Groups respond to anti-road closure campaign

 By Kay Braddock

        Closing that road just isn’t a good idea – it’s not good for the community and it’s not going to benefit local businesses. There’s got to be another way – other than completely shutting out public access - isn’t there?

That’s the sentiment local well driller Larry Bond and Kempton Hotel owner Russell Schwartz expressed at a recent Prairie County Board of Commission meeting. It’s the same sentiment they’ve expressed in letters addressed to the Terry Town Council and the Prairie County Chamber of Commerce.  
Let your voices be heard, the pair has declared. Write to the Montana Department of Transportation and let them know that we don’t want secondary highway 253 closed. 
It’ll be inconvenient. It’ll hurt our businesses. Has MDOT explored all viable options?  Is there a way to maintain single lane traffic during the proposed bridgework?
As if on cue, our local organizations have jumped on the “don’t close our road” bandwagon. All three entities, from the chamber of commerce and town council to the board of commission, have agreed to submit a letter of support to the pair’s campaign, expressing concern to MDOT District Administrator Ray Mengel.
Using tact and diplomacy, the groups are letting Mengel know, they’d prefer to keep this road open. Their message: Even if the closure is only temporary, it’s going to hurt Terry. If there is another way, please consider it.
The pair’s letter writing campaign has been effective. Groups have listened. They’ve considered what’s best for Terry, taken a reasoned approach and are willing to publically express their concern over the road’s closure.
It’s nice to see local governmental bodies and civic groups act on the voices of the little people, to step out on a limb - ever so delicately - and consider what’s best for the whole.
It poses the question, could a similar direction have been taken on a road closure of another kind?

Published Feb. 17, 2010

Article Type: 
Scenic View Road


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