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Better places to build
Today Miles City is at a threshold. Do we have development, and if so, where is it and what is it going to look like? Different groups have very different ideas. The agriculture segment, the backbone of our economy for the past 150 years, does not want to see commercial development south of Miles City. The “Fast Buck” people want to have growth at any price.
The Diamond J Company should be located where other similar companies are. An excellent example is Yellowstone Hill. Presently, Yellowstone Hill is the home of Wacker Trucking, Doeden Construction, Western Powder Company and Oftedal Construction. They're all great companies, they all do good work, but no one wants them near their residence.
Presently, the City of Miles City has property west of the airport that is available for use. It also has gravel resources that can be sold to customers. The argument that sewer and water are not available is not valid. Wells can be drilled and holding tanks for sewage can be installed with sewage contracts to haul to the city sewage plant. Presently, Oftedal Cosntruction handles sewer and water in this manner, and it works very well.
The argument that jobs will be lost if Diamond J is not allowed to build south of Miles City is also not valid. A good retail gravel operation functioning on Yellowstone Hill will probably create more jobs and much-needed competition.
The developers seeking zoning changes (from agricultural to commercial) south of Miles City are being very short sighted - they only see $$ signs in front of them. If these would-be developers had any foresight and any desire to be good custodians of the land, they would have a comprehensive plan in place. There would be covenants that would protect the surrounding agricultural landand would also have the potential to develop something beneficial to all of Miles City. As it is, greed leads the way.