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Yellowstone River

Millions of dollars in planned projects to improve and develop Montana’s Yellowstone River recreation inched closer to becoming a reality Thursday (Feb. 15) night at the most recent Yellowstone River Recreation Advisory Committee meeting.

Funding for the Yellowstone River Recreation Project Plan comes from $2.3 million set aside from a $12 million settlement after a 2011 ExxonMobil pipeline rupture near Laurel spilled 63,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River, according to KPVI.

The committee, composed of three representatives from Yellowstone County, one from Billings, one from Laurel and two from Governor Steve Bullock’s office, spent roughly four hours reviewing more than 20 proposed projects and casting preliminary votes of approval for funding.

The top-ranked proposal is to provide $350,000 for the construction of a campground and boat ramps at Riverside Park in Laurel, followed by a $37,000 proposal for vault toilets near the ramp.

The campground will offer a space for locals, tourists and visiting family members to park fifth-wheel RVs. A proposed conceptual layout shows more than 30 RV sites and 10 tent sites in addition to picnic shelters and playgrounds.

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