Meet Don

I was honored to have my name put forward by the Cascade County Democratic Central Committee and equally honored to be selected by Republicans Jim Larson and Joe Briggs to join them on the Cascade County Commission to fill the District 3 seat vacated by Jane Weber.

These last few months, serving as your Commissioner and working to improve the quality of life in Cascade County has been enjoyable and rewarding. My experience in the Montana State Senate and serving on the Great Falls Public School Board have prepared me well to be an effective Commissioner. Being a policy maker and well as a decisionmaker is not easy, but I strive to be fair and listen to all sides.

To continue working for all of Cascade County, I must run for election to complete the remaining two years of Jane Weber’s term.

I humbly ask for your support and your vote this fall.

Read more about Don here.

Some of Don’s accomplishments in the past year:
ARPA Funds to Benefit Cascade County

Experience matters when it comes to funding programs in Cascade County. When the federal government awarded the county with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, $13.3 million were allocated to benefit multiple agencies. The following funding awards were approved by Dcn Ryan and the two other commissioners during their July 12, 2022 meeting:

  • Big River Ruckus: $30,000, Cascade County will be a sponsor for three years
  • Radios for county first responders through the Rural Fire Council: $37,500
  • Black Eagle Water and Sewer for sewer upgrades throughout the system: $98,480
  • Black Eagle Water and Sewer for water main and compromised service line replacement: $1,383,870
  • Great Falls Emergency Services for a self-loading cot system in an ambulance: $46,661
  • Gore Will Water to replace two wells, reline concrete storage tanks: $277,250
  • Opportunities, Inc. to replace an old boiler system with base board zone heating at the Regina Apartments to also bring the building up to code: $88,045
  • Simms Sewer District for contingency funding to state ARPA funds: $95,000
  • C.M. Russell Museum for a new building to house the designing studio and administration offices to those spaces can be remodeled to house a new collection: $500,000
  • Alliance for Youth to replace the roof, contingency, shed, gutters and insulation: $158,498.42
  • McLaughlin Research Institute to replace all exterior doors and windows with energy efficient items: $150,000
  • Great Falls College MSU for the new CDL training program to cover cost of simulator and other startup costs: $388,875
  • Ingenium for education programs in science, technology, engineering, art and math through game design, computer science and entrepreneurship for $30,000
  • Windy Acres Water Users to replace a well damaged by an earthquake: $350,000
  • Vaughn Water and Sewer District to replace deteriorated sewer lines and other improvements: $254,647.50
  • Sun Prairie Water for new wells, upgrade the pump house, water lines, gate valves and install water meters: $814,000
  • Two Buttes Water District to replace water distribution pumps, restore water system storage tank, replace control valves and install strategic branch meters: $91,086
  • Great Falls Legacy Foundation for replacement revenue for fundraisers canceled during COVID: $275,892
  • Stockett Water and Sewer to replace damaged curb stops: $14,616.50
  • Stockett Water and Sewer for storage tank overflow repair: $6,475
  • Stockett Water and Sewer for replacing the well pump: $21,002
  • Stockett Water and Sewer to replace the chlorinator building and add a security fence: $19,153.20
  • Stockett Water and Sewer to replace UV lights and sleeves for the sewage disinfectant system: $1,630.26
  • Stockett Water and Sewer to purchase and install custom filers for the septic system: $13,409.14
  • Cascade County Historical Society to add HVAC system and drywall to areas that don’t currently have temperature controls, add room for county archival materials: $121,200
  • Sand Coulee Water: convert area from individually owned septic tanks to centralized sewer system: $400,845
  • Upper and Lower River Road Water District: preliminary engineering study for phase six: $20,000
  • South Winds Water and Sewer for planning grant for next phase: $30,000
  • Wadsworth Library for heating and air conditioning and an awning: $6,000
  • Great Falls Public Library for new front doors: $20,000
  • Belt Library for addition of community room: $160,000
  • Centerville School for new well and water system: $320,176
  • Tracy Water Association for preliminary engineering study for new water system: $50,000
  • Great Falls Development Authority to purchase property in the AgriTech Park: $1,000,000
  • Pleasant Valley Colony for new well: $75,000
  • Great Falls Senior Center for installation of elevator: $50,000
  • NeighborWorks Great Falls for the Baatz Building supportive housing project: $650,000
  • Sun River Ditch to repair avulsion between the Sun River and Adobe Creek to stop damage from ice jams and cutoff of irrigation system headgates: $209,884
  • Expo Park to replace the racetrack fence: $148,910
  • Expo Park for an air curtain in the Pacific Steel and Recycling Arena: $55,232
  • Expo Park to add a shower trailer: $57,000
  • Expo Park to repaint the jockey building: $8,000
  • Expo Park to add water system to Railroad Museum: $16,000
  • Adult Detention Center for unreimbursed costs for COVID PPE in 2021: $27,361
  • Adult Detention Center for COVID response costs: $90,000
  • Adult Detention Center for COVID overtime costs: $225,000
  • Cascade County Health Department for COVID response costs: $260,300
  • Juvenile Detention Center for COVID overtime costs in early 2021: $6,643
  • Juvenile Detention Center for COVID overtime costs for mid 2021: $3,877
  • Juvenile Detention Center for COVID response costs: $16,500
  • Juvenile Detention Center for COVID overtime costs for fiscal year that ended June 30: $60,000
  • Cascade County Sheriff’s Office for body cameras: $140,000
  • Disaster and Emergency Services for radio replacement: $76,000
  • Expo Park to repair damage caused by woodpeckers and add metal siding: $76,434
  • County IT to upgrade server system to have more remote access: $171,000
  • County IT for staff training for new server system and remote access: $30,000
  • Town of Belt for water system upgrades: $500,000
  • Adult Detention Center to continue lock update/replacement: $150,000
  • Adult Detention Center to remove old fuel tank and water separator unit: $60,000
  • Adult Detention Center for emergency lighting and nightlights: $14,900
  • Adult Detention Center for second floor of pods steel barrier to prevent falls: $300,000
  • Adult Detention Center for camera upgrades in jail: $79,442
  • Cascade County Sheriff’s Office for new building for evidence storage: $1,500,000
Implement C-PACE in Cascade County

