Studying Malmstrom Development

The Great Falls Tribune reports that Cascade County now has a federal grant of $165,513 to study land use around Malmstrom AFB, Mont., and its outlying missile fields. Country commissioner Joe Briggs, said the grant “is plowing new ground,” since it’s the first time that such a project would include the missile sites. The city of Great Falls is participating in the study, which officials expect to complete by the end of 2010. Some Montana officials and residents have worried for several years that potential development around the base would forestall revival of a flying mission at the base and last year tried a novel bond initiative—that failed—to prevent such development. Meanwhile, the state’s Congressional delegation has been working to secure funds to upgrade the base’s missile facilities.