Fort Fed: A City/County Fortress For Christmas?

by Travis Mateer

One of the VERY exciting things happening next year is the “free” acquisition of the Federal building that will eventually house the assembled administrative forces of City/County officials. Here’s the funny thing about acquiring a “free” Federal building, it’s actually kinda expensive, as KGVO reported a few weeks ago (emphasis mine):

The city and county have been interested in getting the building for “free” and using the space as a joint facility to solve the growing crunch for space for both jurisdictions. But getting the building converted isn’t cheap. Some estimates placed that cost as high as $ 40 million, although that figure has been quoted much lower this year, down to less than $ 10 million.

Where the money comes from is still a major question in a community strapped by tight revenue and complaints over taxes. But city officials argue the consolidation of government offices and services into a single location could actually save money.

Sure, it might be as expensive as 40 million to get this “free” building, but it COULD actually save money. No, they don’t think you’re stupid. Have you seen this building? It’s a fortress, and I drove around it yesterday to remind myself how pictures don’t do this post office AND federal building justice.

This building looks pretty torch-and-pitchfork-proof, which is good, considering the only takeaway our elected officials have apparently gotten from the failure of the crisis mill levy is the need to lobby the legislature next month for MORE creative ways to impose taxing schemes on the public.

One of the nice things about this building complex that no one has reported on yet is the security features ALREADY in place, like the ability to scan items for weapons and explosives. I noticed this security years ago when I went to pick up donations of office supplies for the homeless shelter. It seemed excessive, so I asked, and was told an interesting story.

Not wanting to just relate something I remember being told years ago, I decided to park and enter Fort Fed for a quick inquiry. The serious looking security man came out of his security room and I asked him if it was true that the building our local officials are trying to acquire was on the list of potential targets found on a guy by the name of Timothy McVeigh. Yes, I was told, that’s the story they’ve heard about the building.

So far I haven’t found anything corroborating this story, but I’m going to keep digging. Why? Because I think it will make our elected officials feel safer to know a terrorist took a big pass on this hefty piece of property.

If YOU would like to stop taking a pass on that donation you’ve been meaning to drop me before Christmas, I have good news: there’s still time! Just visit my about page to make your merry contribution. Any little bit helps, and get ready for MORE interesting news to come!

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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