Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
Bear Paw Development Corp. is in the planning stages of the creation of an industrial park that could bring new industry to north-central Montana. “We have talked to a handful of companies primarily in the alternative energy arena who have indicated a very sincere interest in being located in the Hill County area and interest in being located in an industrial park,” Paul Tuss, executive director of Bear Paw Development said this morning. In the September 2008 issue of Paw Prints, Bear Paw Development’s newsletter, an article reports that Bear Paw has received a grant to survey and apprai se land south of Havre that Dave VanDerGriend of Idaho is considering donating for use as an industrial park. The park, dubbed the Montana Agro-Energy Industrial Park, would provide a location for businesses to lease for their operations. Havre Mayor Bob Rice said the city and the Hill County Commissioners have discussed having a joint operation to run a park, which could bring new businesses to the area. “I think it will be a huge benefit,” he said. Tuss said the area being considered has many benefits. It is located near U.S. Highway 87 north of the Northern Agricultural Research Station at Fort Assinniboine, near a power substation and has the Big Sandy rail line running through the property. Tuss said the exact location and boundaries of the land to be swapped has not been set that is what the survey and appraisal will be for, he said. “We’ve kind of done everything we can (until surveyors and appraisers) can complete their work,” he said. The Hill County Commission was working on the development of an industrial park in the same vicinity in 2006 and 2007, with a biofuels company planning to locate on the park. That plan, essentially ready to be signed on the dotted line went by the wayside when the company, Greater Montana Bio Energies, announced it was pursuing a private land purchase and would not locate on an industrial park. The county created an industrial park in the 1970s, which ran water and sewer lines west of Havre to the intersection of U.S. highways 2 and 87, including underneath Highway 87, and to the location where the Holiday Village Mall now stands. A few years later, it created another park near the intersection of U.S. Highway 87 and U.S. Highway 2, just south of the location of Torgerson’s. The county currently leases space on that park to Redrock Drilling Company. Tuss said the possibilities of the new park are being explored with a $42,800 Growth Through Agriculture grant Bear Paw received through the Montana Agriculture Development Council. The grant will pay for surveying and appraising the land, which will determine the precise boundaries of the land that would be donated to create the park. It would also help plan for what infrastructure Would be needed to create the park, he said, a key component in a site development plan. “You assess what infrastructure needs are out there and how much it would cost to install them,” Tuss said. Once the survey and appraisal are complete, the donation completed and the exact infrastructure needs assessed Bear Paw can start on the next phase of the project determining the exact costs and finding funding sources to develop the site, Tuss said.