Syvertson honored by council; New street lights looked at

CARING FOR KIDS  —  Conrad Mayor Wendy Judisch presents Terry Syvertson with a special certificate on Tuesday night at the city council meeting for all her work in securing swimming passes for kids and families so they may swim during the summer. The Caring for Kids program started in 1999 and gave out seven single tickets and 25 family tickets, serving 63 kids. Today, the number has swelled to 29 single tickets and 38 family tickets, helping 140 kids being able to use the pool. Her efforts make up more than half of the people using the Conrad swimming pool.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler





By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Terry Syvertson was presented with a special recognition certificate at the last regular meeting of the city council.

She was honored for her on-going efforts to make sure that every child that wants to swim at the city pool during the summer has the opportunity to do so.

Through her efforts, Syvertson raises funds to pay for child/family tickets to the pool. Her program started back in 1999 when it provided seven single tickets and 25 family tickets so 63 children could pass through the pool doors.

The number of children and families she has helped has risen steadily ever since the beginning.

Last year 30 single tickets were provided and 53 family tickets were given out, helping 179 kids.

This season there has been 29 single tickets handed out, 38 family tickets and having 140 kids being able to swim.

For more information on the Caring for Kids Program, contact Syvertson at 271-4020 during her work hours or at home, 278-3390.

Residential building permits continue to move along at a brisk pace. This week nine more met approval and were read at the council meeting:

Diane Boyd, 415 SW. Illinois, roof; Amber Hofstad 617 S. Delaware, patio; Pat Heinen, 604 and 607 S. Delaware, fencing; Jennifer Schlepp, 19 North Wisconsin, roof; Cory Vandiver, 202 S. Minnesota, covered deck; Dustin Dugan 320 S. Michigan and Duane Habets, 15 S. Virginia, re-roofing (both); and Coby Bennett, 515 S. Maryland, a new shed.

The council agreed to terms on a contract with the Choteau law firm of Burk, Lee and Bieler, PLLC of Choteau for legal services for the next two years.

The law firm will be paid $5,000 for their services.

In part, the firm will be responsible for drafting of labor contracts, investigation of document relative to city rights, legal work relative to state and federal grants, defend and advise the city on all civil matters and to defend and represent the city in all criminal prosecution matters.

While the entire firm is being retained, the law firm has designated Justin Lee as the city attorney.

In other reports, Cheryl Curry of the Regional Port Authority informed the council that a person who appears to be qualified had made an offer on the Brady house. Curry commented, “Along with the bank, we are proceeding through the required documentation and process.”

On a related matter, she said the PA is looking at lots in Conrad to buy for their next housing project.

The Port Authority has been contacted, in regards to business planning assistance for some individuals who want to purchase a local business.

Curry said, “We are working with Rebecca from the Great Falls Small Business Development Center to be able to bring that forward and help put together a financing package when the time is right,” she said.

It was also noted that safe Routes to School project is closing out and the PA is working on the final draw request and project reports which are due in mid-July. Their infrastructure project will not be funded until federal funds are made available, hopefully sometime next summer for construction.

Chief Gary Dent reported that his department received 165 calls in June. In part, there were eight domestic situations, six suspicious persons, three alarms, three businesses left open, four fireworks complains, seven assist to the PCSO and five dogs and one cat in the pound.

Rich Anderson, PWD, reported that repairs on the generator at the water plant were completed.

Former mayor John Shevlin complimented the city on their mosquito control program. He also noted that at the last trap shoot, a urinal became stuck, which will increase their water bill. He would like to get the bill right away.

On a related matter, Shevlin, the Flood Plan Administrator gave a report, noting that because of the New Orleans situation and the hurricane in New York, flood insurance is going to go up. By how much was not known at this time. There is a Flood Plain workshop in Helena on July 22-23. If you would like to attend, call Agnes Fowler for more information at 271-3623.

Bradley Koon of KJL Engineering out of Helena was on hand to talk with the council concerning the new Conrad Pedestrian Lighting project.

The street lights include globe style lights (three) with a high pressure sodium style of lighting which will provide a more yellow/historic look.

The lights will be placed on three to four foot concrete pedestals and will be aligned parallel with the roadway. Electrical outlet and banner attachments will be included (with direction from the Chamber of Commerce) on each pole for Christmas street decorations.

The proposed new lighting system calls for 38 lights to go down 4th Ave. from Virginia to Front Street and on Main Street, from 3rd Ave. SE to the corner of 5th Ave. at Stockman Bank.

The estimated construction cost for all four blocks is $367,000. The construction budget in the provided grant application is $155,000.

No action has been taken by the council yet.

In a related matter, the council passed a 10 percent street lighting assessment to be put on the next property tax bill. The assessment passed the council, 4-0. This tax has nothing to do with the decorative street lighting project.

In other business the council voted 4-0 to forgive the PA on a $6,000 revolving business loan.

The council agreed to move ahead with a feasibility study to entice businesses to locate at the new Industrial park, especially looking at a motel, truck stop and eating place. The cost estimate will run from approximately $6,500 to $9,000. The study passed on a 4-0 vote.

In another spending measure, the council agreed, 4-0, to hire the Sullivan Brothers to put in a water line at the new East Industrial Park at a cost of $68,000.

It was announced that the city will not run a primary election, but move on to the general election in November. There are two candidates for mayor, incumbent Wendy Judisch and challenger Ed Gierke.

On the council side, Karla Breding, Drew Lesnik, Ron Widhalm and Daniel Jones are running unopposed.

The city is in “limbo” right now. They have lost their auditor. An RFP, request for professional services, has been sent out.

The council has a regular meeting every first and third Tuesday of the month starting at 6 p.m. at city hall on Main St.

The public is always welcome and encouraged to get swept up by the bustling civics-in-action buzz of your government at work.