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Montana Street Page A-9 - Un i os I'kiiu m Wednesday. December 8. dOO-t Continued from page A-l January 4 - March 10,2005 Every Tuesday and Thursday 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. n ... CI • e • n m Pre-Registration Dillon Flying Service Office , B H 2400 Airport Road ,S . : ‘,Uir8,V n Dillon, Montana 59725 Tuition- 350 Contact Jean or Dennis 683-5242 Materials- *170 i f U I U ^ H ‘NfrV i ■L V' ) \ N-vKi. i '* is# ‘ 4 j j l FÄ ? ; f t * . , iijfJ DilloN jAyccE L in lt SkiER P rogram - SiqN Up ANd Check O ut is W ec I. D ec . 15 t U ANd FnidAy D ec . 17 t I i . 6:70 - 9 : 0 0 p.M. 4 - H BuildiNq at FAÌRqitouNds Erosion, weeds, poor range health... whatever the conservation problem, chances are we can help. Check o ut assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Visit your local NRCS office or call us toll free at 866-880-NRCS to find out how we can help you accomplish your goals. Apply for 2005 conservation programs by Dec. 15, 2004, or Feb. 15, 2005. &NRCS USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Malesich started the evening's work on the project by present ing a resolution that would for mally authorize eonstruction of the storm drain sy.-tem and re paving Montana Street South, from Reeder to Helena Street, where it would join with the re cently completed Montana North project., The mayor noted he did not feel a resolution was actually re quired, because funding for the project had previously been au thorized both in the bond issuing documents of the city's debt refi nancing last year and in both the 2003 and 2004 budgets. But be cause at least some council mem bers had objected that they had not voted on a resolution for the project, Malesich had directed City Attorney W. G. Gilbert to draft one for the meeting. The resolution outlines the project's history The resolution, in addition to giving approval for the project and how it would be financed, also outlined the history of the project itself, dating back to Mayor Jim Wilson in 1995 and several years later, when city councilman George Warner was then mayor. That historical account drew the objections of Warner, who stiid \it contains a number of state ments damaging to the city in the past.\ Warner then ticked his way through the resolution, giving his opinion on several paragraphs, and contradicting the statement that the council had approved call ing for bids on an early hid pro cess, that resulted in ti bid too high for the city to award. He also questioned some line items on the budget and finished up his critique of the resolution by saying \my concern is that some funding mechanism can be reversed tin the future). It won't hold mustard,\ lie warned, refer ring lo the possibility of the Pub lic Service Commission objecting to the use of water and sewer money for repayment of loans. It that were to happen, he said, \I here are not enough funds to cover it.\ Warner requests SID to pay for street project Warner also repeated his re quest that a Special Improvement District be formed so that prop erty owners would pay for the paving project, although it is a T ™ Over 60 t All-Digital Channels i Including Local Channels* StartingAt Î O Q 9 9 - ( / < / ( / / ( / / f a / / o i / ( i t main arterial for the city. He stressed he was not against the street project... \I want to see it done. I've always wanted to see it done. I want a safe funding mechanism that will work.\ Under the resolution, the city would pay for the estimated $363,000 project, which includes engineering, inspection, construc tion and paving for the project, from several sources. The city's street maintenance district would pay $100,060 and borrow another $122,000 from reserves in the Water and Sewer Department, That money would be repaid with interest in the amount of about $25,000, from gas tax revenues and or street maintenance rev enues. The remainder of the project, or approximately $150,000, would be paid from the city's capital project fund. In answer to a question from City Council President J. S. Turner, a proponent of the project, Warner said using the entire city street maintenance reserve would not be a problem. \The problem is,\ he reiterated, \that we get the entire project done with funding that will take on the project. We don't want to do the project and find it won't work,\ and maybe, he said, it re sults in a lawsuit. Turner answered back the resolution did just that and out lined the ways it would be paid. The refinancing of the city's debt last year took care of the portion covering the storm drain con struction, a method that Warner has criticized. Malesich turned to the city at torney and asked him, \Do you have any doubt on this?\ Gilbert said the city was within its authority to build both sewers and storm sewers, and that it could even use water reserves for their construction. While there were some restrictions, Gilbert said, on proportions of revenues and other regulations, generally the city could indeed use such funding for building the storm sewer portion of the project. The city, he noted is also em powered to protect its aquifer, or groundwater, not just to deal with a specific threat on the ground water or aquifer, but to generally protect it in the future. The city's main well, is within 100 feet of Montana Street, and such a project would protect it from possible pollution. Most statutes, Gilbert said, don't specifically address the situ- ation Dillon faces, but they do cover a sanitary sewer levy an d how it can be used for payments of a storm sewer. And that is how, Gilbert said, the city has set this up, utilizing monev recovered from refinane- Lost November 28 Small loop earring with small blue yogo sapphire stone. Please call 406-251-5286 ing the city's outstanding water and sewer debt to take advantage of a lower rate of interest and acquiring nearly $2 million in ad ditional funding for capital im provements to the water and sewer infrastructure. Gilbert said that according to his legal research, there is no problem in borrowing the money and no problem for using the wa ter and sewer funds for storm drains. The refinancing of the city's debt specifically placed the storm sewer project into the city's bond ing mechanism. City attorney says no legal problems in it Saying he did not feel there was any legal problem in the project as outlined in the resolu tion, he added \we can go right ahead and do it.