Montana’s smallest county making big changes to save town, expand housing

Petroleum County

Petroleum County has fewer than 500 people in it, making it the least populated in a state that is still regarded in many places as “frontier.” It’s the seventh most rural county in America, and its county seat, Winnett, has a population of 200.

But the county and the city are doing more to build and preserve the town and address problems like affordable housing and economic development than counties many times its size. A group, Winnett ACES, an acronym for Agricultural Community Enhancement and Sustainability, is in the midst of transforming the Main Street of the cattle community into something that other communities dream of.

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