Montana State Legislature

Treasure State Endowment Program

The Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP), administered by the Department of Commerce (DOC), is a state infrastructure finance program approved by Montana voters with the passage of Legislative Referendum 110 in June 1992. Grant funding for the program is derived from the interest earnings of the Treasure State Endowment trust. According to 90-6-702, MCA, the purpose of TSEP is to assist local governments in funding infrastructure projects that will:

  • Create jobs for Montana residents
  • Promote economic growth in Montana by helping to finance the necessary infrastructure
  • Encourage local public facility improvements
  • Create a partnership between the state and local governments to make necessary public projects affordable
  • Support long-term, stable economic growth in Montana
  • Protect future generations from undue fiscal burdens caused by financing necessary public works
  • Coordinate and improve infrastructure financing by federal, state, local government, and private sources
  • Enhance the quality of life and protect the health, safety, and welfare of Montana citizens

Infrastructure projects include drinking water systems, wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary sewer or storm sewer systems, solid waste disposal and separation systems, and bridges. The maximum grant award is $750,000. Bridge projects are limited in the program to awards of up to 20% of the interest earnings from the TSEP trust in 90-6-710, MCA. As a result, the TSEP projects will be provided in two sections, one for bridge projects and another for infrastructure projects.

Eligible applicants include cities, towns, counties, tribal governments, consolidated local governments, county or multi-county water, sewer or solid waste districts, and other authorities as defined in 75-6-304, MCA. TSEP applications are submitted to the DOC on a biennial basis where they are evaluated according to seven statutory priorities. The seven statutory priorities focus on projects that:

  • Solve urgent and serious public health or safety problems or that enable local governments to meet state or federal health or safety standards
  • Reflect greater need for financial assistance than other projects
  • Incorporate appropriate, cost-effective technical design and provide thorough, long-term solutions to community public facility needs
  • Reflect substantial past efforts to ensure sound, effective, long-term planning and management of public facilities and that attempt to resolve the infrastructure problem with local resources
  • Enable local governments to obtain funds from sources other than TSEP
  • Provide long-term, full-time job opportunities for Montanans, provide public facilities necessary for the expansion of a business that has a high potential for financial success, or maintain the tax base or encourage expansion of the tax base
  • Are high local priorities and have strong community support

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