Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The bill delegating Montana’s use of federal stimulus money continued to have some money for the Montana Agro- Energy Industrial Park being planned for construction south of Havre, although the amount was cut in committee negotiations. Sen. Ken “Kim” Hansen, D-Harlem, said the original $400,000 allocated to development of the park initially was cut during executive action in the Senate Finance and Claims Committee. “It was pulled out, it was eliminated, but I got it back in,” Hansen said this morning, adding that he was able to get $300,000 back into the bill for the industrial park. The money will be split into two $150,000 installments over the two years of the biennium. The money is part of the state allocation of $900 million Montana is receiving through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, Passed by Congress in February to try to stimulate the faltering U. S. economy. Hansen said the bill goes before the full Senate Tuesday when the Legislature returns from its Easter break. The industrial park is planned to house businesses in the field of alternative energy and value-added agriculture. It is on land adjacent to the location of a planned biodiesel plant being pursued by Allied Bio Energies, about six miles south of Havre and west of Fort Assinniboine. The land where the industrial park will be located was donated to the county by VanderGriend of Idaho. Allied Bio Energies also is in negotiations with VanderGriend, who owns the land it intends to use for the biodiesel plant. Paul Tuss, executive director of Bear Paw Development Corp., said the money would be used in Phase 1 of the project, building basic infrastructure including water, sewer, roads, fire-suppression water supplies, electricity and gas. Bear Paw Development also has been in contact with the state Department of Commerce, which could provide funds for the remainder of the Phase 1 development through programs it administers. Tuss said Bear Paw has been in contact with several businesses interested in locating at the park if it is constructed. He said the dedication of the industrial park to value-added agriculture and alternative energy positions the area to attract businesses in an evergrowing field in the state. “I think this will bear fruit for Montana for generations to come,” Tuss said.