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THE OSPREYS that have made their home on the Birdland bridge for the past several years are back again this summer. They've built a new nest to rr PEAK of a pine snag is a favorite post from which the male osprey scans the area around the Birdland bridge. Billy Watters, who resides a few hundred yards upstream, has watched the ospreys for years and says he's never seen them miss when they dive into the river after a fish. STATE 1:!STOICAL SOCIETY 11ELE1:A. 1;011T/1NA 59601 LIBRARY MONTANA WT0HICAL SOCIETY Momana 59603 Sanders County replace the one that they formerly used. Female can be seen on the nest while 1 - ',r• mate keeps a watchful eye at right. (Ledger photos) Land cheap in Plains In these days of high land prices and scarcity, Aaron Craig appears to have obtain- ed a bargain --24 lots in the city of Plains at $10 each for a total price of $240. Sale of the lots was approved by Judge Fdward Weather Dussault in District Court here last week. The land -Lots 1 to 22 in Block I and Lots 1 and 2 in Block 2 in the Original Townsite of Plains --had never been claimed. They are located on the rocky hill behind the McGowan block. June 14 A• 46 1' June 14 76 41 .02 June 15 80 49 .04 Junej 78 45 .01 June lt; 77 46 1 June 16 73 44 .02 Jur , '7 'Ski45 n June 17 88 41 0 91) 0 June 18 94 42 0 June 19 94 47 0 June 19 96 46 0 June 20 85 58 .01 .71 , 1Je ' 4 / 80 59 . 20 David Thompson Most Widely Circulated Newspaper in Sanders County THOM PSON FALLS, MONTANA 59873 June 23, 1977 Single Copy I CURB SNOW PLOWING County curtails equipment usage A resolution sharply cur- tailing and possibly eliminat- ing future loaning or rental of county equipment, sale and loading of county owned gravel and removal of snow from private roads, drives and parking lots has been adopted by the Sanders County commissioners. The action taken Friday is to avoid competition with private industry and local firms who can provide the services commercially, the commissioners said. While not eliminating en Many fail to file for tax relief Sanders County homeown- ers are reminded that to be eligible for property tax relief under the new Homestead Relief Act, they have only till June 30 to file their applicat- ions with the county assessor. The tax measure was passe(' by initiative in the election last November and was later amended and funded by the 1977 legisla- ture. The act is effective for the 1977 tax year. Property owners will be required to return two copies of the application to the county assessor not later than June 30. Applications will not be accepted by the assessor after that date. When the assessor has completed the forms, one copy will go to the Dept. of Revenue in Helena, the other will remain at the assessor's office. It was explained that when mill levies are set in August, the assessor will calculate the state share mill levy for the Baxter appointed to trustee post A mother and Thompson Falls High School graduate. Mrs. Susie Baxter, has been chosen as trustee for School Dist. 2 to fill the vacancy caused by the recent resigna- tion of Jack Fisher. Mrs. Baxter will assume her duties immediately and will serve until the next annual school election in April 1978. Some of the reasons listed for choosing Mrs. Baxter during the deliberations by Chairman Dale Heller, Nor- man Williams and Hank Laws included a desire to have a woman on the board and to choose a person who knows local people and the commun- ity. The trustees also noted that Mrs. Baxter is A registered nurse. The trustees listed the nsmr , r.i 'east eight other persons whose names had been mentioned for the appointment. They included Jimme Wilson of Whitepine, Myrna Bybee, Everet Mc- Kenzie, Jeri Fisher, Ernest Franke, Ron Kazmierczak, Lout! Dufresne and Laurel Mahoney. The first meeting of the board at which Mrs. Baxter will attend will be the board's annual budget meeting Mon- day, June 27. Because of the late hours at which board sessions have been ending, the trustees decided to change the meeting time to 7 p.m. in the future Instead of 8 p.m. as has been customary for several years. In other business at their June session, the trustees approved wage increases of approximately 10 per cent for all non certified employes - maintenance, office, cooks and part-time workers. Lowest hourly wage to be paid after July 1 will be $2.50 for suinmer help. Supt. lArrae Rocheleau informed the board that Mrs. Gladys Burghard is retiring from the lunch room staff and that Ruth LaBrosse will be moved into Mrs. Burghard's position. Rick Reid was named supervisor of all cleaning personnel in the elementary complex. In an effort to control rising fuel costs, the trustees voted in favor of employing Honey- well to check and repair the elementary heating system and also check and calibrate all controls in the high school's electric heating system. The cost of the contract is not to exceed 13,999. In the elementary complex oil heated burner system. Honeywell will: --Check all temperature controls. Adjust Fuel air mixture on two boiler burners. Adjust manual volume for fuel economy. Install night automatic set- back controls to adjust burn- ing or operations of the heating system according to the outside temperatures. Honeywell estimates that as a result of the work the district will achieve savings in Its fuel costs. The firm stated the district could save up to $7,310 annually in the ele- mentary complex and up to $2,058 in the high school. The board also approved the purchase of lockers for the boys locker rooms now being remodeled in the old gym. Rocheleau noted that new lockers have already been purchased for the girls. The lockers will cost 81.254. Authorization was given to order a Stihl chainsaw for $2.85. The saw will be used to trim, prune and cut trees in the area where the swimming pool will he built and also behind the high school. Superintendent Rocheleau advised the trustees that the special education budget for the 1977-78 school year, which is financed 100 per cent by the state, has been approved. The budget is for 898.819. down $104 from a year ago when the budget