90-6-207. Priorities for impact grants. (1) The department of commerce shall biennially designate:
(a) each county, incorporated city and town, school district, and other governmental unit that has had or expects to have as a result of the impact of coal development a net increase or decrease in estimated population of at least 10% over one of the 3-year periods specified in subsection (4);
(b) each county and all local governmental units within each county in which:
(i) a mining permit in accordance with the Montana Strip and Underground Mine Reclamation Act has been granted by the department of environmental quality for a project within the county that will establish a new coal mine to produce at least 300,000 tons a year and that the department of commerce determines will commence production within 2 years;
(ii) the department of commerce has determined that the production of an existing mine will increase or decrease by at least 1 million tons a year and that the new, expanded, or reduced production will commence within 2 years of the designation;
(iii) a newly constructed railroad serves a new, existing, or expanding coal mine; or
(iv) an air quality permit has been issued by the department of environmental quality for a new steam-generating or other new coal-burning facility that will consume at least 1 million tons a year of Montana-mined coal and for which the department of commerce determines the construction or operation will commence within 2 years of the designation;
(c) each local governmental unit located within 100 miles, measured over the shortest all-weather public road, of a mine or facility qualifying under subsection (1)(b)(i), (1)(b)(ii), or (1)(b)(iv); and
(d) each local governmental unit in which:
(i) a mine that has produced 300,000 tons or more of coal a year has ceased all significant mining or is scheduled to cease within 1 year; or
(ii) a steam-generating or other coal-burning facility that has operated under an air quality permit issued by the department of environmental quality and that has consumed at least 1 million tons of Montana-mined coal a year has closed or is scheduled to close within 1 year.
(2) Designation under subsection (1) of:
(a) any local governmental unit extends to and includes as a designated unit the county in which it is located; and
(b) a county extends to and includes as a designated unit any local governmental unit in the county that contains at least 10% of the total population of the county.
(3) Except as provided in 90-6-205(4)(b), the board may not award more than 50% of the funds appropriated to it each year for grants to governmental units and state agencies for meeting the needs caused by an increase or decrease in coal development or in the consumption of coal by a coal-using energy complex to local governmental units other than those governmental units designated under subsection (1).
(4) For the purposes of subsection (1), the department of commerce shall use five 3-year periods as follows:
(a) one consecutive 3-year period ending 2 calendar years prior to the current calendar year;
(b) one consecutive 3-year period ending 1 calendar year prior to the current calendar year;
(c) one consecutive 3-year period ending with the current calendar year;
(d) one consecutive 3-year period ending 1 calendar year after the current calendar year; and
(e) one consecutive 3-year period ending 2 calendar years after the current calendar year.
(5) Attention should be given by the board to the need for community planning before the full impact is realized. Applicants should be able to show how their request reasonably fits into an overall plan for the orderly management of the existing or contemplated growth or decline problems.
(6) All funds appropriated under this part are for use related to local impact.
(7) All designations based on an increase in coal development or in the consumption of coal by a coal-using energy complex made under subsection (1)(a), (1)(b), or (1)(c) must be for 1 year. A designation may not continue after the department of commerce determines that the mine, railroad, or facility that provided the basis for a designation is contributing sufficient tax revenue to the designated governmental unit to meet the increased costs of providing the services necessitated by the development of the mine, railroad, or facility. However, nondesignated local governmental units continue to be eligible for coal impact grants of not more than 50% of the funds appropriated to the board for grants in circumstances in which an impact exists in a community or area directly affected by:
(a) the operation of a coal mine or a coal-using energy complex; or
(b) the cessation or reduction of coal mining activity or of the operation of a coal-using energy complex.
History: En. 50-1707 by Sec. 8, Ch. 502, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 50-1807; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 274, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 142, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 462, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 619, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 662, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 503, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 495, Ch. 418, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 79, Ch. 509, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 204, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 18, Ch. 217, L. 2003.