The Missoula County Commissioners on Monday approved a $15 million general obligation open space bond to be placed on the November general election ballot.

Commissioner Dave Strohmaier said the decision was made after a public hearing to place the bond before the voters.

“It’s hard to say which exact projects would come forward that the bond monies would pay for,” said Strohmaier. “We might have a willing landowner who wants to put a conservation easement on a parcel of agricultural land in the Potomac Valley, for instance. And a determination would be made if that was an appropriate expenditure of open space bond monies. There have been any number of projects put forward by Five Valleys Land Trust in terms of stream access, preserving agricultural land or in the Missoula area for acquiring land on Mount Dean Stone for additional conservation efforts there.”

If the bond is approved by the voters in November, Strohmaier described the impact on county residents’ property tax bills.

“For a $257,000 home, you would be looking at about $17 a year in property tax increases, which would of course be higher depending on the value of your home,” he said. “Polling conducted both within the city and in the county looked positive, however, if they say ‘no’ the bond will be voted down. That’s democracy at work.”

In the past few years, Missoula residents have approved a $42 million parks bond, $158 million in school bonds and $35 million for a new public library.

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