Great Falls Tribune: Napolitano: Ill-fated border crossing 'solvable'

HAVRE– Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told concerned locals Wednesday that there may be a way to salvage an underused crossing post that was left in the lurch amid a multimillion renovation when the Canadians closed their side of the border.

The tiny border station — which not too long ago closed for the night by placing three orange traffic cones on the road — primarily serves as a passage for cross-border farmers on a lonely stretch of the border. An $8.5 million renovation was under way to deal with modern security needs when Canada announced it would close its side of the crossing that sees just five travelers a day.

That prompted U.S. officials to halt construction amid criticism that the whole project is a waste of taxpayer money.

Napolitano, holding a town hall in Havre with the state’s two U.S. senators, was told by locals that they don’t want to see the border closed, but they also don’t think it needs a multimillion dollar upgrade.

“Farmers that work hard for their money want to know about this $8 million fiasco,” said Julie French, a state legislator from nearby Scobey.

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