MCF Selected to Administer
$10 million for the Benefit of
the Colstrip Community
Colstrip, MT, December 17, 2019 - The Colstrip Impacts Foundation (CIF) has selected Montana Community Foundation (MCF) to administer $10 million for the benefit of the community of Colstrip and Rosebud County through two funds, $7.5 million to a nonpermanent fund and $2.5 million to a permanently endowed fund.
“We are honored to be selected for this opportunity,” says Mary Rutherford, MCF President and CEO. “At MCF, we strive to help our Montana communities thrive and we see this as a chance to play a role in helping one of our local communities during a time of significant transition.”
The goal of the invested funds is to provide economic development, job training, and community stability to offset the anticipated loss of jobs, displacement of workers, lost tax revenues, and reductions in community services due to the closure of two coal facility units in Colstrip.
The nonpermanent fund will be held in an interest-bearing fund with a short-range investment horizon that allows for immediate granting to address current needs, while the permanently endowed fund will earn higher returns over a longer period of time and is set up for the perpetual benefit of the impacted Colstrip workers and their community. The endowed fund will provide an annual endowment payout distribution for grant making.
The CIF, a group of volunteer community members, was created by the Colstrip Community Impact Advisory Group (CCIAG), pursuant to the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) rate case settlement agreement of December 2017 to guide the disbursement of economic impact funds provided by PSE, an owner in the Colstrip Generating Facility. In the settlement, PSE agreed to set aside $10 million to fund community development and other impacts to the Colstrip area.
MCF was selected through a CIF-issued Request for Proposals to help administer the funds. According to Ed Joiner, CIF funds representative, “We chose Montana Community Foundation for the full range of services and investment benefits that it offers and that align with the goals of the CIF board.”
The biggest challenge for the CIF now is how it defines “impacts”. Ed Joiner says, “the uncertainty of when the units will officially close has left the CIF board a little uncertain as to what the impacts on the Colstrip community and workers will be. Each member on the board represents a different background and has a unique perspective on how we best meet the needs of those impacted by these closures. We know at times we are going to have to make some difficult decisions.”
“Although $10 million is a lot of money so is the impact on this community when the units close down. Not only will it affect the workers, but it will decrease the revenues of the City of Colstrip and Rosebud County. I don’t believe the entire state is aware of the impacts coal has had on state revenues and how to make up for the lack of this revenue. “
For more information, contact Teal Whitaker, Communications and Outreach Manager, at (406) 441-4952 or firstname.lastname@example.org.