Weed ordinance passes second reading

02_dancers-2532OVER THE RAINBOW  – These little munchkins gave it their all at their dance recital in the Weigand/Orpheum Thearte on April 26. They are under the instruction of Cassie DeVires and Step by Step Dance. I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen




By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

On a 4-0 vote council members passed the second reading of Ord.-402.

The ordinance deals with noxious weeds and removal costs if a city crew has to come in and mow down weeds/grass on a property.

Essentially it will cost a property owner or resident $250 for the first hour. Funds will go to the city’s general fund.

A copy of the ordinance will be sent out to property owners with water bills. There will also be a notice in the I-O.

A final reading will be at the next council meeting on May 16. The full ordinance may be viewed at city hall during normal working hours. Please call ahead of time to read the ordinance.

Also on a 4-0 vote by the council, the Growth Policy final draft was OK’ed. “We have a great document,” Mayor Wendy Judisch commented, “They did a fantastic job on this.”

The Growth Policy may be viewed at the Port Authority website at website at www.ponderaporthauthority.com .

Building permits at 3 N. Wisconsin, 805 Mountain View and 25 S. Main were approved by the council. They deal with fencing, sidewalks and putting down gravel for parking.

During a public comment segment, Steve Kellogg wondered if the city couldn’t make the intersection at 4th and Main Street into a four-way stop, patterned after one at Choteau.

The two streets are secondary highways with control belonging to the state. Any change would have to go through the Montana Department of Transportation.

Judy Larson wanted to know if the city was going to move to Norley Halls. Mayor Judisch noted that this had been looked at, but no, the city offices are going to stay in their present location.

I-O Editor Buck Traxler, saying this was just a starting point, wondered about some relief for the businesses sidewalks, since heavy earth moving equipment and semi-trucks loaded with dirt have been over them. Mayor Judisch said the city would look into this, even if just for their own information on future projects.

Public Works Director Rich Anderson reported that crews were working at the pool and ball fields which had some frozen pipes. Alley Clean-Up will be held on May 23. He has also been working with the DEQ on water issues.

Chief Gary Dent reported that the CPD had 236 calls for service in April.

In part, there were eight domestic situations, four accidents 37 various assists, 11 ambulance assists, and two assists to the PCSO and a train engine on the tracks running, but unattended. “BNSF got a little bit excited about that”, he said.

Jerry Walston was on hand to complain about Pondera Medical Center employees parking on the street. He lives on Mountain View Ave. and noted, “It’s packed all day long, the PMC employees are too damned lazy to park in the lot and walk to the hospital.”

Former Mayor John Shevlin noted that the best way to handle this was to talk to the hospital administrator, “They will take care of it.”

The council members approved a recommendation to hire John Kyjava as a Maintenance Worker II and to add Rick Moss to the planning board.

Cheryl Curry from the Port Authority said they were looking to build a low-income two bath-two bedroom home and that while a date had not yet been set, the SCORE group would be coming to Conrad for a tour of the city.

The Community Cancer Foundation, represented by J. Larson and Mitch Hauer were on hand to request one free day at Norley Hall on March 31, 2012. The council approved the request.

Two items concerning insurance were addressed. One dealt with life insurance and the aldermen approve that any full-time city employee could get life insurance through MMI at their own expense.

On another matter, a motion by councilwoman Karla Breding to increase a payment of $225 to $250 to help pay for health insurance for city employees not on the city program  died for lack of a second.

Alderman Wally McHenry moved to keep the payment at $225. That got a second from Sandy Syvertson and with a supporting vote from Ron Widhalm, the motion passed 3-1. Breding cast the no vote on the measure.

There was discussion over wastewater improvements and changing prices for installation from engineers at Morrison-Maierle.

Rather than accept the price increase for installation for the wastewater equipment the council moved to table the improvements and consider other options.

The next regular meeting of the city county is May 16, 7:30 p.m. in city hall at 411-1/2 S. Main Street.