Council recognizes Linns for clean-up efforts

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Council recognizes Linns for clean-up efforts
5TH OF JULY CLEAN-UP — From the left, Mayor John Shevlin recognized Leona and Larry Linn for their efforts in cleaning up the ballfields after the July 4th fireworks show. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
   At their regular meeting Monday evening, the city council and Mayor John Shevlin recognized Larry and Leona Linn for their efforts in cleaning up the ball fields on July 5.
   The couple went to the ballpark and picked up debris from fireworks shot off on July 4th. Community service workers under the direction of Monica Huffman also picked up fireworks material.
   In other business, two building permits, one at 402 S. Maryland for a shed and another at 304 S. Delaware for window replacement were approved.
   Two resolutions, R-1001 and R-1002 were passed. The former deals with a fee, $95, for wind turbines and the latter deals with wastewater increases  (Story below).
   As a result of a misunderstanding, a fence was constructed before the building permit was actually approved by the council. Now applicants will be required to attend a public hearing on building permits and no action can be taken until a written notice is received by the city council.
   There was some discussion about the present weed ordinance which does not seem to be working well for the city.
   Councilwoman Wendy Judisch will look into the matter and report back at the next council meeting
   The council moved to pass R-1003, which is the moving of funds from a revolving SID fund to the General Fund.
   The next regular council meeting will be on Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m. in city hall at 411-1/2 S. Main Street.

Sewer rate increase just a formality
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
   There were more local officials than protesters at a public meeting on the proposed sewer system rate increase last Tuesday at Norley Hall.
   The city had already adopted a Resolution of Intent (R-997) so bonds to pick up a portion of the costs for design and construction for the city’s new sewer system.
   Already under construction the cost of the project has an estimated bill of just over $4.2 million.
   At the hearing, Mayor John Shevlin commented, “We’ve received $1.6 million in grant money and we can only raise to make what we can in payments.”
   He went on to add, “If we can’t answer your questions tonight, we’ll get you an answer.”
   The new rates are based on EDUs or Equivalent Dwelling Units. Harry Whalen from the Rural Water Development explained the complicated system and also noted that “MCA (Montana Codes Annotated) authorizes cities to set water rates.”
   A sticking point, but also a part of the resolution is that users who are connected but have turned off their water or are not using any water from the system, will be charged $25.58 per month as long as they have turned off service or are not using the system.
   New rates for users will look like this: 3/4 inch service line; new base rate charge will be $25.58; one-inch line, $35.81; 1-1/2 inch line, $100.02; two-inch line, $153.48; three-inch line, $239.42; and four-inch line, $479.10.
   The new rate change is expected to be in place on the users September water bill. The city has 1,204 water connections.
   At the closing of the hearing, councilman Gary Brown said, “We have gone over this very agonizingly and pain stakingly for the past two years. It has been a grueling process and nothing done was without a considerable amount of thought and debate.”