Downtown Life-Safety Compliance Grant Program
Information & Grant Application
The purpose of the Downtown Life-Safety Compliance Grant Program is to encourage compliance with life-safety regulations by providing financial assistance to redevelop commercial property within Bozeman’s Downtown Urban Renewal District (Downtown URD). To this end, the Downtown Life-Safety Compliance Grant Program will provide a partial reimbursement of the costs incurred to install dedicated fire lines to downtown buildings according to the criteria established below.
The 1995 Downtown Urban Renewal Plan explicitly prescribes life-safety improvements such as fire prevention infrastructure:
“Guiding Principle 3: Improve the Safety, Security and Health of the District
Implementation Action 2: Facilitate improved fire prevention measures.” [Page 11]
Life-safety code compliance and the subsequent redevelopment potential are the types of “strategic improvements” referenced in the 2019 Downtown Improvement Plan:
“As growth is anticipated, Downtown should continue to plan for and coordinate needed infrastructure upgrades with development.” [Page 43]
Applicant projects must support the goals of the Downtown Improvement Plan and the City of Bozeman Community Plan. The Downtown Improvement Plan is available at:
The Bozeman Community Plan is available at:
The Downtown Life-Safety Compliance Grant Program specifically seeks to provide financial assistance for the installation of dedicated fire lines for the purpose of complying with fire suppression and safety code requirements.
Additional program objectives are to:
1. Encourage elimination of conditions that could be a serious and growing menace, injurious to public health, safety and welfare;
2. Encourage private investment in commercial property in the URD through the use of public incentives;
3. Stimulate economic and business development within the URD by providing safe environments for workers, businesses and the public; and,
4. Retain and expand safe employment opportunities with economic development.
Applicants are reminded that this grant program is discretionary in nature, subject to available funds and required approvals, and should not be considered an entitlement by the applicant. All grant criteria contained herein are guidelines for grant awards and successful applicants may receive any amount up to the maximum award. Should an application meet all grant criteria, a grant may or may not be awarded at the Downtown URD Board’s discretion due to funding limitations, competing applications, and/or competing priorities of the Downtown URD.
Montana Urban Renewal Law (7-15-4206 (16) MCA) stipulates that "rehabilitation may include the restoration and renewal of a blighted area or portion thereof in accordance with an urban renewal plan by:
(a) carrying out plans for a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements:
(c) installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out in the area the urban renewal provisions of this part.”
Montana Urban Renewal Law (7-15-4206 (2) MCA) defines areas in need of urban renewal as those that “substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of the city or its environs; retards the provision of housing accommodations; or constitutes an economic or social liability or is detrimental or constitutes a menace to the public health, safety, welfare, and morals in its present condition and use, by reason of:
(a) the substantial physical dilapidation; deterioration; defective construction, material, and arrangement; or age obsolescence of buildings or improvements, whether residential or nonresidential;
(h) unsanitary or unsafe conditions;
(n) the existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other causes.”
Montana Urban Renewal Law (7-15-4288 MCA) outlines costs that may be paid by tax increment financing. The tax increments may be used by the municipality to pay the following costs of or incurred in connection with an urban renewal project:
(4) the acquisition, construction, and improvement of infrastructure…that includes streets, roads, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, pedestrian malls, alleys, parking lots and offstreet parking facilities, sewers, sewer lines, sewage treatment facilities, storm sewers, waterlines…and any public improvements authorized by parts 41 through 45 of chapter 12, parts 42 and 43 of chapter 13, and part 47 of chapter 14 and items of personal property to be used in connection with improvements for which the foregoing costs may be incurred.”
The Downtown Life-Safety Compliance Grant Program will be administered by the Executive Director of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership located at 222 East Main Street #302, Bozeman MT 59715.
The URD Board will review applications on an as-needed basis. Applicants are advised that the application review process may take up to 30 days from the date of submission.
The City of Bozeman “Fire Service Line Standard (revised March 31, 2011) describes the municipal application and approval parameters. This document provides the technical specifications for the design, installation and servicing of fire service lines.
For the purposes of the Downtown Life-Safety Compliance Grant Program, a dedicated fire line is defined as the portion of service line originating “from the point of connection at the City water main (or existing stub) to the first control valve (OS&Y) inside the building.” [COB Fire Service Line Standard, page 2]
Projects seeking funding must meet the following criteria:
Applications will be reviewed and approved or denied by the Downtown URD Board and Downtown Bozeman Partnership Executive Director. Upon request, applicants will have an opportunity to present the project to the URD Board and respond to any questions or concerns before a decision is made. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis for the duration of funding availability. In all cases, the decision of the Downtown URD Board is final.
Grant recipients will receive a Letter of Award and any conditions deemed necessary for receipt of the award.
RELEASE OF FUNDS:
Applicants will receive grant funding as a reimbursement upon completion of all required work. In order to receive payment, the applicant must submit the provided Certificate of Completion, documentation of work completed, and a copy of the City of Bozeman Certificate of Inspection from the Water Superintendent. Specific documentation requirements are outlined in the Certificate of Completion.
Release of funds is subject to submission of this documentation to the Downtown Bozeman Partnership by the grant recipient. The project must be completed as originally presented in order to receive payment. At the discretion of the Downtown URD Board, projects may be subject to invoice payment verification, site inspection documentation and a copy of the City of Bozeman Certificate of Inspection.
Neither the Downtown Bozeman Partnership LLC, nor the Downtown Urban Renewal District Board, nor its affiliates shall be responsible for the planning, design, or construction of improvements to property that is owned by the applicant. No warranties or guarantees are expressed or implied by the description of, application for, award of or participation in the Downtown Life-Safety Compliance Grant Program. The applicant is advised to consult with the City of Bozeman, licensed architects, engineers, or building contractors before proceeding with final plans or construction.