PUBLIC WEIGHING IN

More than 500 surveys on facilities projects already submitted by citizens
Thursday, July 8, 2021
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More than 500 citizens have submitted surveys regarding how they think Stillwater County facilities projects should be prioritized.

Mailers were sent to every address in the county approximately three weeks ago, containing 12 survey questions as well as detailed information about possible proposals.

As of Wednesday morning, 507 people had filled out the survey portion of the mailer or gone online and completed it there, according to Stillwater County Commission Chairman Mark Crago, administrative assistant Shannon Fisher and Community/Economic Development Director Stephanie Ray.

Of those, 93 were obtained from the Chamber of Commerce Expo in April, which was before the mailer was sent out, according to Ray. Another 303 were mailed-in and 111 were submitted online since the mailer went out.

A little more than 4,400 mailers were sent out. The architect working with the county on the projects has said he hopes for a 10 percent response rate.

On the right hand side of the mailer, citizens are asked 12 questions, the first 10 of which are “agree” and “disagree.” The 11th question asks citizens to rank in order of importance a new county office building, a new county library, a new fairgrounds facilities, a new law and justice center and something called Stillwater County Courthouse Enhancements.

The final question is if the citizen is a registered voter in Stillwater County. On the left side of the mailer are listed three phased projects, with specific details and cost estimates that are as follows:

•Stage 1: Law and Justice Center: $10,514,592

•Stage 2: Stillwater County Office Building: $5,618,580

•Stage 3: Stillwater County Library: $4,675,000

Also located on the mailer but not given a stage number or other designation are the following:

•Stillwater County New Fairgrounds Improvements: $9,422,000

•Stillwater County Courthouse Revitalization: $2,750,000

Crago described the stages as proposals that resulted from a series of weekly meetings with the Facilities Capital Improvement Project committee, county departments and citizens who chose to be involved.

SURVEY DEADLINE

No deadline is listed on the mailer or on the county website. Crago said Tuesday that was by design in order to allow the county to continue an “educational outreach” effort throughout the summer.

Some of the events where the county will do this at are as follows:

•July 10: Politics and Eggs at the 307 Bar in Columbus

•July 10: Nye Goes Nuts

•July 11 to July 17: Stillwater County 4H Fair

•July 15: Columbus Farmer’s Market

•July 24: Absarokee Days

To fill out the survey online, go to https://www.stillwatercountymt.gov/?s=stillwater+elevate.