Printing For Less, a large employer for Livingston and surrounding areas, will unveil its new production and warehouse space by mid-July. The addition will bring the total facility square footage to 101,000. The expansion is funded by a Goldman Sachs capital investment for $25 million. PFL has grown into being a print shop, marketing technology company and e-commerce provider.
McKenzie County, North Dakota has surpassed all other oil producing counties in the nation to take the No. 1 spot, with 17.88 million barrels of oil produced in January 2019. The amount pumped surpassed the No. 2 producer, Lea County, New Mexico, which had 14.6 million barrels per month, and the No. 3, Weld County, Colorado, which had 13.7 million barrels per month. It also beat out Midland County, Texas, which produced 12.5 million barrels of oil per month in January 2019.
The operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline is planning to nearly double its capacity, to a point where it could transport nearly all of the daily oil production of the nation’s No. 2 producer. The plans include new pumping stations in three states. Energy Transfer Partners informed North Dakota regulators that it plans to expand the pipeline capacity from more than 500,000 barrels per day to as much as 1.1 million barrels. North Dakota produced 1.39 million barrels of oil per day in April. The record was 1.4 million barrels per day in January.
According to a nationwide report, 2019 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation — 63% of eighth-graders in Montana were not proficient in math in 2017 — a 7% jump from 2009 when 56% of the state’s eighth-graders fell below proficiency benchmarks. Montana did slightly better than the national average of 67% of students who didn’t meet eighth-grade math proficiency in 2017. According to the Montana Office of Public Instruction’s 2017-2018 state report card, about 59% of all students statewide are not proficient in math. The achievement gap is even greater for Native American students — 86% of whom are not proficient in math.
Triangle Communications will be expanding its wireless internet services in Havre, over the next several months. The expansion will provide additional capacity and increased speeds. The project is to be completed by fall.. Triangle provides services including broadband internet, local, long distance, and mobile telephone service to Montana residents. It has more than 17,000 subscribers in parts of 16 counties from the Canadian to the Wyoming border.
Sale prices were up in May for The Gallatin area real estate market according to statistics from the Gallatin Association of Realtors. Median sale prices were up in May 2019 compared to the same period last year, and sellers received over 98% of their list price in both the single family and condo/townhouse markets. The median sales price increased 3.1%, rising from $407,250 in May 2018 to $420,000 last month. The number of units sold increased from 154 in May 2018 to 176 this May, a 14.3% increase, and pending sales are up 26 percent, rising from 146 last May to 184 this year. The average number of days on market was 64, up from 51 last May, and the months supply of inventory decreased 20%, from 3.5 to 2.8. Sellers received 98.3% of their list price in May 2019, down from 99% in 2018.
Despite broad public opposition, Clenera LLC is set to build the largest solar plant in Montana near Dillon, which would generate 120 megawatts of power. The proposed $150 million solar involves a 1,306-acre solar farm, which got its lease with the Department of Natural Resource and Conservation or 1,306 approved by the state Land Board. Idaho-based Clenera LLC, is expected to generate $19 million in taxes over 35 years to Beaverhead County and $1.29 million to the state trust. The initial 15 years would create $480,000 a year in lease payments to the state trust. Additional steps in the process, include reaching a contractual agreement with NorthWestern Energy and getting permits.
In Bozeman, the Montana Raptor Conservation Center is preparing to open a brand new wing of its facility. The Mews Education Center is a newly built, 1,800 square-foot building that will house up to ten of the center’s educational birds. The new addition, which was funded by grants and community donations, will provide more up-close-and-personal experiences with the educational raptors who are permanently housed at the center.
Montana Manufacturing Extension Center’s Senior Business Advisor Bill Nicholson will be leaving MMEC after 14 years to join a MMEC client, Timberline Tool. MMEC welcomes two new Business Advisors for Central and Eastern Montana, Doug Roberts, who will be based in Great Falls, and Sheri Bartz who will be based in Billings.
Lewistown’s Snowy Mountain Development Corporation will receive $400,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the agency’s disbursement of $9.3 million in supplemental funding for 24 current Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grantees. The supplemental funds are going to communities that have demonstrated success in using their RLF funds to clean up and redevelop brownfield sites. The funds will be used to continue their progress in reusing vacant and abandoned properties for development such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, etc. The recipients of the funding may offer low-interest loans and sub-grants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields sites.
Acadia Montana in Butte has closed terminating more than a hundred jobs. It has been reported, however, that other companies are hiring those employees – companies like FCR or Montana Precision. FCR is an Oregon-based call center that will open July 12 in the former JC Penney store at the Butte Plaza Mall. FCR has already hired 120 employees and expects to hire more – eventually over 400 employees.
Leadership Montana announced the graduation of 44 community, business, education, healthcare, nonprofit and government leaders from across the state for the Class of 2019 of its flagship leadership program. Leadership Montana presents an annual seven session program of leadership development, education about issues facing Montana today, and opportunities for networking and collaboration. This year’s class visited Big Sky, Phillipsburg, Butte, Hamilton, Missoula, Helena, White Sulphur Springs, Great Falls, Glasgow and Billings.
Montana State University-Northern will start a men’s hockey team this fall. MSU-Northern was approved by the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) to compete at the ACHA Division 2 level. This will begin as a men’s hockey club and will potentially expand into a women’s club sport. MSU-Northern will begin searching for a hockey coach immediately. They hope to have a coach hired by the end of July.