By Michael Howell
The County Commissioners made an about face last week concerning their decision the previous week to withdraw from the Bitter Root Economic Development District (BREDD), the federally designated economic development district for western Montana covering Mineral, Missoula and Ravalli counties. On Tuesday, September 13, the commissioners decided to rescind that decision and remain a member of the district.
Commission Chair J.R. Iman said that the commission remains very dissatisfied with the district and its policies. He said the commission still believes that the current structure of BREDD does not serve Ravalli County’s interests and is in fact in competition with them.
“But right now we have contractual arrangements involving grants that are based on our participation in that district and we do not want to jeopardize those ongoing projects,” said Iman.
The County is currently supporting a grant through its BREDD connections for sewer improvements in the Tax Increment Financing District north of Stevensville that would provide sewer service to Selway Corporation and other residences in the district.
The Commissioners voted unanimously to rescind the decision to withdraw from the district.