The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Feeling Grateful


September 15, 2021

Friends of the Pool and Park Foundation Board Members-Kelsey Harry, Jill Paulsen, and Heather DePriest on the left and Jessica Aberg and Heather Huravitch on the right-are joined at Sweet Memorial Park by representatives from Triple Dog Brewing Company, Barb Eslick and Jay Eslick. The first 200 people who attend the Brewfest have the opportunity to receive one of these eight-ounce glasses. Each glass features a logo designed by Hannah Weber at Montana Grafix.

The Friends of the Pool and Park Foundation is once again feeling gratitude. This time towards Triple Dog Brewing Company, located at 675 First Street West in Havre. Foundation President Heather DePriest also reported that the group has applied with the Blaine County Commissioners for a portion of the American Rescue Plan Act funds which were allocated in July 2021.

On May 13, Triple Dog Brewing (TDB) hosted a Pint Night for the Friends of the Pool and Park Foundation (FPPF). For the uninitiated, a Pint Night event at Triple Dog is typically an evening set aside when a local non-profit has applied to become the beneficary of proceeds from beer sales. Similar to a Pints for a Purpose program, Triple Dog will donate to the non-profit $1.00 for every pint of beer sold from 4:00 p.m. until closing.

"We are grateful to Triple Dog Brewing for choosing our Foundation as a recipient for donations," a Foundation member stated. "We want to give a very huge thank you to them for their generous donation to us through their Pint Night. It is wonderful individuals like these that make our project possible."

In response, Erin Garrity stated: "We love to give back! Fun fact: Three out of six TDB owners are Chinookians!"

These funds will support the Friends Foundation, which is dedicated to fundraising for improvements to the Chinook City Pool and the Sweet Memorial Park.

The Foundation has also applied to the county for $226,000 of the $65.1 billion allocated as direct, flexible aid to every county in the United States. These direct funds are allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) based on the county's share of the U.S. population.

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed H.R. 1319, which is referred to as ARPA, into law. The $1.9 trillion package, based on President Biden's American Rescue Plan (ARP), is intended to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including the public health and economic impacts to counties across the country.

The Department of the Treasury published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that clarifies the rule. Anyone wishing to read the document can find it on the website. Question 2.18 on the FAQ sheet provides more detailed information, stating that "Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds can be used for the following purposes for outdoor spaces/parks:

1. To improve spaces in areas that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This provision refers to projects in a 'Qualified Census Tract' and can include improving park space that will benefit the health and wellness of these communities.

2. Maintenance and upkeep issues because of the increased use parks saw during the pandemic. Addressing these issues are allowable expenses under the ARP."

Whether the FPPF will be the recipient of any of the ARPA funds has yet to be determined. Once the city and county leadership surveys the various infrastructure and economic development projects that have applied for funding, they will determine how this money is spent. Other organizations have likely made their cases to these decision-makers as well.

"It's also important to get the word out and to make the case to members of the community so that various community voices are also advocating for these funds to be used to improve or enhance our local park and recreation facilities. When the pool and park projects are complete, we believe that Chinook will be a destination for travelers since the facilities upgrade will increase attendance remarkably, essentially having an economic impact," DePriest projected.

In addition, DePriest wishes to remind everyone about their Brewfest on October 2, held in conjunction with the Sugarbeet Festival. TDB and Beaver Creek Brewery will have representatives at the Sweet Park pouring their beers, but members of the FPPF will be pouring additional Montana craft beers and other popular beverages like ciders, using their licensed pourers. The group has ordered 200 commemorative glasses for the Brewfest. These eight-ounce glasses feature a logo designed by Hannah Weber at Montana Grafix, which specializes in website design as well as in the creative design of logos and promotional products.


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