Large donations move Creekside project forward

By: 
DEB HILL
News-Argus Managing Editor

Representatives from Snowy Mountain Motors and the Creekside committee (from left, Susan Barta, Lisa Pierce, Tony Pierce and Jim Daniels, City Park and Rec director) pose for a photo after meeting to discuss the business’s donation to the Creekside Marketplace and Pavilion project.

Photo courtesy of Karen Sweeney

Staff from Stockman Bank and members of the Creekside committee hold a copy of the bank’s donation to the Creekside Marketplace and Pavilion project. (Back row from left) Nate Stulc, Amy Centa, Josy Eades, Deb Sanford and Sherry Dahl; (front row from left) Jennifer Saunders, Bret Carpenter, Clint Loomis, Abby Franks and City Manager Holly Phelps.

Photo courtesy of Karen Sweeney

 

The Creekside Pavilion and Marketplace project took another giant step forward recently with large donations from two Lewistown businesses.

According to project spokesperson Karen Sweeney, Snowy Mountain Motors and Stockman Bank each contributed $25,000 toward to project’s budget. The donations mean each of the two establishments has naming rights to the dining deck planned for the area near Main Street and alongside the mill ditch.

Sweeney said the donations bring the total raised privately to $712,381, or 84% of the goal the Creekside committee had set for donors and fundraising events. Other funding will come from grants.

“Because two separate businesses gave generously to Creekside, we will be able to complete the dining deck this spring or summer,” Sweeney said. “Stockman Bank and Snowy Mountain Motors have each earned naming rights. We will find a nice way to recognize both businesses as major donors. Once again we are humbled by the incredible support for this project.”

Sweeney described the dining deck as a hard-surfaced area, probably concrete, with picnic tables and some sort of shade structures or plantings. The area will have a railing along the mill ditch for safety.

 

Contributors see benefit to downtown

Speaking for Stockman Bank, Branch President Bret Carpenter said he felt the project would serve the whole community.

“This is a lovely idea for a potential gathering place,” he said. “I was part of the ROC group, and we heard from a lot of younger people that they were looking for things to do. It’s part of that millennial generation. They need more than just a job and a view; they are looking for coffee shops, breweries, focal points that make a community interesting to them. I think this project will be that for Lewistown.”

Carpenter said from his position on the Port Authority, he is familiar with how other communities have successfully brought life back to downtown areas.

“I think there are going to be businesses that pop up around this project, with the brewery being just the start,” he said. “I’ll be looking five years from now to see what kind of positive change happens.”

Tony Pierce, owner of Snowy Mountain Motors, said he and his wife, Lisa, believe the Creekside project will draw more people to the downtown area, making it more viable for other businesses.

In addition, Pierce said, he and his wife feel strongly about supporting community projects.

“We are very civic-minded,” Pierce explained. “This community has done great things for me and my family. It’s an awesome community, and they support our business. We wanted to return that support.”

Pierce said this donation is just the most recent example, as Snowy Mountain Motors also contributed to the new swimming pool and is a strong supporter of the Boys and Girls Club.

 

First step to construction underway

Now that the weather is more cooperative, Sweeney said the first phase of the project should move quickly.

“We’ll be doing the infrastructure and some of the hardscape first,” she said, adding that the curbs and gutters for the parking area are already out for bid.

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