By Missoula Midtown

The Missoula Midtown Association is facilitating a community discussion surrounding the proposed plans for the future of the Fairgrounds on Wednesday, July 13th, at 5:30 PM, at the Fairground’s Home Arts building.

County administrators will present the current proposed design for the 46-acre property, collecting comments for an upcoming vote by the Board of County Commissioners. The commissioners are accepting comments on this plan up to July 27th, making this presentation an excellent opportunity to share your thoughts.

Years of public discussion and needs analysis for the property has been distilled and several versions have been presented to the Fairground Advisory Committee. That group selected a preferred alternative, which will be voted upon by the commissioners just days following this presentation and discussion.

“There have been years of work put into this plan,” said Commissioner Nicole Rowley, “and while it’s impossible to meet the needs and desires of everyone interested in operations at the Fairgrounds, planners, architects, and members of the Advisory Committee are proposing solid concepts for development.”

The fairgrounds occupy about 46 acres of a larger, 160-acre site that includes parkland, schools and ball fields. While the property has languished over several decades, renewed interest in Midtown and dedication to traditions of agricultural and livestock heritage bring forward the latest potential design for a renewed fairground property that can serve current and future needs of Missoula County.

“Membership of the Missoula Midtown Association encourages discussion that allows our members and neighbors the opportunity to weigh in on the preferred alternative design,” says Mark Bellon, President of the Midtown Association.

“There has been tremendous excitement about the growth that’s happening in Midtown, and the Missoula Midtown Association encourages greater community engagement for this development on all levels,” Bellon added. "The Missoula Midtown Association Board welcomes all members of the public – and especially the neighbors and businesses in Midtown – to attend this community conversation that impacts the fairgrounds, which is one of the jewels of Midtown.”

The Missoula Midtown Associations is an organization dedicated to the promotion, enhancement, and accessibility of the midtown area as it relates to businesses, residents and the community. Its goals are to provide resources and information related to the success and growth of a healthy business community and to enhance the quality of life and quality of place for visitors and residents alike.