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MEDA resource team assessments and reports offer insight, fixes to Montana communities

July 29, 2016View for printing

Deer Lodge has a burgeoning business community with new stores and other commerce and the hopes of more to come.

It's in a scenic valley that's halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. It boasts two well-visited tourist attractions on either side of town -- the old state prison and Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.

Housing is an issue, with many in this town of 3,000 that's 50 miles southwest of Helena living on fixed incomes and some structures are in need of repairs. It's also home to the Montana State Prison.

And darn it, it needs a place that sells socks.

These were just some of the observations made in a March report on Deer Lodge by the Montana Economic Developers Association which sent a group of volunteers into the community to provide a resource team assessment.

MEDA is a nonprofit association of more than 200 economic development professionals that includes business specialists, government employers and nonprofit organizations. Team members have experience in economic and community development, health, housing, workforce development, education, land use planning, grant writing, telecommunications, financing, emergency management services and strategic planning.

Phil Drake,

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