Consider them a very expensive houseguest.
The Rainbow Family came to Montana for only a few weeks this summer, but they cost Beaverhead County more than $250,000.
Local leaders are hoping to recoup most of that money — thanks to Gov. Steve Bullock’s July 1 executive order making county expenses related to the gathering eligible for state reimbursement.
About 10,000 people attended the week-long camp-out held near Jackson in July, though thousands of Rainbow people lingered in southwest Montana for about a month. The loosely affiliated members say they’re dedicated to peace and community; they have one large gathering each year.
The county is in the final stages of auditing its expenses, which total $262,982. The bill will be reduced by a two-mill levy of $27,042, and $3,106 of emergency funds that the county had on hand when the Rainbows arrived. That means the county will ask the state for about $232,834.
Beaverhead County Disaster and Emergency Coordinator David Marx is optimistic about the outcome.
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