Big Sky Cheese hearing set for June 27
A public hearing on the Big Sky Cheese application has been scheduled for 5 p.m. June 27 in the Family Living Center at Expo Park.
Big Sky Cheese applied in April for a special use permit for a value-added agricultural commodity processing facility.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment will hold the public hearing to consider the application.
The proposed plant would be located in the agricultural zoning district and be located at 8346 U.S. Highway 89.
The application and supplementary materials are on file in the Planning Division’s office or online here.
Any interested person may appear and speak for or against this proposal at the public hearing or submit in writing any comments to the Cascade County Planning office, 121 4th St. N., Suite 2 H/I, Great Falls, MT 59401.
According to the application, Madison Food Park’s principal owners intend to develop Big Sky Cheese as a value added dairy/cheese processing facility.
“The scope and scale of the proposed Big Sky Cheese project will include, when complete, a state-of-the art, environmentally friendly facility for the processing of fresh milk supplied by local and regional dairy producers into a variety of cheese products,” according to the application. “The principals of MFP anticipate that when the development is complete and the facilities are operating at full capacity, the cheese and dairy facility will create approximately 5-10 employment opportunities for laborers as well as skilled and management level positions.”
Big Sky Cheese registered with the Montana Secretary of State on April 16 and the registered agent is Church Harris, a Great Falls law firm, which is also the registered agent for Madison Food Park and is listed on the Big Sky Cheese application.
The Great Falls Development Authority has approved a $2.27 million bridge loan package to the Madison Food Park for their Bid Sky Cheese project.
Madison Food Park has submitted an application for a special use permit in April and no hearing before the Zoning Board of Adjustment has yet been scheduled, according to the county planning office.
The bridge loan to Big Sky Cheese is for pre-development work, potentially some infrastructure, according to Brett Doney, head of the Great Falls Development Authority.
The proposed project includes a new processing building that will be about 20,000 square feet, according to the application, and access to the site will be from U.S. Highway 89.
The facility would operate 260 days per year and a typical processing day would be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with facility cleaning and maintenance throughout the day as well as 4-7 p.m. each evening and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. according to the application.
The facility will also include a small retail area for sampling and purchasing cheese products. The retail area will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the application.
The developers anticipate traffic based on a delivery capacity of 8,000 gallons to be 1.35 milk delivery trucks daily; 1.21 liquid whey delivery trucks daily; 1 value added cheese delivery trucks daily; 2 supply trucks weekly; 1-2 trucks daily for lab samples and packages; 1 mail truck daily and two trucks weekly for garbage/refuse. That totals about 6.86 trucks daily and about 35 weekly, according to the application.