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Residents encouraged to weigh in at public hearing

by KRISTI NIEMEYER
Editor | May 30, 2024 12:00 AM

Lake County residents and organizations have a unique opportunity to weigh in on local priorities during a public hearing next Thursday, June 6, at 10 a.m. in the County Commissioners Chambers at the Lake County Courthouse in Polson.  

The annual Needs Assessment will be held in tandem with input on changes to the 2018 Lake County Growth Policy’s Implementation Plan, which is slated for an update this year.  

According Special Projects Director Billie Lee, the goal of the hearing is twofold. It’s an opportunity for community members to alert county commissioners to specific needs in their community. And in the instance of an incorporated town that’s applying for a Community Development Block Grant, next week’s hearing can serve as the first of the two hearings required for the application.  

The hearing will also provide information on how communities or organizations can access various funding programs for public facilities, infrastructure, economic development or housing. 

At the same time, the county commissioners will take input on how the county’s growth plan is implemented, which was last updated six years ago, in 2018. The current plan is posted on the county’s website, www.lakemt.gov, and the revisions will focus on the implementation plan contained in Chapter 9 of the document.  

The Growth Policy and Needs Assessment are interwoven, says Lee, which is why the commissioners have put both on the same agenda. In part, the county is looking at ways in which the policy may inhibit the development of workforce housing, or clash with recent state legislation. At the same time, the county has applied for funding to update county subdivision and zoning regulations.

Public comment will be taken at the meeting and may also be submitted in writing or email to the County Commissioners at 106 4th Ave. East, Polson, 59860, or lakecommissioners@lakemt.gov by June 30.