First Market Festival has a good turnout

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

The first Market Festival, sponsored by the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce, had a good turnover and a little bit of everything for everyone.

With play areas for kids, vendors, a cook-off, super weather, entertaining music, the second annual summer event couldn’t miss.

The regular CofC meeting was held at Coach’s Corner and featured Jane Holzer from the Montana Salinity Control.

Before she gave her talk there were a number of reports given, starting with Khrystyne Jamerson from the library who noted the summer reading program has started and, “is going real well.” Tuesday, the library and the reading program were treated to a free magic show.

Logan Gouchenour is expected to begin work on his Eagle Scout project by doing some remodeling work at the library.

Laura Erickson from the PMC introduced the new hospital CEO, Wayne Ogburn.

He is originally from Texas and has spent a couple of days being introduced around town and meeting people. Ogburn told the CofC, “I’m excited about being in Conrad.”The I-O will have more information about him in an upcoming issue.

Mayor Wendy Judisch reported that the Conrad Lions Club Swimming Pool was open. Life guards are needed and anyone interested can apply through city hall. The pool has expanded hours, 1-5 p.m. on Sunday and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The city is also chip sealing streets on the east side of town, “We are doing as many as we can,” she said. The mayor also noted, drawing a laugh from the CofC diners, “our address has changed, we are no longer a half.” The new address for city hall is 413 S. Main Street. Through a comedy of errors, the entry way to the newly remodeled city hall is being replaced and the city is working to get their historic lighting project going with the help of CTEP (Community Transportation Enhancement Program) funds.

Holzer, from the Montana Salinity Control Association (MSCA) noted they were one of the best kept secrets on Main St. The office is located at 315 S. Main, next door to the Main barber Shop.

The MCSA was set up over 40 years ago, in 1971, to work with other entities on water issues with Conrad being chosen because of its’ central location.

In regards to saline seep, Holzer noted that ground water has no respect to boundaries, and often the recharge area is shared by more than one producer. She also noted, “We provide shallow ground water evaluation and deal with related Ag problems.”

Salinity problems are generated by salts leaching into the groundwater. That’s the simple explanation. Salinity problems have taken more than 300,000 acres of cropland out of production in Montana.

Working with the MCSA and implementing any recommendations they may make is voluntary.

They are funded by the DEQ and legislation and work with multiple agencies. A few years ago, the MSCA provided technical assistance in removing old gas tanks in Conrad, through the DEQ. They also provide water monitoring for gas and oil wells that use ‘fracking’ drilling.

For more information about how the agency can be of assistance, contact Holzer at 278-3071.

June 27 is the day the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus is in town for two performances, 5:30 and 7 p.m. The CofC is also planning a Crazy Days. If you would like to participate, contact Barbie Killion at the CofC, 271-7791.

The next Chamber luncheon meeting will be on July 10 at the Swimming Pool Park at 5:30 p.m.

Dennis Wisch will be entertaining. He can imitate more entertainers than you can imagine.

The CofC will be serving up sausages, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans and dessert.