Public meeting for food processing plant postponed to December

The public hearing for the proposed Madison Food Park has been postponed.

The new tentative date is Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. at the Family Living Center in Expo Park.

The developers have submitted an application for a Special Use Permit to Cascade County. The proposed processing plant is an acceptable use, according to county planning, but the SUP process allows the county to add conditions that the developer must meet, such as road improvements and plans for water and sewer.

Major agri-business complex planned for Cascade County, with potential for 3,000 new jobs

Those plans must be signed off on by the Montana Department of Transportation, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the appropriate health agencies and more.

View all the public documents submitted to Cascade County, plus maps

Brian Clifton, county public works/planning director, told The Electric last week that the SUP application is the first step in getting all of those plans coordinated and required approvals. All of those approvals must be completed before the county would issue the SUP.

This project is located in Cascade County, outside the limits of the City of Great Falls. The voting body that would grant the SUP is the county Zoning Board of Adjustment.

No city boards or commissions have any jurisdiction over this project, nor does the County Commission.

Reaction to the project has been mixed and Clifton said public comments should be sent to the Cascade County Planning Division, 121 4th St. N., Suite 2H/I, Great Falls, MT 59401.

It’s best is comments are sent there, Clifton said, since the zoning board will oversee the public hearing and making the decision on issuance of the permit.

Any comments received are being sent to the county planning division for the zoning board. Comments received will be incorporated into the staff report analysis, Clifton said, if staff receives them prior to writing their report.

Clifton encouraged the public to submit comments by the end of October to ensure they are incorporated into the staff report.

The public will be able to present additional written and oral comments at the public hearing.