Commissioners recommend speed limits

   The Pondera County Commissioners, in earlier action, had requested a speed study on the Conrad-Dupuyer Road from the Montana Department of Transportation (MDoT).
   That study has been completed and recommendations made for the commission to review and respond to.
Commissioner Joe Christiaens made the motion to recommend to the MDoT to have the paved portion of the Conrad-Dupuyer Road posted at 70 mph during the day, 65 mph night/trucks, from the end of the 45 mph transition zone outside the city of Conrad and continuing west to mile marker 23.2.
   This would make that section of the road consistent with other rural paved secondary roads, and to request that the gravel portion of the road from the transition zone east of Dupuyer to the commencement of payment at mile post 23.2 be posted at 65 mph with perhaps a 60 mph night/trucks designations.
   The commission also supports the recommendation of the City of Conrad for the 25-35-and 45 mph zones that transition into the city.  That motion passed on a 3-0 vote.
   On Sept. 30, 10 a.m. in the commissioner’s office there will be a public hearing on the county budget. The public is encouraged to attend and make comments.
   In other business, Commissioner Cyndi Johnson moved to designate the Secure Rural Schools funding at 85 percent to Title I of the program and 15 percent to Title III.
   The Title I funding is available to the schools each year and the Title III funding is held by the federal government until used by the counties.
   Commissioners are still looking into allowable uses of the Title III funding and have until FY-2011-12 to use the funds and request reimbursement from the federal government. The motion passed.
   An excavation agreement requested by Sun River Electric to engage in excavation on and under the intersection of Kelly Road and Pondera Coulee Road for the purpose of installing a low voltage service wire across 60 feet or road was OK’ed.
   Commissioners accepted the proposal of SimplexGrinnell for removal and replacement of the fire sprinklers in the jail.
   The project will cost $3,454 and will take about two days to complete.
   In the aftermath of the public hearing on library funding, commissioners met with representatives on Wednesday morning concerning information given out at the public meeting.
   A library delegation, led by Carolyn Donath gave the commissioners information supporting their numbers and a request for increased funding.
   The group from Valier invited the Conrad Library Foundation to a meeting in Valier on Sept.15 to discuss a resolution to the funding formula issue and then make a presentation for the commissioners.
   Mayor John Shevlin was on hand to meet with the commissioners regarding the right of way easements for the exit area of the proposed I-15 overpass project with the MDoT.
   Commissioner Johnson noted that the Port Authority would be meeting that same evening and the topic would be discussed and the county and/or the city would have to follow-up to get the easements in place.
    In other business with the P.A., Cheryl Curry was on hand to give an update on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant.
   Earlier this year, (May 20) the county applied for federal, state, and local and private funding to implement a housing program that would assist in the purchase of foreclosed homes in order to sell, rent, or redevelop them.
   The county will serve as the pass-through agency for the funds to the P.A. The application was approved for up to $800,000 and up to nine houses to be renovated at any one time.
   The commissioners needed to provide the P.A. with a resolution naming the agency as the certifying agent and an agreement to proceed with an OK from the county, which they did.
   The P.A., would be responsible for the overall project under the direction of Curry.
   She reported that the P.A. had made an offer of a foreclosed property in Conrad and the offer was accepted. She feels the closing of the property will be done by the next of next month. They are also looking at a property in Brady which is being apprised.
   On a related matter, a resolution (R-5) was passed appointing the county sanitarian, Corrine Rose, as the environmental certifying officer for activities associated with the environment review process for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program grants.
   Commissioner Sandy Broesder reported that there has been an approach installed at the corner of the Dry Fork and Dupuyer roads that was not approved by neither the commission nor the road department.
   The location of the approach is such that it could cause serious drift and/or flooding problems.
   The commissioners moved to have John Stokes, supervisor of the road department look at the road and to visit with the landowner to determine recourse to the county and the landowner.
   The commissioners meet every Wednesday day at 10 a.m. in the courthouse for their regular business meeting. The public is always encouraged to attend.