The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

County Facilities and Services the Focus of Planning Project

 

May 17, 2017



The Blaine County Commission has started the process to update the County’s 2012 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

A Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) is a budgeting and financial tool that will be used by the County Commission to set maintenance and repair priorities for things such as roads and buildings. The plan will also identify funding mechanisms for those repairs and improvements. The reality is that the County will never have enough money to address all of its infrastructure needs in a given year and the CIP is meant to assist the Commission in establishing priorities and to efficiently use taxpayer funds.

The CIP planning process is also meant to provide County residents with information about which facilities and services are in the most need of work and which are the most economical. This process this will also ensure that County funds are budgeted in the most effective way and with an eye towards avoiding situations where repairs or expenditures become an emergency. An added benefit of a CIP is that it can help record the Commission’s decisions on infrastructure. The reality is that County Commissioners and key County staff members will come and go with time, but the CIP can remain a constant guide for funding and completing projects for future Commissioners and County staff.

The County Commission does not want the update of the plan based only on their knowledge. They want residents to help identify what the County’s infrastructure priorities should be. To achieve this, the Commission plans to hold several public meetings during the development of the plan. Also, they are going to use other tools to gather public input. Two of these will be a project website and an online survey. The project website will allow residents to quickly and easily access information about the project including meeting schedules, project status, and draft documents. The website can be found at http://blainecomtcip.com/

Commission has also developed a survey that asks residents for input on infrastructure. The topics in the survey range from the current condition of infrastructure to what residents think are the most important facilities in the County. The survey can be accessed at the following web link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NS5SMTZ and hard copies are also available at the County Commission Office at the Blaine County Courthouse. You can contact Savannah Wendeln at Blaine County via email: swendeln@blainecounty-mt.gov or via the phone at 406-357-3250.

To complete the project in an efficient manner, the County has engaged Great West Engineering to assist with the development of the plan. Residents who have specific questions about the project can contact the project manager at Great West, Craig Erickson. Craig can be reached at 406-495-6189 or via email at cerickson@greatwesteng.com.

 
 

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