This morning, a relative newcomer to Great Falls asked me “What’s up with Black Eagle? Do they have a mayor, or what?”
I didn’t have an answer. I know that Black Eagle is considered “separate” from Great Falls, but have never heard any references to a mayor, city council, or any other “municipal”-type things. So I did what any good netizen would do – Google! – and learned this:
Black Eagle is a census-designated place (CDP) in Cascade County, Montana, United States. The population was 914 at the 2000 census. It is part of the ‘Great Falls, Montana Metropolitan Statistical Area’.
OK, so that tells us that Black Eagle is a CDP. And what does Wikipedia say about that?
A CDP is a type of place (a concentration of population) identified by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are…the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages. CDPs are populated areas that lack separate municipal government, but which otherwise physically resemble incorporated places. CDPs are delineated solely to provide data for settled concentrations of population that are identifiable by name but are not legally incorporated under the laws of the state in which they are located. The boundaries of a CDP have no legal status.
So it seems that Black Eagle is an official place, but not an Official Place, sort of.
Which leads me to wonder: should Black Eagle be assimilated – officially – into Great Falls? Would there be any benefit to either Great Falls or Black Eagle, or would there be drawbacks?