Residents respond to MDT proposal
August 18, 2021
On Tuesday afternoon, the Montana Department of Transportation issued a press release with their plans to construct a law enforcement office at the planned Headwaters Rest Area in Three Forks. Within a matter of minutes, those who live close to the planned rest area had plenty to say.
Justin Brewer, who lives near the planned rest area, fired back to comments from MDT Butte District Administrator William Fogarty, who said in the release, "We heard the public's concern about law enforcement's challenges patrolling this part of the county loud and clear. MDT is committed to being a good neighbor and is excited to provide our law enforcement partners with office space to better serve the surrounding populations."
Brewer feels Fogarty did not hear area residents at all.
"The Three Forks community has overwhelmingly said 'NO' to this rest area. If he had heard us and were actually committed to being a "good neighbor'… hard for an agency to be a 'neighbor' anyway… Then he wouldn't be pushing forward with this project. Being a 'good neighbor' doesn't mean that you bully everyone into getting your own way," Brewer said.
According to the MDT, the proposed office addition is designed to accommodate up to four desks with internet connections for law enforcement personnel.
Elizabeth Barton, who also lives near the planned facility, said the proposed office is a nice gesture, but it is too little, too late.
"A building doesn't man itself, increased taxes to voiceless taxpayers does," Barton said.