\ He noted that if a portion of the project should somehow be overturned, there are still suffi cient city reserves to cover that sitatuion. \I just don't see any legal prob lem,\ Gilbert added. In response to a question from council member Mike Klakken, Gilbert stressed there did not have to be a specific threat to the city's aquifer, hut that just pro tecting it from potential prob lems, through the storm sewer, especially instead of French drains which let the surface wa ter drain into the groundwater, is enough. Malesich said that what the city is trying to do \is pretty com mon sense. Do we need a storm drain? Yes.\ He also pointed out that the Montana Street South project has brought the storm sewer system up to Helena Street and that the proposed project would connect to it. \We have researched it. We have a legal opinion we can use the sewer and water money. If we're short we can borrow from the water and sewer and pay it back out of the gas tax money. It can be done. It's not something we just thought up.\ Council member Swede Troed- sson noted that \if the city attor ney has a high confidence level, we should go. We can't continue to let this project be stonewalled by one person (referring to Warner).\ Turner said he talked to a num ber of people concerning the project and there were only a few questions. The rest, he said, were definitely in favor. \We need to move forward with the wishes of the people., We need to move for ward and pull our heads out of the sand.\ When the vote was taken, both Turner and Warner voted no, find the other six members of the council voted to proceed with the project. In a related matter, a special improvement district, which had S.W. 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Available m 12-16 lb Whole or 6-8 lb Halves Roberts Packing Call 683-5542 ° E • ! g # l | # % ^ 0 f g $ been proposed earlier this year and defeated by having over 50 percent of the property owners protest it, was put back on the table. That district, known as Spe cial Improvement District 36, would have originally provided sidewalks on the east side of Mon tana Street South, along with new, period-style street lights and some landscaping. After a hearing process, the district was turned down by the property owners on the east side of the street. A second attempt, without the lights and landscaping and with some differences in the actual lo cations of the sidewalks, was floated a number of weeks ago. As of last week's meeting, Male sich said, property owners of 80 percent of the affected district's lineal footage had signed a peti tion to establish a district under the changed description. A key element would be the elimination of the lights, about one third of the total cost of the project, but with the installation of conduit under the sidewalk lo allow easy installation of lights in the l'oute. The present lights, on wooden poles, would be kept in place and used to light the area. Klakken argued that he did not feel that the district had changed \very much\ and Warner stressed that \we are protected by the stat utes\ of running the district again before six months had passed, which would be in mid-January. \We are personally liable,\ Warner said, a statement that had been refilled by Gilbert. Councilmember Frank Mastandrea challenged Warner, noting \we have a legal opinion from our attorney. Do you have an opposing legal opinion? We have been told it is legal.\ Malesich again asked Gilbert his opinion on the issue, asking him \Do you feel it is different?\ Gilbert said he had reviewed the statutes, and looked at u num ber cases of similar issues. There have been some where similar situations existed and where the decision was favorable to the property owners who want to have the new district approved. Only affected property own ers, he stressed, would have a le gal right to sue in the matter, he added. A public hearing will he held and the property owners will have a right to protest, as they did before. Council okays SID for sidewalk improvements Malesich said he went with a petition to show the approval of the property owners because, lie told the council \I didn't think you take my word for it.\ One of those property owners, Jeri Wagner, mid the council she felt the project had been greatly changed, and that she had changed her opinion because ol those changes, and had signed the petition to establish the district. Waiting to do the project later, Malesich said, and missing the opportunity to bid I lit sidewalk project with the street pioject. which would happen if the eit\ waited mild .lamtarv to begin pro eeedtngs on an SID, would cost the properlv owners form SH>- 20.000 more When tin inti- was taken on continuing .niton on the SID, W;u tier abstained ami Klakken voted \no All otlu't council mem bers \o'ed I'm tin- issue rite i tl\' will semi nut not it ion iums to propel I’, owners about the SID. and set a tune tot a hear mg on I he IS- ue Malesich expressed Ins plea sure m tuv.Iii pelting I'olli pi ejects I in lla.-t along in the pro cess, attd s': e--i d. tin importance of both tin si reel and. storm ‘-run and the .special I mpi'in cnient 1is ) trict to tnipn vr the sidewalks. 1 !e said. Inlet that the ettv will eoiitinia a i i ! el 1 oi 1 s to wot k on gt ants I,,: hghtiiig and sjdowulk mipi oveliietits o:i 'lit- west side o! the sin-t i. which is prtninrilv owned Iw tin railroad and leased hv tin nt', and ( ouiili He also saal v. .a), <■■■ (in-nmnne on »level oping gaikina in the atea of the old Garpita Budding We've Moved... Phil and Pattie have moved the Christmas trees to Quality Supply Parking Lot! Open Daily 10:30 a.m. We look forward to serving you. = Jk t 1