city hall

A maker of gluten-free cookies wants to set up shop in Belgrade but he is being caught up in “a perfect storm” of bureaucracy, city officials said Monday.

Rich Powell of Montana Cookie Company is growing out of his space along the Frontage Road near Mountain View subdivision, city planner Jason Karp told the Belgrade City Council. Powell is eyeing a 2.5 acre lot in the Belgrade North Business Park north of Glider Lane along the east side of Jackrabbit Lane.

The city is behind the request and wants more businesses to locate in town, but the future wastewater facility and its red tape is squeezing the request, according to city records.

The city lagoons are operating on borrowed time by the grace of the Department of Environmental Quality while a new sewerage facility is being planned, city engineer Keith Waring said. The state is keeping a keen eye on the sewer plant capacity, which is bumping up to the limit. Any violation could jeopardize growth.

“DEQ can come in and say no more permits,” he said.

The council could annex the property with the caveat that limits sewer hookup for up to five years, City Manager Ted Barkley said. But that would hinder the business’ ability to open.

The owner wasn’t present at the meeting to answer questions and the request was continued.

The council approved annexing phase two of the Yellowstone Airport Plaza and a 10-acre plot of state land set for a storage facility. The later doesn’t have sewage needs and the former is is already included in the sewage allotment.

The issue will be heard June 17.