The Roundup -

Commissioners Provide Update


Richland County commissioners Shane Gorder and Duane Mitchell provided an update of projects during the Sidney Kiwanis Club meeting held Thursday.

Gorder said all expectations are that the new 4-H/school exhibit building will be ready for this August’s county fair.

“It’s on schedule,” Gorder said.

He added a project in the future for the fair might be a new announcer’s booth for the rodeo arena.

Mitchell noted that work on footings for the new fire hall was taking place Thursday. The building is expected to be done by August 2017.

Master plans are being created for changes in the road department’s location. A larger parking lot to handle bigger equipment is part of the plans.

“We’re trying to catch up on some roads that fell apart during Bakken activity,” Gorder said. Commissioners said money has been put aside if there are any problems during the “30 years foreclosure” of the old county landfill.

Another project that commissioners are considering is a new senior center in Fairview.

“We’re looking at a couple different building ideas and lot layouts,” Gorder said.

Gorder also noted Richland County is now one of three counties that is a member of the Montana Infrastructure Coalition. The other counties are Dawson and Fallon. There are about 24 members in all.

“The coalition is working on what is the infrastructure in Montana and what would be a good infrastructure bill,” Gorder said.

A meeting for the group is scheduled in Sidney during mid-July.

Mitchell talked about threats to the area’s agriculture and oil industries.

Mitchell said Montana produces only about 10 percent of the oil that North Dakota produces, but Montana’s taxes are about 25-30 percent of the total amount between the two states. In addition, some Montana legislators want to increase oil taxes even more. “Do you think that there will be a bunch of oil companies demanding to come to Montana to drill?” Mitchell asked.

He added the state would be better off receiving a lower tax percentage with more oil production than a higher tax percentage with a lot less production.


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