Voted with the other two commissioners to implement the Montana C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancements) program in Cascade County. Organizations can get loans for energy-efficiency projects and expansions. Financing for projects is provided through third party lenders, the debt is paid through the Montana Facilities Finance Authority and the county would collect it through property taxes. Cascade County was the third county in the state to implement this innovative program.

“It’s just about conservation, and it’s about allowing commercial properties to be able to get the help they need, get the revenue they need, and not have an outstanding bill on their property, just something that gets placed on their property is a lien to get paid off ” County Commissioner Ryan told the Tribune earlier this month, adding that property owners have to request it and will pay for it. “They’re agreeing ‘Hey I’ll put this on my tax bill, it will be a part of my assessments to come on my property.’”

Emergency Repair to the Sun River

Voted with the other two commissioners to approve a $74,478 contract during a special January 20th meeting to Shumaker Trucking and Excavating of Great Falls. The contract was to make emergency repairs to the Sun River/Adobe Creek avulsion and riverbank in Fort Shaw where water is diverting into the creek, threatening damage to property and livestock.

Marijuana Sales in Cascade County

Voted with the other two commissioners to amend the text of the Cascade County Zoning Regulations surrounding medical marijuana in the county to regulate both adult-use marijuana and medical marijuana for commercial and industrial land uses within the designated Heavy Industrial I-2 zone.

“Commissioner Don Ryan said before making the motion to pass the resolution said that this issue was voted on in the community and passed. Cascade County passed Initiative I-190 by 54.7% and CI-118 by 54.9% and both initiatives passed the majority of the House Districts, per the report. Ryan clarified that this is not a revenue driver for the county as the state is getting the funds, but the testing that is done on marijuana sold legally will make it safer. He also said that Cascade County had far fewer dispensaries than other parts of the state. ‘I think we can be conservative with it but still follow the wishes of the voters of the county,’ Ryan said.” ~ Great Falls Tribune.

Upcoming Events

Watch this space for upcoming events.

Neighborhood Council #4 Meeting on April 28th, 2022

As always, folks can stop by Don’s office at the Court House Annex (325 2nd Ave. North) on Thursdays from 7 am to 9 am, to discuss your issues of concern.

Get Involved!

Would you like Don to meet with your group? Let him know.

Do you have a question for Don? Contact him here.

Can you host a fundraiser for Don? Let him know.

Would you like a yard sign when they arrive? Let us know.



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November 2022 General Election

Cascade County Commissioners live in the district they run for, but voters throughout the county can vote for Don Ryan on election day.