Delivering Local Assistance (DLA) Program Overview

The Delivering Local Assistance Program was created in 2019 to support communities impacted by natural resource development. Specifically, this program will focus grant funds toward local governments and schools to address the needed investments in facilities and other community infrastructure priorities across Montana.

Delivering Local Assistance is a state-funded program created through House Bill 652, Sections 1 through 8. HB 652 authorizes funds to be awarded to local governments and schools districts to complete infrastructure projects through grants. In total, $21.5 million in grants are available. Of that, $10.75 million will be distributed to local infrastructure projects and $10.75 million will be distributed to school district infrastructure projects as defined in the bill.  This allocation of funding is a one-time authorization available for the 2021 Biennium.

Applications considered for this grant must have been submitted between June 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019.

Project Awards

School District Awards

Local Government Awards 

Applications Received

School Districts

Local Governments

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants who are impacted by natural resource development may apply for eligible infrastructure projects. Eligible applicants are local governments including an incorporated city or town, a county, a consolidated local government, a tribal government, a county or multicounty water, sewer, solid waste district, school district, or an authority as defined in MCA 75-6-304

Local governments must be able to demonstrate an impact to an existing or future population caused by a growth or decline associated with coal, oil, gas, or timber development within the county where the local government is located. Any eligible local government must have recorded production taxes of coal, oil, or gas, or total timber harvested as reported by the Montana Department of Revenue, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, or other federal and state agencies. The level of impact must be further described by the applicant through the application responses. 

Eligible Projects

Eligible applicants can apply to complete infrastructure projects that solve a deficiency related to the following project types: drinking water systems; wastewater treatment; sanitary sewer or storm sewer systems; solid waste disposal and separation systems (including site acquisition, preparation, and monitoring); bridges; facilities for government administration; public safety infrastructure related to law enforcement, fire protection, or emergency services; or school district infrastructure projects. A school district infrastructure project means a project that is related to life safety or security issues; for major repairs or deferred maintenance in an existing school facility; or for major improvements or enhancements to an existing school facility. 

Eligible applicants may apply for multiple projects. Eligible projects must be stand-alone with proposed project components being integral to addressing the infrastructure deficiency. Stand-alone projects must not be reliant upon a future scope of work.  All grant recipients must meet start-up conditions no later than September 30, 2020, or the grant obligation is terminated.

Eligible Funding

The maximum amount of funding cannot exceed $750,000 per project from the DLA program. Further, the maximum amount cannot exceed $1.5 million, per county, from the DLA program.   

If an applicant submits more than one application, the applicant must present which project is the highest priority for funding consideration and is ready to proceed with project activities beginning October 1, 2019.    

Applicants that apply for the DLA program, who also applied during the 2018 TSEP funding cycle and did not receive legislative approval (as proposed within HB 11 or HB 652), can only apply for the amount originally recommended in the 2021 biennium report.  Substantial changes to the project will require a new application from the local government, submitted to Commerce by the application due date. For those projects that did not have substantial changes from an application submitted for TSEP funding during the 2018 TSEP funding cycle, but did not receive approval, only Section I and Section II (Natural Resource Development Impact) of the application must be completed.

Natural Resource Impact

Eligible applicants must demonstrate the impact that coal, oil, gas, or timber has on their existing or future population. This impact must be demonstrated at a minimum through describing the impact or recorded production data from the area the local government is located (e.g. production data recorded in the county where the school district/town/local government/etc. is located). Click here to see examples of recorded production data supplied by the Montana Department of Revenue and the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana. Using other information sources available from local governments, local news sources, or other reputable organizations is encouraged.

Administering a Grant

The Montana Department of Commerce administers the DLA program through the Community Development Division. Division staff will receive and review applications to establish a prioritized list. Awards will be ranked based on a prioritized list using criteria established in HB 652 and developed by Division staff. Awards will be approved by the Department of Commerce Director.

As applicable, all projects must follow the requirements in the most current version of the Treasure State Endowment Program Manual, and; as outlined in the contract with Commerce. The TSEP Manual provides detailed guidance on how to administer a project in compliance with program regulations and state law.  Infrastructure staff are available to help grantees navigate the project activities through direct technical assistance.

2023 Biennium TSEP Project Administration Manual (PDF)

Environmental Review Guidance (Word)

Commonly Used Forms (Link)

DLA Project Application and Guidelines (PDF)

DLA Webinar Presentation (PDF)



All grant recipients must meet start-up conditions no later than September 30, 2020, or the grant obligation is terminated.

Start-Up Conditions

Each grantee can incur reimbursable project costs as of the authorized date in its Notice of Award letter. Those costs will be eligible for reimbursement once the grantee meets all start-up conditions and executes a contract with the Department. Start-up conditions include:

  1. Finalizing the Project Budget
  2. Finalizing the Project Implementation Schedule
  3. Obtaining Firm Commitment of Other Funding Sources
  4. Completing a Management Plan
  5. Demonstrating compliance with financial reporting and audit completions with the Department of Administration
  6. Finalize the DLA Contract 

Project expenses eligible to be reimbursed by DLA funds include any reasonable and authorized expenses directly related to the eligible infrastructure project and incurred after the project has been awarded.

Grant Contract

The process of finalizing the contract will include finalizing the project budget and implementation schedule and incorporating the scope of work to be completed by the grantee. The grantee’s application for DLA grant funds, as approved by the Department, is incorporated by reference into the contract and the representations made therein are binding upon the Grantee.

Environmental Review

DLA program grants are subject to the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). Grant projects must complete an environmental review process as a contract condition, after DLA funding is awarded. The portions of the environmental review process that must be complete include; Environmental Assessment Checklist, Environmental Review Form, and documentation of the final action taken by resolution or local decision. These environmental review processes and forms are detailed and available above.

MEPA specifies three different levels of environmental review, based on the significance of the potential impacts. The levels are: (1) exempt or excluded from MEPA review; (2) environmental assessment (EA), and (3) environmental impact statement (EIS). The following outlines the environmental review process that must be completed by the applicant as part of the contract  condition. For detailed information on MEPA, see A Guide to the Montana Environmental Policy Act, or A Citizen’s Guide to Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making, at: