State and local officials dedicated the new rest area on the eastern edge of Conrad this morning.   The facility is designed and landscaped with everything from lay of the land with just a few tall buildings rising to the Big Sky, to safety and individual privacy with 8 individual restrooms.

During the dedication ceremony this morning Conrad Mayor Wendy Judisch noted that it took three Mayors...starting with Byron Grubb, then John Shevlin and now her, to the project completed.

Mick Johnson the District Supervisor for the Montana Department of Transportation called it incomparable among Rest Area's in Montana and maybe among the best in the U-S.     The project cost was approximately 4.17 million with 87-percent coming from Federal Highway dollars and the rest from matching State Funds.   KSEN asked Johnson if he thought the benefits would exceed the cost.   This was his response:

"I absolutely do and here's why."  "First of all when you build a project like this, you build an entire community."  "You've got the sanitary system and the water system that will support an entire community."  "There's extended water lines to the specifications that the city wanted, I think they're 8"  We opened up property that was non-developable prior to this Rest Area and we have provided shovel-ready property to the City of Conrad and I understand that they have split into half a dozen parcels and some buy-sells already in place.    Conrad Mayor Wendy Judisch has told us that there are 6 Buy-sell agreements in place and 7 properties.

Conrad electrician Ted Kronebusch won the contract to provide the state of the art lighting in the facility.   He says "what makes this a really important project for the City of Conrad is, if I can get you to stop here for a few minutes, you may go across the street and buy an ice cream cone or fill your car with gas.   All of that generates money for our community and that's a good deal.

There was a big turnout for the Ribbon Cutting this (Mon.) morning and the U-S and Montana Flags were raised above the building and the doors opened for the first time.