County set to review $20.8 million budget proposal

Park County Commissioners will discuss the preliminary county budget Wednesday morning. 

Next year’s $20.8 million proposed budget, which would spend $3.6 million more than last year, includes several major infrastructure projects, according to Commissioner Marty Malone.

“We could see a lot of needed infrastructure improvements,” Malone said. 

County taxpayers should not have to pay for any mills or tax increases to fund these projects, because many of the projects will receive substantial funding from state and federal funds as well as private local funds, he said.

The Fleshman Creek Urban Restoration Project is one of the major improvements scheduled to start this year, Malone said. 

The project, which would help prevent possible flooding by increasing the flow capacity in culverts, will receive $2.4 million from FEMA as well as matching funds from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. 

The county might be required to contribute up to $300,000 for its part of the Fleshman Creek restoration, Malone said.

The Rock Creek Road Project is another major improvement scheduled for this year. Crazy Mountain Ranch will pay for the significant portion of repaving the rural road outside of Clyde Park, which is about $1 million. The county will be expected to contribute about $200,000 for replacing a large culvert while the road is being re-done, Malone said.

Another proposed improvement is the Gardiner Gateway Project, which is a $24 million project that plans to revitalize the town and the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Malone said. 

Project plans call for installing a new drainage system throughout the park entrance and into the Gardiner area, he said.

Main Street will be resurfaced and the sidewalks will be re-done. 

A new sewer and water line will be installed on Main and Park Streets in conjunction with the other improvements.

Park County will share funding for this renovation with Yellowstone National Park and the Gardiner Water and Sewer District, Malone said. The county could be responsible for paying from $200,000 to $600,000 dollars of this project, he said.

One more possible infrastructure improvement next year is improving the Boulder River Road. This $7 million project, which will be shared by Park and Sweet Grass counties, is on hold, however, until the county hears back from a grant application they sent out to the Federal Lands Access Program, Malone said.

Even with all of these improvements, this year’s budget is “conservative and balanced,” Malone said.

Commissioners will discuss the preliminary budget at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Commissioners’ Chambers in the City-County Complex. The public is welcome to attend.

The final county budget will not be approved until September, Malone said.