Havre Daily News
A special Havre City Council committee will meet Tuesday to ponder questions raised about the city's land-sale policy during a recent debate over a proposal to purchase land for a new U.S. Border Patrol facility.
The committee also will consider a request from the Havre Trap Club regarding its lease.
Havre Mayor Bob Rice on Wednesday said the committee's purpose is a fact-finding one.
“The city is not in the business of selling property,” he said.
City Council president Rick Pierson on Wednesday said the committee won't specifically talk about the offer made by a Phoenix-based developer that offered $300,000 for 30 acres of land south of Havre.
The members will try to answer some of the questions raised about how the city goes about selling land.
He wants the committee to hammer out whether the city should offer land up for sale, if it should get appraisals, and if it should request bids on land sales.
He thinks land should be sold in a bidding process.
“My consideration is to get the land appraised and put it up for bids,” he said. “If we do that, the Hewson offer will be null and void, and Hewson will have to resubmit the offer just as anyone else would.”
The committee also will decided whether to extend the Havre Trap Club's lease of city-owned land.
The club wants to renegotiate the terms because they are seeking a grant that requires a long-term lease, trap club member Duan Schlofeldt said.
The lease expires in 2015, Pierson said.
The club hopes to use the grant to pay off a loan for $18,000 they received to install new trap throwers and voice control calls, Schlofeldt said.
Some of the project's money, Schlofeldt said, will come from the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and other money will be allocated from the Friends of NRA banquet the club held in April.
The trap club formed 30 years ago, Schlofeldt said. The club was first located at the Great Northern Fairgrounds site and across the road where the Holiday Village Shopping Center now sits. The club is currently located less than a mile east off the Scott Coulee Diversion just past the bridge south of Havre on the road to the mountains, he said.
The club has had a big year, he said, which is why they got the loan for more trap throwers. The club got together and decided to start a league this year, he added. For several years the club was very small. He said last year, there may have been 30 to 35 people shooting a night, if there were that many. This year there are 35 teams with up to five people on each.
“We figured if we could get around 50 people or 10 teams together, we'd be doing alright,” he said. Once the league was formed he added it was like shooters “came out of the woodwork.”
At the end of the year there will be prizes awarded for certain categories like most improved shooter, best all-around score and more.