Planning Grants

As a result of the 2021 Legislative session, the Treasure Statement Endowment Program (TSEP) name has been changed to the Montana Coal Endowment Program (MCEP). Documents will contain the previous name until a public hearing has been held to update the Administrative Rules of Montana.

The Montana Coal Endowment Program (MCEP) is a state-funded program created in 1992. It was established to help solve serious health and safety problems and assist communities with the financing of public facilities projects. The program helps local governments with infrastructure planning as well as constructing or upgrading drinking water systems, wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary or storm sewer systems, solid waste disposal and separation systems, and bridges.

The 2023 Legislature has appropriated funding for infrastructure Planning grants for the 2025 Biennium through House Bill 11. The Infrastructure Planning grant cycle for the 2025 Biennium is expected to open following the close of the 2023 Legislature, probably in mid-June or early July 2023.

Guidelines for the 2025 Biennium Infrastructure Planning grants are currently available for review and comment as part of the Administrative Rules process. Please click on the “Applying for Grants” tab below for more information.”

MCEP Infrastructure Planning grants can be used to fund infrastructure planning documents such as Preliminary Engineering Reports and Capital Improvements Plans. The maximum amount that will be awarded for a MCEP Infrastructure Planning grant is $15,000. 

2019 Biennium Infrastructure Planning Grant Awards PDF

For more information related to who can apply for a MCEP planning grant, please visit the MCEP Application Guidelines. If you need help accessing the manual or any other assistance, please reach out to division staff via our online contact form.

Eligible Projects

Preliminary Engineering Reports (PER) for:

  • Drinking water systems
  • Wastewater treatment facilities
  • Sanitary or storm sewer systems
  • Solid waste disposal & separation systems
  • Bridges
  • Comprehensive Capital Improvements Plan (CIP)

Eligible Applicants

  • Incorporated Cities or Towns
  • Counties
  • Consolidated governments
  • Tribal governments
  • County or multi-county water, sewer, or solid waste districts
  • An authority as defined in 75-6-304, MCA.

The MCEP Planning Grant Program is accepting 2025 biennium applications now!  Application cycle will remain open until funding is allocated.

Due to the historic funding for water and wastewater infrastructure made available by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), MCEP Planning Grants will be increased for the 2025 Biennium. In addition, the MCEP Planning Grant Program is moving from a “first come, first served” application review and award process to a more competitive process to ensure that the highest need, highest impact infrastructure planning activities are prioritized for funding. Lastly, due to the one-time increase in planning funding made available by ARPA, applicants may apply for up to four applications—one in each planning activity category.

Updated Process! Effective immediately, there is a new option to submit your grant application through the Montana Grants and Loans Portal. To submit your application through the new Montana Grants and Loans Portal, please watch the instructional video below.

2025 Biennium Planning Grant Guidelines & Application (Word) (PDF)

If you have difficulties submitting your application or have any questions, please contact division staff via our online contact form.

Applying for a Montana Coal Endowment Program (MCEP) Planning Grant Online

MCEP grant recipients are required to enter into a grant agreement with Commerce. Commerce will establish a termination date in the contract. Infrastructure Planning grant contracts won’t be extended past the contract expiration date unless reasonable progress can be shown. Grant recipients that have not procured an engineer or professional services within six months of a signed grant agreement will cause the grant to be terminated, unless the grant recipient can demonstrate substantial progress in obtaining an engineer or planning professional.

Grant recipients must be in compliance with the state’s auditing and reporting requirements provided for in 2-7-503, MCA.

No MCEP funds will be appropriated for the 2025 biennium until after July 1, 2023.

Commerce will reimburse the MCEP grant recipient a maximum of 50% of the total grant amount for incurred expenses within 30 days of receipt of an approved draft infrastructure planning document. A draft PER must generally address each item required in the PER outline as presented in the most current edition of the . While it is not expected that the document will be complete, it must show clearly that all applicable items required for a PER are being addressed and that the engineer is proceeding toward the preparation of a complete and acceptable final product.

Commerce reimburse the MCEP grant recipient the balance of the grant within 30 days of receipt of an approved final document for any additionally incurred expenses not claimed in the first payment. The final version must be complete and have been reviewed by Commerce staff; an electronic version of the final product will be required.

Grantees that plan to submit a MCEP Project grant application should contact Community MT Division staff for guidance on environmental requirements.

For guidance on Preliminary Engineering Reports and Capital Improvements Plans, please visit the Toolkit page.