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Volume XXIV, Number 22

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Airport expansion meeting postponed

By Michael Howell

The County Commissioners have cancelled the January 7 meeting scheduled to consider the recently released Environmental Assessment by Morrison-Maierle Inc., that identifies a $10 million airport expansion project at the Hamilton Airport as its “preferred alternative.” The meeting was cancelled following a telephone conference between the Commissioners, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regional Director Dave Stelling in Helena, and Morrison-Maierle engineer Travis Eickman in Bozeman. More...

Ashley Smartt spent much of Monday afternoon bulding an igloo outside her mothers' office at Cardinal Properties in Stevensville. Ashley, who is seven and a half, said the snow wasn't cooperating very well. The snow is expected to continue off and on through the week. Jean Schurman photo.

Healthy living at Victor Schools

By Jean Schurman

The New Year is a time to set resolutions. For most people, these resolutions usually revolve around weight control and becoming healthier. And for most, by the third week of January, the resolution has gone by the wayside. Victor School recently implemented a wellness program, which will help the students keep these resolutions and maybe even eliminate the need for a New Year’s resolution regarding weight and health in the future. More...

Eric Ibey waits for his lunch as his mom, Terri, dishes up the turkey dinner at the Victor School Lunchroom. Cat Recore, the baker at the school, is in the background. The Wellness Program at Victor School encourages healthy eating and has revamped the food services menu to include more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits and less sugar and fructose. Jean Schurman photo.

County grappling with ‘family transfers’

By Michael Howell

County officials are gradually tightening the loophole embedded in state law that allows lots to be created outside the subdivision review process by gifting them to a family member. The transaction is called a “family transfer” and is exempted from subdivision review. It was designed to allow the children of large ranch owners to develop equity in their own home and develop a credit standing, while staying on to continue the family ranching operations. It was a way to help keep succeeding generations at work on the family ranch. More...

Commissioners reset Planning Department priorities

By Michael Howell

The County Commissioners got an update last week from the Planning Department and the Floodplain Administrator.

Planner Tristan Riddell showed the commissioners some graphs indicating a steady rate of decline in subdivision applications being received over the past year. He said that the rate of subdivision exemptions was consistent with past years. He called the current workload “heavy” with 4 final plats, 36 applications at the conditional approval stage, 2 variance proposals, 5 projects in review stage, 18 in sufficiency review, and 2 in elementary review. He said there were 11 pre-applications in the hopper and the very large Aspen Springs proposal still waiting in the wings. More...

Ricketts Road Voluntary Zoning District created

By Michael Howell

On December 23, the Ravalli County Commissioners voted 4 to 0 to create by resolution the Ricketts Road Voluntary Zoning District. The District includes 26 separate land parcels along the road and a petition supporting the creation of the District was signed by about 80 percent of the landowners. More...


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