Done Deal

County acquires 21 acres for possible new fairgrounds
Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, September 12, 2019
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Stillwater County has entered into a purchase agreement with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for 21 acres on the north side of I-90 in the Columbus area.

The county’s only cost will be closing fees, according to Commissioner Chairman Mark Crago. The county’s purpose in acquiring the land is a possible relocation site for the fairgrounds, which currently sits a block away from the courthouse in Columbus.

The revelation was made Tuesday night at the commission’s monthly traveling agenda meeting, which was held in Absarokee.

Crago took the opportunity to explain that for the past nine months, a group consisting of the commissioners and members of the public have been working on the Facility Capital Improvement Planning Committee in an effort to address the long-standing problem of a lack of county office space.

At Tuesday’s meeting in Absarokee, Crago said the issue has been studied by various Stillwater County Commissioners for more than 20 years. Using previous research as well as new research, the committee has come up with a master plan that presents several options. Those options will be presented through a series of meetings to be held in each of the county’s eight communities, starting in October.

In response to a question from an attendee, Crago addressed the issue of the old hospital, saying the actual remediation work was set to begin soon and also that “currently, the committee has not identified that” to use as county office space.