At last Wednesday’s business meeting, after much discussion on the pros and cons of the request of United Grain Corporation (UGC), the county commissioners on a 3-0 vote moved to approve the application for UGC for a tax relief.
The tax relief is for a period of 10 years on the new shuttle grain elevator facility constructed just off the Pendroy Road.
The Montana Department of Revenue currently has an initial investment value on the facility of $14,500,000. The county will still gain about $777,000 in additional tax paid by UGC. Even in granting the incentive, the result is a larger tax base to share the total bill, resulting in lower taxes for current taxpayers.
Montana law allows counties to provide an incentive to new or expanding industries to apply for tax relief over the course of a 10-year period.
The commissioners took into consideration the impact on county taxpayers, the business-friendly perception of the county, the potential of additional jobs and that tax relief is available to not only new businesses, but to expanding businesses in the county.
The incentive is widely implemented throughout Montana as a way to encourage businesses to locate and/or improve or expand in their county and new businesses look at the record of the counties when determining locations for their business.
Pondera County has previously granted the application to expanding businesses, however, this is the first new business to locate in the county since this statue was passed in Montana.
In other business before the commission, a CTEP (Community Transportation Enhancement Program) funding request was approved.
Bert Rigby met with the commissions regarding the railroad museum project utilizing the BNSF Depot building on Front Street.
His purpose was to request CTEP funds for the project.
After some discussion, Commissioner Janice Hoppes made the motion to set aside $10,000 of the CTEP money for the railroad museum project, to be revisited as the project is developed.
The motion got a second from Sandy Broesder and passed on a 3-0 vote, provided by Joe Christiaens.
The commissioners passed, on a 3-0 vote, R-28, allowing for a budget amendment to the general fund for the county sanitarian.
Corrine Rose was offered a one-time funding for performing assessments of public school buildings in the county at the rate of $375 per school. The new amount of the fund for this is $1,875.
The commissioners passed, on a 3-0 vote a new ordinance concerning irrigation water on the roadways.
In short, the ordinance says that a person commits the offense of permitting irrigation water on a county road if he purposely, knowingly, or negligently permits water from an irrigation ditch or sprinkler system to flow or spray onto a county road.
The first offense will be a written “warning” citation. The second offense will be a citation with a fine not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed 30 days, or both.
The ordinance was adopted on March 20 on a 3-0 vote and becomes effective immediately.
The full ordinance may be viewed at the office of Clerk and Recorder during normal business hours. Call ahead to let them know you are coming in to see the ordinance; Ord.-01.
The commission also passed R-29, which is in support of the nomination of the Honorable James Healy to the National Freight Advisory Committee., which was established by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Counties play a major role in the movement of freight in America, owning and operating 44 percent of all public roads and highways, 228,026 bridges of all kinds, 27 percent of public transit systems and 30 percent of public airports.
Healy is a vocal proponent of local governments working together in cooperation with the freight, shipping and railroad industries. The full resolution will be forwarded to the Secretary of Transportation.
This resolution may also be viewed at the office of Clerk and Recorder at the courthouse during normal working hours.
There was no regular business meeting this week as all three commissioners were in Helena for a MACo meeting.