New progress on growth policies for the county

13_hail_0641HAIL BALLS  – East of Brady, these golf ball size hail stones crashed on to Dean and Susan Regenold’s property during the vicious storm that rolled through Pondera County on Monday evening. It caused vehicle and crop damage throughout the county. Incidentally, the bag on the left was picked up an hour after the storm passed through the area.  Photo courtesy of Susan Regenold. 




The next meeting for the Growth Policy Committees for Pondera County, Conrad and Valier will be July 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the library in Conrad.

The purpose of the upcoming meeting will be to continue work on the Growth Policy for Pondera County.

The Growth Policy Committees have met twice to date, once in April and again on June 30. At the June 30 meeting, participants reviewed draft reports submitted by the Cossitt Consulting Team, which was contracted to provide technical assistance on the growth policy.  Draft reports have been submitted on population, natural resources and public facilities.

Other reports will address housing, public services and land use.

To initiate thoughts for vision statements for Conrad, Valier and Pondera County, consultant team member Anne Cossitt asked members to identify what makes Conrad, Valier and Pondera County special, what makes each a great place and what are the aspects that they would like to see continue into the future.

The committee members generated many positive ideas about the county and the towns noting that overall there was a great feeling of community, many quality schools, and beautiful natural surroundings, among other comments

A “growth policy” is the term used in Montana state law for a comprehensive or master plan, which typically spans a period of 15-20 years into the future.

The planning boards for each jurisdiction (the county, town of Valier, and city of Conrad) have established growth policy committees consisting of planning board members and other members appointed by the Commissioners and Mayors.

The growth policy committees will develop a draft Growth Policy for each jurisdiction over the next 10 months.  The planning boards will then make recommendations to the County Commissioners, Mayors and City Councils who are the decision-making bodies.

The Pondera County Growth Policy Committee is comprised of the following people: Chris Berg, Trina Jo Bradley, Cheryl Curry, Chuck DeBoo, LeAnn Hermance, Mark Grubb, Jack Holden, Ken Johnson, Paul Johnson, Aaron Jones, Ron Jones, Paul Kronebusch, Ali Newkirk, Dan Picard, John Shevlin and Kenneth Wheeler Sr.

The Conrad Growth Policy Committee is comprised of the following people: C. Berg, Karla Breding, Laurie Eisenzimer, Judy Ellis, Barbara Shepard, and Debbie Wilcox.

The Valier Growth Policy Committee is comprised of the following people: Rod Christiaens, Kurt Christiaens, Leo Malinak and Jerry Sullivan.

Information, including meeting schedules, agendas and draft reports are available at the Pondera Port Authority website at

Anyone who is interested is invited to attend meetings.  Written comments may be submitted to Cheryl at Pondera Port Authority, 311 So. Main Ste. D, Conrad, 59425.