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Input sought on growth plan


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Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]

The Havre and Hill County governments are closing in on completing new growth policies for their regions and are seeking comments on the proposed plans. The first four parts of the plan have been completed and are available online at Bear Paw Development Corp.'s Web site. Krystal Steinmetz of Bear Paw Development said people also could contact her to pick up a copy. The first four parts of the plans, compiled by Great West Engineering, list background data; goals, objectives and policies; issues and concerns; and a land use plan. The draft of Part V, which lists planned implementation of the growth policy, should be available on the Web site within a week or so, Steinmetz said this morning. The Havre City-County and Hill County Planning Boards are encouraging the community to read the document and provide written suggestions and comments, either by e-mail or letter, by Monday, Oct. 5, Steinmetz said. The planning boards will hold a public hearing regarding the document later this year. In January 2008, the city and county updated their previous growth policies, to bring them into compliance with new requrements by state law. The planning boards now are working with Great West to draft an entirely new Plan, to update the previous plan which had not been significantly updated since 1971. The growth plan will be used as a guide for growth and development occur in the region. Havre, Hill County and Hingham are crafting separate growth policies for their entities. The Havre and Hill County plans will be separate but complementary. The documents will not regulate change and growth in the region, but rather will be used as a guide by the local planning boards in making recommendations to the city and county governments. It is also a prerequisite for changes to existing zoning or municipal boundary changes and can increase the chances of a government in getting grant or funding applications approved. While having a growth policy generally is not a requirement to have applications approved, Steinmetz said in April, administering grants typically ask if such a plan is in place, and the applicant scores more points if it is. Funding for writing the Growth Policy includes a grant from the Montana Department of Commerce, matched with funds from the City of Havre and Hill County. On the Net: Bear Paw Development Corp .: http://www.bearpaw.or


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