Laying on the desk next to Ravalli County Commissioner Suzy Foss is a binder five fingers thick, filled with hundreds of pages of public comments.
Residents in Ravalli County are actively voicing their concerns for the land, water and wildlife that may be in danger if the county approves a development plan proposed by Sunnyside Orchards LLC for the Ravalli County land known as Legacy Ranch.
The public comment period is over as of last Monday, and Monday developers gave their rebuttal.
Territorial-Landworks Inc. is the civil engineering firm hired by Sunnyside Orchards to do the research to support development.
Territorial-Landworks’ CEO and project manager Jason Rice presented the commissioners with his company's proposal for easing public concerns.
He said sewer systems will not be made up of a band of volunteers, but rather they will consist of hired administrators and operators who are qualified under the state of Montana.
As for the concerns about expanding the old East Side Highway, Rice says those plans were already in county planning budget.
"East Side Highway is already scheduled for widening and improvements even in this vicinity over the next four to five years as compared to this project that's scheduled over the next 30-plus years," Rice says.
Commissioners were unable to come to a decision Monday.
Deliberation will continue tomorrow morning from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ravalli County Commissioners' meeting room in Hamilton.