For Immediate Release: October 18, 2018
Contact: Julie Gardner, (406)239-1848, email@example.com
500 Businesses, Organizations, Citizens and Community Leaders Endorse Open Space Bond, Stewardship Levy
Missoula, Mont. – As Missoula County voter begin returning absentee for the November election, the ballot committee, Yes for Open Space, Rivers and Farmland has announced that over 500 citizens, community leaders, businesses and organizations have endorsed the proposed bond and levy. Included among the supporters listed on the website are local businesses like The Big Dipper, The Trailhead, and Mamalode, as well as numerous Missoula-based organizations like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana Conservation Voters and the Missoula Downtown Association.
“We’re excited to see such broad and diverse support for renewing our county’s commitment to protecting open space, important farmland, and access to rivers and trails,” said Julie Gardner, treasurer of the ballot committee and a local real estate agent. “Missoula County is facing unprecedented growth right now, and I think people understand how important it is to protect important land and water for future generations.”
In July, the Missoula County Commissioners unanimously approved a citizen-initiated request to place a $15 million open space bond on the November ballot, and the city added a $500,000 stewardship levy to that request. Together, the open space measures will add about $2.00 per month to property taxes on a $200,000 home in the city. Outside the city, the bond will add $1.15 per month to the taxes on a similar-valued home.
If approved by voters on November 6, the open space measures will provide funds to secure permanent river access at Buckhouse Bridge and near Frenchtown, complete the Mount Dean Stone conservation project, and fund other important conservation opportunities are as they arise. All open space proposals are reviewed by citizen advisory committees and local governments prior to the expenditure of funds. Past voter-approved open space bond funds have, on average, leveraged four dollars in private, state or federal matching funds for every local dollar of bond revenue spent.
Absentee ballots are due back in the Elections Office by 8pm on November 6 – Election Day. They can be mailed or dropped off at the Elections Center at the County Fairgrounds where there is a secure, 24-hour drop-off box. Voters with questions about ballots or voting can contact the Elections Office at 258-4751 or visit MissoulaVotes.com.
To join the endorsement list, learn more about the open space bond and stewardship levy, visit www.YesForOpenSpace.org.