Residents of Ramsay, Montana, were shocked when they heard that Love’s Travel Stops was pulling out of a construction plan they had been fighting — but losing — at every stage. The small village near Butte is only 40 houses encompassing five blocks, but residents joined together to push back the travel center behemoth.
A five-year war against a major corporation by a small town is something out of the movies
Townspeople of Ramsay have fought since Day One back in January 2017 against the plans by Love’s to build a truck stop/casino in their town. Residents rebelled against the plans stating that the truck stop would bring in crime, drugs, transients, pollution and disease.
Love’s had planned to build a rather large facility, with a convenience store, Arby’s-branded diner, 111-space parking lot, tire care shop and casino. The local economy would have loved those jobs, but there were some big issues that were flaring tempers.
The area had no sewage treatment lines, so Love’s had planned for an open-air lagoon for the sewage, which of course made the townspeople angry. The town had just completed reclamation work on the nearby Silver Bow Creek and were fearful of the damage a sewage spill would cause.
Even after losing every legal battle, they preserved and stood their ground
The fight against Love’s was won on the public relations field, and not in the courtroom. Ramsay citizens have fought and lost every legal battle, which amplified the shock of when Love’s threw in the towel.
The citizens asked the zoning board, at local and state level, to deny permits and surveys needed for approval. They asked the Department of Revenue to deny the liquor license for the casino, which would have been a big blow to the income potential of the building.
County commissioners heard from their constituents, where they told them they had to follow the legal process and denied the townsfolk an emergency zoning request. The commission on April 29 approved all permits Love’s needed to start building.
The Ramsay residents were preparing to go to the appeals court, which usually sided with the zoning commissions. No one knows why Love’s threw in the towel. Some say that the travel center giant had cold feet on going in front of cameras to explain why they wanted to deny the local townsfolk’s request to not build in their idyllic community.