Growth Policy Community Open House

City of Great Falls Montana

The Community Open House

The City of Great Falls launched its Growth Policy Update process with a Community Open House on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center.  There was a great turnout and those in attendance were able to learn more about the process, sign-up to participate on one of the working groups, complete a survey and take part in a number of interactive activities.

The City’s Growth Policy is an official document, formally adopted by the Commission that helps plan for the community’s future. It recommends a set of goals, actions and strategies intended to manage development and promote the best possible future for the citizens of Great Falls. It looks beyond current issues and looks to potential problems and opportunities. The policy serves as a tool to guide decisions about the physical, social and economic development for the community.

Public Participation

Public participation is a critical component of the Growth Policy Update process. The document, when adopted, will embody the community’s vision for the next ten years and beyond. According to Mike Haynes, Director of Planning and Community Development, “This planning process will provide a unique opportunity for everyone interested in the future of Great Falls to come together, share ideas and envision a more vibrant and prosperous community.”

The Money Exercise

One of the interactive activities participants were able to take part in was the "Money Exercise." Each participant was given a $100 (in play money) to spend on what they value most in the community. The exercise was designed to help prioritize capital improvement expenditures (those projects that considered brick and mortar or construction type projects funded by the City).

Participants were given a mix of play-money bills: one $50, one $20, two $10s and two $5s. The results of the exercise will be tracked and shared on the Growth Policy website. The "Money Exercise" will be repeated at different community meetings throughout the year.

Areas to spend money included:

  • Public Works - Road maintenance, sidewalks, lighting and signal improvements
  • Police - Police stations, more policeman
  • Parks - Park facilities and maintenance of the Rivers Edge Trail
  • Community Facilities - Fixing the Civic Center and the Natatorium
  • Fire - New fire station to meet response standards

The results from Community Open House Money Exercise are included below:

Money Exercise

Public Works







14 11 13 7
$20 12 10 14 10 12
$10 20 24 34 22 16
$5 24 24 40 19 8
Total $1210 $1260 $1370 $1165 $790

 Stay informed by visiting the Growth Policy Update website frequently.

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