Bad debt policy tabled by city

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

The city council, on a 4-0 vote, moved to table adopting a delinquent loan and bad debt policy.

At the present the city has one bad debt on a revolving loan for a little over $9,900. Members of the recent city auditing team recommended that the city write off in full or by a percentage per year of outstanding debt for a set number of years.

The auditor also asked if the council has considered turning the debtor/borrower over to a collection agency. The city has a debt collection agency with the State of Montana. After some discussion, the council tabled the matter until the next meeting.

From here, the paper will backtrack to the May 7 meeting, which the I-O was able to attend and give a brief synopsis of the council’s work.

Public Works Director Rich Anderson reported that the city crew were cleaning sewers in Cut Bank and Shelby and would be moving on to Conrad. The lift stations have been cleaned, the pool drained and repair work done, repairs in the parks are being done and the water has been turned on at the baseball field concession stand.

Chief Gary Dent reported his department (CPD) had received 172 calls for service. In part they included security checks, six disputes, six domestic situations, three businesses found open, nine rides home were given, 11 misdemeanor arrests and there were six assists to the ambulance crew.

The Port Authority report was given by Councilwoman Karla Breding, who reported that a rail development expert came to look over possible development for the Conrad rail system and more opportunities for rail usage.

The Safe Routes to Schools application was fully funded for the next phase ($62,000). Funds will be used to build sidewalks and continued education on walking and riding bikes to school.

The council approved several requests for service and equipment from the city. All were approved.

Brad Koon of KLJ engineering was on hand to present task order number one for the design and construction for the upcoming CTEP Pedestrian Lighting project. The proposed fee for this phase is $29,500. A motion to approve the task order passed on a 4-0 vote.

Koon also presented an amendment to the owner/engineer agreement amendment for the Conrad East Industrial park water line.

The proposed amendment amount was $4,540. The motion to approve passed on a 4-0 vote.

Judy Ellis has resigned from the Planning Board and Mayor Wendy Judisch appointed Sonja Kirkbride to fill the vacancy. The council accepted both moves.

The council approved a request to appoint Koon as the city planner.

He presented the city with examples of plan review fees. He will prepare a draft rate sheet for the city to review.

The swim team presented a letter of request for their use of the pool practice time for the summer and Becky Rammell, pool manager, presented the council with a fee schedule for the 2013 season. There are no increases from last year. The aldermen approved both requests.

A request from Chief Dent to use the Swimming Pool Park and Legion Park for National Night Out on Aug. 6 was approved.

At the May 21 meeting, three building permits for residential work were presented. One is at 513 S. Iowa and two are for sheds at 102 5 S. Montana and 1 S. Washington.

It was announced during a public comment segment, by Councilman Rick Moss, that the Conrad Deport Society will meet at 7 p.m. in the old train depot building on Front St. every fourth Tuesday. The public is invited to all meetings.

The Public Works Department received an award from the Montana Water Works Association in honor of being the top small community wastewater facility in Montana.

Librarian Carolynn Donath reported the library had 2,113 patrons in April. Their summer season starts when school is out and they will be having a magician at one of the reading programs. The Conrad Lions Club has donated $500 for large print books.

Logan Gouchenour, a Boy Scout, who is working toward his Eagle Scout designation, was on hand to talk about the work he plans on doing at the library and to request some city funding.

He estimated the costs for painting, cabinets and other work to be about $10,000-12,000.

He was asked to come back with actual cost estimates of his project and then the council will consider some funding from the Genève Rankin Foundation. Presently there is $10,000 in the Rankin Fundation.

Finance Officer Agnes Fowler reported she is working on budgets, got the MMI health forms distributed to employees and has been selected to be a spokesperson for MMI for a video that will be shown to cities and towns.

In other action, the council moved, on a 4-0 vote, to change the street address from 411-1/2 to 413 S. Main Street.

After being on the planning board for two weeks, S. Kirkbride put in a letter of resignation. The council accepted her resignation.

A three-year dispatch agreement with the county was approved. The city will pay $12,863 for the first year, $13,506 for the second year and $14,181 for the third year. The agreement was approved on a 4-0 vote.

The next regular meeting of the city council will be at 6 p.m. at 413 S. Main Street (new address) in the council chambers.