Glitch causes wrong landowners to be notified of survey

Hundreds of rural Pondera County landowners were mistakenly notified this week that they will receive a questionnaire about land use in the county. 

Due to a computing problem, a postcard about the survey was inadvertently sent to the wrong addresses. The postcard was intended to alert people that they would be receiving a survey.

To correct the situation, the county’s planning consultants will start over, resending the postcard with correct addresses.  The new postcard should be in local mailboxes around Nov. 9.  About a week later, the same people will receive the survey questionnaire by mail.

The survey will be sent to a random sample of 568 rural landowners to learn about their views on land use, development and infrastructure issues in Pondera County.

The input from landowners will help the county prepare a new Growth Policy or comprehensive plan for the county.

The county’s planning consultants were alerted to the problem by Conrad City Clerk Agnes Fowler.

Fowler received one of the postcards at her home address even though the addressee’s name was someone else.  Thanks to the tip off from Fowler, the consultants were able to stop the process in time to correct the situation before the surveys are sent.

Earlier this year, the Pondera County Board of County Commissioners appointed a Growth Policy Committee to develop a draft Growth Policy for the County.

The Growth Policy is intended to guide the future growth and development of the county.  The Committee is working with the planning consultants to prepare the plan.

The Committee intends to present a plan early next year to the County Commissioners for their approval.

In developing the plan, the committee is using the survey to get input from landowners in the county.  Because the survey is being sent to a small sample of people, it is very important to hear from each and every landowner who receives a survey in the mail.

The committee asks people to please complete the survey form and return it right away.   Postage is pre-paid to make this as convenient as possible.

To further encourage replies, the survey includes a drawing for complimentary prizes donated by Big Sky Equipment Company.  Prizes include two $50 gift certificates for dinner at local restaurants.

The County Commissioners appointed Cheryl Curry of the Pondera County Port Authority as the local project manager to coordinate the work of the Growth Policy Committee and the planning consultants.

Information about the Growth Policy is available at the Pondera Port Authority website: .

The next Growth Policy Committee meeting for Valier will be Nov. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Valier Civic Center.

For Conrad the meeting will be  Nov. 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Conrad Library; and for the county on Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Emergency Operations Center in the Pondera County Court House (location not yet confirmed).

Persons with questions about the survey should contact Curry at (406) 271-7237 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .