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Hill County gathers community input in Rudyard


RUDYARD — Hill County is holding meetings to determine what sorts of projects people want the county to start working on, including one meeting Wednesday night in Rudyard.

Another hearing will be next Wednesday in Havre.

On Wednesday night, the three county commissioners, Mike Wendland, Kathy Besette and Jeff LaVoi, met with Annmarie Robinson from Bear Paw Development Corp. and 11 members of communities including Rudyard, Hingham and Joplin at the Rudyard Senior Center.

The hour-and-a-half meeting was held to see what people need from the county government, how the county can get it and what Bear Paw can do to help.

"The only way we can get a project going is if someone stands up and says 'I have an idea, '" Robinson told the group to get things going.

The group came up with nearly a dozen ideas to pursue, from transportation updates like paving or even gravelling roads and redoing sidewalks in Rudyard to more recreational projects like replacing playground equipment in Rudyard's park.

Aside from projects that would require construction, many community members wanted the county to do something about issues of safety and sanitation that the towns can't enforce, since they aren't incorporated.

Some complained about dogs and the county's inability to handle nuisance animals that bark all night or tear through garbage heaps.

There was also concern about some residents who create those garbage heaps and generally keep junk piles in town, which they covertly clean up with youth groups when it gets particularly bad.

With the ideas compiled, Robinson started wielding her expertise in figuring out how to make the list happen.

A number of possible funding sources from every level of government were discussed for the projects, including federal Department of Transportation and National Park Service programs, state DOT and block grants and county bond sales to be paid in local community taxes.

Even private sources of funding were considered, from companies like Triangle Communications and Walmart.

Whatever sources are considered, the fact that these ideas come from and are supported by communities would be invaluable to their progress, according to Robinson.

"When we start looking at these programs, it's good to show that it isn't just us (Bear Paw) and the commissioners sitting in a room coming up with these, " Robinson said.

Which is why the county is holding these meetings.

Further input will be sought at the June 1 meeting in the Triangle Communication Hospitality Room at 7 p. m.


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