Electrical issues for I-15 Self-Storage blowing in the wind

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Electrical issues for the I-15 Self Storage business of Pat and Meagan Heinen at the new Conrad East Industrial Park that have been tabled at previous meetings were revisited at the Sept. 17 meeting of the city council.

Mayor Wendy Judisch has been communicating with NorthWestern Energy regarding all the electrical at the Park with Heinen’s property being the number one priority.

The city’s and Heinen’s applications have both been turned into NorthWestern Energy. Costs for the installation of the electrical lines will be invoiced from NorthWestern Energy, hopefully at the next council meeting

The North Central Montana Regional Water Authority has presented a contract for consideration regarding the Brady waterline operation and maintenance. The water line and who is responsible for it are being reviewed by Public Works Director Rich Anderson and his crew. Costs for water were also discussed.

The contact, which was tabled at the meeting, must be signed prior to Brady being officially hooked on. The council tabled the NCMRWA contract to obtain more information.

Brad Koon of KLJ Engineering gave a report on the Historic Pedestrian Lighting project.

A minimum of two styles of street lighting must be submitted for competitive bidding. Koon will adjust the design plans as discussed for submission to CTEP.

A motion by Alderman Drew Lesnik and a second by Karla Breding to proceed with the submission of design by KLJ to CTEP for the lighting project and proceed with the bid process was passed.

In another report, Librarian Carolyn Donath noted that 1,800 people came through the doors in August.

The backroom remodeling project was completed and came in on schedule and under budget, she noted. The project was done by Logan Gouchenour for his Eagle Scout project. There was an excess of 200 hours of volunteer time on the project.

Keith Kallstrom and Wayne Reynolds met with the council and requested permission to install 12 to 15 recessed lights with dimmers on the stage side at Norley Hall.

The Pondera Players would cover the costs. Darren Hess, a licensed electrician has volunteered his time for the project.

A motion by Breding and a second by Ron Widhalm was passed.

From the Oct. 1 meeting, PWD Anderson reported that he and his crew have been cleaning up downed trees and braches from the wind storm that screamed through the county.

The bathrooms at the parks and ball fields have been winterized. There was some more vandalism at the ball fields. Installation of the underground sprinklers at the Swimming Pool Park has started.

Cory Rilley of ITB told the city they had a lift if the city ever needed to use one again. Cheryl Curry from the Port Authority reported the rail development study CDBG-ED grant for $10,000 has been submitted.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is finalizing the sale of the house in Brady.

Chief Gary Dent reported there were 165 calls for service in the month of September.

Among them were eight calls for suspicious activity, four domestic calls, four alarms, four thefts of which two were for gas, four assists to the MHP, one assist to the CVFD and 13 rides home from the taverns.

Anderson noted that quotes for a dump truck came in from Zomer Trucking and Bouma Trucking of Choteau.

The Zomer bid was for $66,584 with a new box, hydraulics, sander and snowplow. The Bouma bid was for $69,380 with the same attachments. Both trucks were diesel with automatic transmissions.

A motion by the council to purchase the truck from Zomer Truck was passed. The cost was included in Anderson’s FY-2013-2014 budget and approved then.

The North Central Montana Regional Water Authority has been sent Conrad’s questions regarding the draft contract for the waterline maintenance on the line to Brady. The agreement is being worked on and was tabled for a later meeting.

A public segment was held on the proposed sewer rate increases of $1.42 on the 1,000 gallon base and $.50/1,000 gallons on the overage, based on three-quarter inch water service line, to be effective with the October 2013 billing was presented.

Wastewater rates have not increased since 2009.

Mayor Judisch explained that rate increases are needed to cover maintenance and operational costs and bond coverage requirements, and to remain in compliance as well.

She also noted that the city is not anticipating any water rate increases.

Also proposed at the hearing was System Development fees for both water and wastewater, to be effective Nov. 1. These are new fees that the city has not had in the past.

The fees would be only for new hookups. These fees are then used to offset upgrades in the future, based on growth. Pat Becker wanted to know if other surrounding community have this fee and he was told that, yes, there are. Gordon Nelsen felt the new fee was not fair and anti-growth. Jolene Elsesser said that life is expensive and if this is a necessary item and it will help the community, “We should proceed with it.”

The city council meets every first and third Tuesday of the month in city hall at 413 S. Main Street at 6 p.m.

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