The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Leonard Wortman
Jefferson County Commissioner 

Jefferson County Commission Update

 

October 12, 2016



Hi Folks,

This morning (Tuesday) the weather looks pretty nasty. It’s a good reminder that winter is just around the corner.

At our regular meeting last week, we gave final plat approval to the Huntley Minor Subdivision near Montana City. We had some discussion about the Martinez Gulch Rural Maintenance District and who is responsible for what. We awarded the contract to replace the two culverts across Pipestone Creek on Kountz Road with a bridge to Tamietti. They will probably start the project the first part of March. We will try to get as much information out as we can about the road closure well in advance. We opened bids for the repairs to the Williams Bridge. We had two bids that were over $105,000.00 apart. We are looking closely to determine if the lowest bidder can do the project for what they bid.

Peter Scott, the Attorney we hired during the MSTI days attended our meeting to talk about the comment period the Forest Service and BLM are doing for West-Wide Energy Corridors. The FS and BLM are starting a review process of all the corridors that have been identified. This is a several year process and our comment period for our area in Region 6 won’t start until 2019. As you may recall, when the MSTI Line was proposed, there were two corridors that crossed Jefferson County. One along the existing BPA line out of Boulder and the other that crossed just north of Whitehall. Jefferson County sued the Montana Department of Environmental Quality because they wouldn’t sit down and talk with us about the best way for the line to cross Jefferson County. Our concern then, as it is now, is that the southern corridor crosses mostly private property, while the corridor along the existing BPA line would cross the county about 95% on public land. The reason Peter attended our meeting last week was to answer a question I had asked him about what is meant by a “corridor of concern.” The corridor along the BPA line is listed as a “corridor of concern”. According to Peter the “corridor of concern” has historical significance, wildlife concerns, or is in a Wilderness Study Area. This designation does not prevent a line being built, it just increase what needs to be looked at. This corridor is also not wide enough for two power lines as it is currently laid out. We plan to be in contact with the FS and BLM over the next couple of years to see if we can get that width increased to a proper size.

FYI: My Grandson, Cody, competed at the Northern Rodeo Association finals in Butte this past weekend. He placed in one go-round, but came down off of two bulls, including the top bull of the finals. He finished the year in second place. We’re pretty proud!

 

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