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Letter: Barton responds to MDT Headwaters Rest Area Update

I read your paper’s article about the rest area update.

In response to:  “ The project team has made safety a top priority with the design of the new facility, which includes open sight lines for patrolling, license plate-reading and security cameras, and LED lighting throughout the interior and exterior of the rest area facility and parking lot. A feature that is not typically included in rest areas, but that will serve nearby communities, is the addition of a Law Enforcement Office that will be available for use by the Broadwater County Sheriff, Montana Highway Patrol, and MDT Motor Carrier Services.”

I’ve often heard said about security measures such as deadbolts, motion detection lighting, and security systems… these measures keep the honest man honest.  

As shown during the national riots of 2020, cameras only catch the looting, arson, assaults, murders, and mayhem for broadcasting later on news outlets.  As shown by nightly news, cameras catch the flash mob robberies, car jackings, assaults, and murders nationwide for our viewing after the fact.

Although the law enforcement office is a nice touch it flys in the face of the developer’s and MDTs lies to the public during the Open House of 2021.  Unless the office is manned, it’s useless.  Broadwater County has a manning shortage in its Sheriff’s Department.  This is common knowledge.  Their response time to our area is horrendous.  A young couple in our subdivision caught two burglars cutting the lock on the wrought iron gates to their property while backing a pickup onto their driveway last year in broad daylight.  When calling the Sheriff’s Department they were told it would be at least 40 minutes for them to get there.

The Three Forks School busses no longer drive into our subdivision to pick up children at their homes.  Because of bus driver shortages, children are now forced to congregate on Wheatland Road, a half mile from the rest area.  

I found this out from a sobbing mother in our neighborhood.  She and her husband have been forced to make alternate transportation arrangements for the safety of their children.

I pray with all that’s in me, that your publication won’t be covering a nightmare story related to this rest area and the Targeted Economic Development District and its liability laden businesses in the future.

Elizabeth Barton