Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
Havre City Council members revisited an issue of whether to entertain bids on a 30-acre parcel of city property located south of Havre, where the RC Flying Club now resides, during its regular meeting Monday. Discussion included whether or not the property sale would be in the best interest of the city, whether or not the flying club occupying the property would be relocated, whether or not the city had a bidding procedure that would be followed and if the Border Patrol, which may be interested in the property, was even still interested in building a new Sector station in Havre. Mayor Bob Ri c e said the Government Services Administration was back in town looking for property to purchase to house the proposed new Border Patrol facilities, and that the government -based agency assumed the property was no longer on the table. Council member Pam Hillery started the debate by saying the concern wasn't about the actual sale of the property. "I believe there was significant public concern that this property was not advertised for sale," she said, adding that she would consider selling the property if the Council goes through the proper channels. Council member Gerry Veis also questioned whether or not the property would be open to bids from everyone if they were to offer the property for sale. Rice said there was a procedure that would be followed. Council member Terry Schend said the sale of property was in the city's best interest. "Anything the city has belongs to the citizens," he said. "I feel it's in the city's best interest ..." Schend added that the value of the property was based on whether or not it would increase the tax base in Havre. Veis raised a question of whether or not the Border Patrol was actually still looking to keep its Sector office in Havre. "It is my understanding that the head of the Border Patrol here is not favorable of Havre and is looking to move everything to Great Falls," Veis said. Rice said GSA is committed to building here. Veis also questioned why the GSA is interested in only this one property. Rice told the council GSA would pick the location and open the bidding up to developers. Whoever won the bid would own the property and the Border Patrol would then lease the building. Council member Alan Woodwick expressed concerns for the flying club, and said if every effort would be made to relocate the club, he would be in favor of offering the property for sale. The council unanimously voted to entertain offers made on the property. The property in question was originally bid on by Phoenix-based Hewson Development Company in April last year to develop the land on behalf of the U.S. Border Patrol. The proposed sale became a heated topic at many city council meetings. In other city council business: Havre City Head Meter Reader Bonnie Dahl was recognized for 22 years of outstanding services. "She's better than the mailman," Rice said. "In the six years I have been here, she has done the job with great diligence." Rice added that Dahl goes out in rain or shine, snow or wind and has even been bitten by dogs none of which stops here from doing her job.