totaled $98,923. Rocheleau said there are no program cutbacks and the reductions were made in maintenance and operation. The state will contribute $9,300 for maintenance of elementary complex buildings where special education class- es are conducted. The budget also pays $3,344 of the annual district salary paid to Roche- leau. Three bids for surplus used equipment were received and accepted by the trustees. ( Please turn to p.2) school district and send that information to the Dept. of Revenue, with the state agency then calculating the state share for every home owner. Notices will be sent to the homeowners listing the amount of his tax relief, with copies to the county treasur Cr. The property owner then may substract the state share and pay the remainder of his total property tax bill. The state will then reim burse the counties for the full amount of the state share. State funds will be distributed to the taxing district within the county. Mobile homeowners will be required to apply for relief at the same time AS other qualified taxpayers and will also receive notification of the state share of the tax. The legislature appropriated $14.5 million for fiscal 1977-78 and $15.8 million for fiscal 1978-79 to finance homestead relief. Of that amount, $700 000 is designated to adminis ter the act. The average credit per homeowner is expected to be about $100. Pilots seek runway work Laying a third chip coat on the surfaced runway of the Thompson Falls Airport must await the availability of county equipment, manpower and oil, Commissioner Henry L. Gill stated Tuesday when asked about a request made for the work by aircraft owners in the area. Last week John C haw rerre, president of the United States Antimony Corp., wrote the commissioners asking for an explanation as to when the third la) or. as programmed with former Commissioner Wesley W. Stearns last year, will be placed on the runway. Gill said that to date the county has not received oil for use on the project. Ile said he had checked the runway recently and found it to he in good condition. He said the work would be scheduled as soon as equip- ment, men and oil become available. tirely the rental of equipment or sale of gravel, the resolution provides that a lease or rental agreement must be prepared at the expense of the party request- ing the service and that the lease must be in a form satisfactory to the county attorney. Compensation pro- vided in such an agreement for rental of equipment shall \be commensurate with the kir market value of the use of such equipment and such an agreement shall be entered into by the county only when there is no reasonable pros- pect that the loan or rental will result in competition with private industry.\ Another provision of the resolution states: \Neither the board nor any of its employes shall give, sell or otherwise provide or load gravel from any county owned or leased gravelpit or stock- pile to any person, firm or corporation unless such gra vet shall be sold at not less than its cost of production and shall be for use only on a public street or highway in the county.\ In regard to grins:ploy. mg the resolution states flatly: \--neither the board nor any other county employe shall use county personnel or equipment for the removal of snow from private roads, drives and parking lots.\ For ny.ny years, the county has rented equipment, pro- vided gravel and plowed snow from private drives with public owned equipment op- erated by county personnel, but in recent years the commissioners have received complaints that the county is providing unfair competition to private industry. The resolution was adopted to remove the county 'from competition with private in dividuals and businesses. Ledger second in appearance ANACONDA --The Sanders County Ledger was judged second best for typographical excellence among all Montana weekly newspapers in the 1977 Better Newspaper Con- test results announced at the annual convention of the Montana Press Assn. at Fairmont Hot Springs last week end. The Hardin Tri- bune received the first place award for typographical ex- cellence. Judge of the contest was Robert L. Finney of the Sun Advocate of Price, Ut. In choosing the hedger for second place, Price wrote: \Reproduction and layout extremely good. This paper ranked a very close second to the first place winner Bodoni headdress (type style used for headlines) certainly is a plus.\ Third place for typographi- cal excellence among all Montana weeklies went to the Sidney Herald. The highly regarded Hungry Horse News of Columbia Falls was given honorable mention. MPG, bank tax valuations drop Wells said the net loss in taxable valuation for the county from state figures totals about $735,000. Wells said the total tax bill for MP( may not be lowered, but that the reduction in taxable valuation for Sanders County is the result of how the valuation is allocated to the various counties by the state. \Some counties may have gained taxable valuatern in the allocations the Dept. of Revenue while our county loses.\ Wells said. Althougt. serious, the loss in taxable value to Sanders County is not nearly so severe as that facing Lake County. There Montana Power's taxable value was cut over $900,000. Taxable values are set by the Dept. of Revenue, which has jurisdiction over the county assessors. WAYFARING TUMBLEWEEDS clog the fence line between Niarada and The average Sanders County taxpayer will probably find his tax bill higher this fall as a result of decreases in tax valuations allocated by the Montana Dept. of Revenue to the Montana Power Co and the county's two banks. County commissioner chairman George W. Wells said Monday that the amount of taxable value allocated to Sanders County for Montana Power has been reduced $390.864 below last year's total. The First State Bank of Montana's taxable value has been cut $206.884 and the First National Bank's taxable value has been reduced $144,282. Two small gains were reported by the state agency; Washington Water Power Co. has been increased $5,000 and the Burlington Northern 82.000. Elmo in the Big Draw on Highway 28. (Photo by Patrick Sullivan)