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Meetings planned to address future growth in Broadwater County

Broadwater County in conjunction with the Montana Department of Commerce and the WGM Group, is hosting two public meetings later this month to generate feedback about growth from residents.

The "Planning or Growth" public meeting for residents south of Road 101 is Thursday, August 24, at 6 p.m. at the Bridger Brewing facility at 75 Vigilante Road. The meeting for residents in the northern part of Broadwater County is August 31 at 6 p.m. at the Flynn Building in Townsend.

According to Commissioner Lindsey Richtmyer, Broadwater County received a Community Technical Assistance Grant (CTAP) grant through the Montana Department of Commerce.

"Through the DOC's own process, they partnered with WGM Group to facilitate the meetings and planning. There will be a series of three meetings in the north and south sub-areas. The discussion will focus on the type of development and land use residents do and do not want to see in the County and sub-areas, and more specifically the locations/areas they want it to happen or not happen," said Richtmyer. "As we gather more public comment and suggestions, the goal of the grant is to create a sub-area plan and land use map that could be an addendum to our current growth policy. This helps not only with planning but also with applying for and winning grants."

Richtmyer also discussed the significance of public involvement at the meetings.

"I can't emphasize enough the importance of public involvement in this process as Broadwater County continues to face unprecedented growth. Now is the time to discuss how we manage and plan for that growth. Public input is crucial to the success of these meetings. While most people who come here wish they could be the last and close the door behind them, the reality is that Montana and Broadwater County will continue to grow, and the identity of the County and its different sub-areas will be defined by planning or the lack thereof. That said, the commission will publicly discuss and vote on any addendums or changes to the current growth policy before anything becomes official, so ultimately, these meetings are a chance for the public to contribute and be heard," she said.

Future meetings will combine recommendations and draft the sub-area plan and future land use maps.

"As of now, follow-up meetings will be held in October and November, although we have not confirmed dates yet for those. We will announce those as soon as possible and at the August meetings so the public can plan accordingly," Richtmyer said.

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