City Commission: East Side

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Watching the City Commission meeting on channel 7 right now – the discussion about potential development on the East side of town versus the potential of Malmstrom AFB gaining a flying mission. Very passionate debate on both sides. Best line of the night came from John Stevens, an 80-year old gentleman who pointed out that the future of the base will be made by the folks in Washington DC – no matter what we do here in Great Falls. His point, roughly, was that Great Falls should do what it needs to do, regardless of what the politicians in DC say or do – go with the “sure thing” and allow development on the East side; he recalled that the city was surprised when Malmstrom was selected for a base decades ago, and that the base could be gone on the whim of some politicians. He wrapped up his comments by half-joking that “the best way to keep Malmstrom is to tell ’em we don’t want it!” That got a hearty laugh from the Commission and the crowd

OK – what do YOU think about the issue? Should Great Falls allow/encourage East side development? Or should Great Falls defer to the potential for gaining a flying mission for Malmstrom, and let the East side remain “safe” for take-off/landing aircraft?

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3 Comments

  1. The air missions we had in the past made sense for our position on the boarder. With the USSR no longer around we don’t need bombers or a refueling wing to strike/defend from them on our northern boarder. We need to accept a bird in hand instead of continually passing it over for two in the bush. The “Big One” has been coming for almost 20 years now. How long do we let the town grow in an unbalanced fashion until we accept the reduced size of our base? Besides that, why couldn’t the runway just be extended north another 2000 feet and none of this would be an issue.

  2. I think Great Falls needs to decide to be a town in and of itself. It’s time to stop relying on the base to sustain the town. As has been said before, you can do whatever you want to **maybe** get a flying mission back but the folks in D.C. will do what they want. Why not keep the town growing and strengthening on it’s own so that one day it won’t matter if Malmstrom closes? Also, people need to accept the fact that Malmstrom’s mission is no longer flying — it’s ICBM’s. Deal with it.

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