. From hosting Alive at Five events, reaching out to businesses to entice them to have a storefront in Glasgow, and seeking out assistance in installing directional signage, they are constantly seeking out ways to make Valley County the best place to live, work and play.
After wrapping up their first year of Alive at Five, events that were held once a month to get people out and experience different areas of the city, were deemed a hit by Two Rivers, the Chamber, volunteers and the community. “The last event [held Sept. 25] saw 300 people get served food, before we ran out!,” explained Two Rivers executive director Keegan Morehouse. With each event, which was held the third Wednesday of each month starting in June, saw more and more people coming out for good conversation, music and food. The August event, which was held on the first day of Glasgow schools, saw Glasgow Police, Valley County Sheriffs and Montana Highway Patrol serve ice cream and chat with residents. “The events were so successful and they grew in numbers each time. We are excited now to pick locations for next year!” said Morehouse.
The Business Incentive and Retention Committee, a subcommittee of Two Rivers Economic Growth, recently sent out letters to businesses such as Agland, North 40, Gordman’s, Target, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, among many others, outlining the availability of land and building of which Shopko previously occupied. Each business was sent a letter selling the area and were provided details such as population, details of Fort Peck, tourism numbers and building specifications of the former Shopko space. “Unfortunately, we have not heard back from any business we sent the letter to. We are going to follow-up to see if they got the packet and if it got to the appropriate people in their business. Any interest would be nice,” explained Morehouse.
After months of raising funds, writing grants, finalizing plans, changing those plans to fit Montana Department of Transpiration guidelines and lots of back and forth, a request for proposal is currently out seeking a company to fabricate and install two large directional signs along Highway 2, one small roadway directional sign and three informational kiosks. According to Morehouse, in addition to advertising for proposals locally, it was also sent to five major sign companies in Montana. “This is a big step for us!” said Morehouse. “The signs will look similar in design and shape as the new sign that was just put up for Smith Bike Park.”
Each informational kiosk, which will be located at the Valley Event Center, Busted Knuckle Brewery and Glasgow High School, will be unique in design. “The thought is the high school kiosk will have all the businesses on it, while the other two kiosks will be a more concentrated map of Glasgow. The Busted Knuckle kiosk will have millage distances to Fort Peck attractions while the Event Center one will have mileage to historic downtown locations,” explained Morehouse. According to Morehouse, the idea is to have a weather-resistant sticker, as light as an egg shell but tougher, on metal signs so it can be changed out as the city changes.
“I feel like we are getting there in terms of getting these signs up. We think we have everything ready to go, then obstacles come up. It just seems like a waiting game, all the time,” said Morehouse.
In order to further open up possibilities of grant funding to help fund future projects in the community, Morehouse and board member Michelle Eliason will be attending a grant writing workshop in Baker later this month. “I’m really excited about this. At Two Rivers we have the ability to look up grant opportunities and apply for them. This workshop will help us take advantage of all that’s out there,” said Morehouse.
In addition to learning about grant writing, Two Rivers is also planning Small Business Saturday, which will be on Nov. 30 this year. “We are encouraging all businesses to do a Flash Sale and encourage the community to shop local,” stated Morehouse.
Two Rivers Economic Growth will be hosting their annual meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 5, to honor current members as well as welcome any new members. A representative of TransCanada will also be present to provide an update on the Keystone XL project. All are invited and encouraged to attend.
Two Rivers meets the first Tuesday of every month at the Cottonwood at noon. Everyone is welcome to join however to be a voting member the fee to join is $150. For more information, contact Morehouse at 263-4769 or email [email protected]