Krista Corner Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The wear and tear on Second Street, intensified by traffic detouring from the US-2 construction project through Havre, has Havre Mayor Bob Rice looking into whether funds could be made available by the Montana Department of Transportation for resurfacing, he said Friday. The older, two-lane road has endured heavy flows of traffic during the First Street project. Rice said he may have an answer from MDT as early as this week. "We had talked about it before the (First Street) project even started," Rice said of obtaining MDT funds for Second Street. "I'm trying to get a meeting set up." Rice added that street repair throughout town is a major priority now that the weather is cooperating. "I drive the streets every day and I number the potholes," Rice said. "People hit me up at the VFW and the grocery store about it and I number them." At the June 16 City Council meeting, a Chinook man asked what the city was doing to fix the "horrible" street conditions. Rice said the man, Ray Johnson, responded to the mayor's invitation to meet with him and Director of Publ ic Works Dave Peterson. Rice said he felt Johnson gained better understanding of the city's efforts during that meeting. "I thought that guy was really out of order (during the city council meeting), to be honest," Rice said. After meeting with the mayor and Peterson, Rice said Johnson "thanked us and said we were very courteous. He hadn't lived here very long, so he had no idea what our manpower restrictions were and what our budget was." Rice said, he felt Johnson's perspective did offer some validity. I'm sure there are thousands of others out there who feel the same way," he said. "My guys work hard every day. People just don't pay attention to them. We bought this new pothole machine and got them trained." Rice said he and city workers will work on the potholes as fast as the budget would allow. "This First Street Project is costing us a ton of money," Rice said. "We're just now getting some money to pay for the storm sewer project. If I showed (the public) my budget, I think they would be amazed at what little money I actually have. "I can't work miracles, but I try. We'll get it done. I commend the guys for what they are doing because they work hard at it. Have you ever heard the expression if you see a veteran give him a hug? Well, if you see a city worker give them a hug because they deserve it."