Hungry Moose closes for renovations, hosts storewide sale

EBS STAFF

The Hungry Moose Market and Deli in Big Sky Town Center will be closed for building renovations from Oct. 29 to Nov. 9. The project will include installing a new floor and some general maintenance updates.

Prior to the 12-day closure, the business will be holding a storewide 20-percent off sale, which will include everything in the store except for tobacco products and deli items. The sale will be held from Monday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 28.

The Hungry Moose Market and Deli in the Mountain Mall at Big Sky Resort will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, and the renovated Town Center location will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Davis joins resort tax board

EBS STAFF

At the Big Sky Resort District tax board meeting on Oct. 3, the board voted unanimously to appoint Paul “Buz” Davis to the seat vacated by Jamey Kabisch. Davis was put forward as a possible replacement during the Sept. 7 board meeting that began with Kabisch’s surprise announcement that he was retiring.

Davis received the third highest vote total during the May election, when Big Sky voters put Sarah Blechta and Steve Johnson on the five-person resort tax board. However, his appointment wasn’t a foregone conclusion, as Blechta spoke up during discussion of the motion and voiced her reservations about the speed of the process and adding another male to the board.

“You know, it’s that idea of optics and I just wanted it to at least be out there that I have reached out to a few different people in the community—nobody else seems to be interested,” Blechta said. “I think Buz is going to be great, but I also feel like it was a little rushed.”

Board secretary Steve Johnson noted that with an election held so recently voters had signaled that Davis was a strong candidate, and he was also one of the few people in the community who was ready to take the position.

Davis was out of town when the October meeting was held but signed his oath of office on Oct. 9. He joins the resort tax board at a busy time—the district has a request for proposal (RFP) out for help with a community strategic plan and is also hosting a summit Nov. 30 for representatives of other resort tax areas and communities around the state.

Proposed Big Sky substation moving through county review

EBS STAFF

On Sept. 28, NorthWestern Energy submitted application materials for a conditional use permit and the owners of the proposed Rainham substation site submitted a zone map amendment, or zoning change, to Gallatin County.

The Big Sky Advisory Committee will review both applications and provide comments and recommendations to the Gallatin County Planning and Zoning Commission, which will take that feedback into consideration as a part of their own review of each application. Following that review, the planning and zoning commission will have the authority to make a final decision on the conditional use permit application.

For the zoning amendment, the planning and zoning commission will forward the results of its review to the Gallatin County Commission, which has the final authority for its approval. Since all three county commissioners sit on the planning and zoning commission, they typically run the portion of the hearing related to a zoning amendment as a joint meeting between the two commissions.

Based on the published meeting schedules of the Big Sky Advisory Committee and both commissions, the stakeholders expect the applications to move forward on this tentative timeline:

Gallatin County will review and comment on both applications in October; the advisory committee will meet and review both applications Nov. 5; the planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing on both applications, and a joint county commission and planning and zoning commission hearing will be held for the zoning amendment Nov. 8; a second reading of the zoning resolution at a county commission meeting Nov. 20 or Nov. 27.

FWP receives grant to fight invasive mussels

MONTANA FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently awarded a $837,000 grant to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to combat invasive mussels in Montana. These grant funds will be used to improve inspection/decontamination stations; provide campsites for inspection staff; purchase inspection and decontamination equipment, materials and supplies, outreach materials, storage sheds, and shelters; and also provide for sampling and analysis.

“Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species like quagga and zebra mussels is a high priority for Reclamation,” said Reclamation’s Montana Area Manager Steve Davies. “The state of Montana is taking a leadership role with inspection and decontamination stations throughout the state. This funding will assist them with needed resources and equipment for two ‘at risk’ reservoirs: Tiber and Canyon Ferry.”

Most of the funding will be used at Tiber Reservoir, near Chester, since it’s the only reservoir in the state to test positive for aquatic invasive mussels in 2016. A large portion of funding will be used to construct a new campground loop and inspection site near Tiber Marina to provide needed campsites for inspection staff. A portion of the funding will also be used at Canyon Ferry Reservoir, near Helena, since a suspect sample was collected there.

“We are always looking for ways to improve Montana’s aquatic invasive species inspection and monitoring programs,” said Tom Woolf, FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau Chief. “The improvements being made at Tiber will help make the inspection process better for both boaters and our inspection staff.”

Visit cleandraindrymt.com for more information about the grant or Montana’s efforts to defend against aquatic invasive species. You may also call the FWP fisheries office at (406) 444-2440.