Havre Daily News: Tester calls for extended summer hours at Wild Horse

Montana’s U. S. Sen. Jon Tester has stepped into the fray over extending hours at the border port north of Havre.

Tester sent a letter to the acting director of U. S. Customs and Border Protection urging him to reconsider the agency’s decision not to again extend the summer hours at the Port of Wild Horse.

“The Port of Wild Horse is an economic asset to north-central Montana, ” Tester said this morning. “I’m pushing Customs and Border Protection to bring back extended hours for the port and encourage the Canadian side to do the same.

“It’s critically important to have Canada and the (United States) working together on this one, ” Tester added. “Because both sides of the border have yet to extend the hours for a significant time, we have yet to see the true economic possibilities of extended hours. ”

An international group, co-chaired by the mayors of Havre and Medicine Hat, Alberta, has been pushing for most of a decade to have the border port upgraded to a full-time commercial port.

The port now is open 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. during winter hours, and 8 a. m. to 9 p. m. in the summer. Commercial vehicles can only use the port if they receive a special permit.

In 2009, Customs and Border Protection gave a longer period of extended hours, from March 1 through Oct. 31 rather than the standard May 15 through Sept. 30.

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