City backs Brady on water issues; employees receive pay increases

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Council members had a full plate of issues and items to deal with at their regular Tuesday night meeting.

A small group representing the Brady Water District was on hand to discuss their current water issues and sale of water from Conrad to Brady.

They told the council, “We’re in a very tight spot and need to know that Conrad stands behind us,” Laurie Campbell said.

The district wanted a commitment letter from the city and also would like to see if efforts to approve this could be doubled.

They also wanted the city to write a letter to the DNRC requesting a meeting.

Mayor Wendy Judisch told them, “I have to tell you it’s very frustrating.” The city and the Regional Port Authority are not in the loop. Water discussions are at higher levels, said Cheryl Curry  from the Port Authority.

Judisch said, “We’ll continue to move along, we will get this done.” The mayor said two letters would be written for the Brady Water district.

In a segment for public comment (no action), the I-O asked what, if any action the city was going to take on comments made by Police Office Jason Korst concerning the business community being crooks and employees spitting in food at local restaurants (see last week’s I-O letter to the editor).

The mayor said the city would wait and see what the I-O was going to do.

A youth mentoring agreement with Monica Huffman was approved for $2,900, the same as last year.

The council approved a cost of living increase for seasonal employees, a $30 per month increase for the mayor and 35-cents COLA increase for employees, excluding the council, seasonal employees and the judge.

There were 10 residential building permits read and they included a deck at 806 S. Michigan, a reroof and entry way at 102. N. Virginia, a fence project at 309 S. Wisconsin, new siding and windows at 105 S. Wisconsin, a shed at 112 N. Main, reroofing projects at 109 N. Maryland and 512 S. Maryland, new fencing at 502 6th Ave. SW and 16 N. Kansas, and an egress widow at 915 Mountain View.

Chief Gary Dent reported there were 185 calls to the department in May. In part, there were seven calls for domestic problems, six accidents, two thefts, four problems with juveniles, 24 citations written, 44 warnings issued and 11 assists to the PCSO and five to the ambulance crews.

Public Works director Rich Anderson reported that crews were patching holes in the streets, the swimming pool was up and running there was a power outage at the water plant and a pond at the water plant had been cleaned.

In a related matter, Darren Pruttis tendered his resignation which was accepted. He will be moving on to work for the Canal company.

Anderson, Keith Thaut, Drew Lesnik and Widhalm will make up an interview-hiring committee.

Port Authority Manager Curry reported that a meeting with the Regional Water project was held and Rocky Boy representatives were eager to let the PA know they are working on their problem of missing funds and they have a better oversight of the miss use of funds.

The Bureau of Reclamation has issued a statement saying they will again commit funds to the water project since the Tribe has convinced them that the oversight procedures are now in place to prevent future problems (that remains to be seen).

Regarding the Brady water project, construction bids have come and the funding agencies are now trying to sort out details of funding, easements and water supply in order to award the bid. Curry said, “We are optimistic for a good result as all of us are working very diligently toward a solution for Brady.”

Two business inquiries, who wish to remain anonymous at this time, look promising. KJL engineers are in the process of scoping out rail development projects and are looking at potential layouts.

The TSEP Grant for the Conrad water system was fully funded, $625,000, and the city, PA and project engineers have met to discuss the next steps and developing plans and a bid package.

Permits were approved for the Pondera 4-H Shooters and American Legion to set up and sell fireworks. The council OK’d the use of the Conrad Lions Swimming Pool Park to be used.

A funding commitment to the Northern Transit Interlocal for $5,000 was approved.  The amount of $3,700 to be taken from the Genevieve Rankin Foundation (GRF) for help in remodeling the old concession building at the ball fields was approved.

There is just over $10,000 in the GFR account.

Councilman Ron Widhalm was appointed as a voting member for the Northern Transit Interlocal with former Mayor John Shevlin as an alternate. Widhalm was also named as council president.

Brad Koon of KLJ presented a plan review of the proposed CTEP lighting system, saying “We are pretty much in line with what other communities are doing.”

The estimated cost for the project is $50,000 per block. The council will look at the draft plans before making a final decision.

The aldermen did approve an additional $37.28 for the Conrad Babe Ruth baseball team for dirt and gravel. Earlier they had been granted $900 for the project and came up $37 short.

The next regular meeting of the city council is June 18 in City Hall at 413 S. Main. The meeting opens at 6 p.m.
The public is encouraged to come.