POINT TAKEN — Commissioner Cyndi Johnson – white shirt – makes a point during a public hearing on future planning on Thursday evening at the courthouse. From the left in back is Commissioner Sandy Broesder, Sarah Converse, Executive Director of Sweetgrass Development, city councilwoman Karla Breding, Laurie Eisenzimer and city councilman Ron Widhalm. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
There were no surprises at a public hearing hosted by the Pondera Regional Port Authority (PA) on Thursday evening.
The meeting was held in cooperation with Pondera County, the City of Conrad and the Town of Valier.
Cheryl Curry of the PA ran the hearing whose purpose was to receive some possible funding sources for projects and to gain input from the community on possible future projects.
The meeting also met requirements for the PA to be able to apply for project grants down the road.
Eighteen people were on hand for the hearing, but with exception of representatives from the Pondera County Canal and Reservoir Company ((PCCRC), an individual running for elected office, all others in attendance were local government officials; two mayors, two commissioners, two city council members and Sarah Converse, the executive director of Sweetgrass Development, a quasi government entity that serves Pondera, Cascade, Glacier, Teton and Toole counties in the area of economic development.
After opening the hearing for comment, county commissioner Cyndi Johnson touched on the need for zoning and research. Mayor McKenzie Graye of Valier echoed that sentiment and added the upgrading of sidewalks, which needed to be addressed.
Commissioner Sandy Broesder commented that looking into the workforce and having rental housing available was needed.
Mayor Wendy Judisch commented that a feasibility study on rail expansion and development was needed.
The representatives of the PCCRC stressed that water issues, rights and the water compact were issues not to be ignored.
The input from all of those present will be documented and used when doing future planning for the county communities.