June 16, 2011 Posted by Emily in Business, Lifestyle, Local, News, Regional
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Gallatin County Commission passes Big Sky Park District resolution

By Katie Morrison

On Tuesday June 14, the Gallatin County Commission passed a resolution of intent to create the Big Sky Meadow Trails, Recreation and Parks Special District. This resolution is one step toward creating a multi-jurisdictional district encompassing both the meadow and mountain villages of Big Sky.

Since Nov. 2010, a collaborative group representing numerous Big Sky entities and residents has worked toward a solution for Big Sky to maintain control of the parks, trails and recreation in our community. The answer: create a self-funded multi-jurisdictional park district. In order to accomplish this, both Gallatin and Madison counties must pass a resolution and an inter-local agreement allowing a single five-member board to administer the combined district. This district would benefit Big Sky in numerous ways, from qualifying for additional grant funding sources, to providing Big Sky with a locally controlled public infrastructure for parks, trails and recreation.

With the passage of the resolution in Gallatin County, the next step is to present a similar resolution and inter-local agreement to the Madison County Commission on June 21, 2011. The Madison County Commission has been in support of such a resolution up to this point, including a memo to the Gallatin County Commission stating their support. After both Commissions have passed the resolution, they must also agree upon an inter-local agreement to administer the district through a single board comprised of residents from each county. Gallatin County will also be mailing a notice to property owners within the Gallatin County portion of the district to notify them of a 30-day protest period, allowing them to make a written protest regarding the proposed program or improvements in the district, which will be self funded and will not be assessing fees or taxes. During the 30-day protest period, the Big Sky Community Corporation (BSCC), along with other partners, will be hosting a public meeting to answer any questions at noon on July 13, at the Big Sky Chapel. Comments submitted thus far to Gallatin County have all been in support of the district. Barring significant protests to the resolution, the Commission will finalize both the inter-local agreement and resolution, and the district will be officially created.

With questions regarding the Big Sky Park District, or to make a contribution toward this effort, please contact Katie Morrison, Executive Director of the BSCC, at katie@bsccmt.org or (406) 993-2112.