Residents weigh in on master plan for fairgrounds, regional park


Residents weigh in on master plan for fairgrounds and regional park

BOZEMAN, Mont. - People packed a room at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds Wednesday night to weigh in on the future of the fairgrounds and regional park.

We spoke to Michael Harris, the director of Gallatin County Conservation and Parks. Harris explained planners are updating the fairgrounds and regional park master plans together.

"Master plans are done every five years. Both entities are looking at the same limited resources and as we try to build our facilities, and so we wanted to make sure what we are providing was not duplicating or competing," said Harris.

Bozeman area residents like Lanie Cook joined in on the public forum to help contribute to the big picture.

"I just need to speak up for the dog owners and make sure we keep part of the park available for dogs," said Cook.

While Cook talked about what she wants to see happen to the regional park, she also weighed in on the fairgrounds.

"If they have a big concert, like a big music venue, I would love to come to the fairgrounds all the time," said Cook.

Cook is referring to the proposed ice climbing tower that would also serve as a concert venue. But some residents we spoke to, like Larry Barnard, are not in agreement.

"We are already inundated with a lot of sound coming from the fairgrounds," said Barnard.

He lives near the fairgrounds and says he is concerned about a possible ice tower and event venue.
"Everything about our lifestyle is getting louder in this town," said Barnard.

Harris tells me this discussion will help them develop the fairgrounds and regional park into places where Gallatin Valley residents will spend more time.

"We want guidance and we want people to solidify what we already think should be on these plans," said Harris.

Harris said they should have a draft of the new master plans by December. If you missed the meeting Wednesday night, there is one more. It is scheduled for November 20 at the fairgrounds.

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