Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
A request to use city funds to join a local association brought spirited discussion during the regular City Council meeting Monday. Havre Mayor Bob Rice asked Council members to decide on whether to join the Highway 2 Association, an organization working to get approval from the state Legislature for expanding U.S. Highway 2 through Montana from a twolane to a four-lane highway. Two Council members vocally expressed opposition, saying tax payer dollars could be used for better things. "I feel the city should support (the association) by a declaration or letter," Council member Terry Schend said. "As far as support, I think a letter should suffice." Council member Andrew Brekke agreed with Schend. "I don't think it's really necessary ," he said. The annual cost to join the association is $100. According to Rice no one has been really clear as to what the money is used for. "That organization has never indicated to us what they use the money for, but we'd like to know, too," he said, Wednesday. Rice added that the president of the Havre City Council Finance Committee, Schend, drafted a letter for the association asking for a description of what the money is for. After hearing opposition, Council member Bob Kaul said he urged the Council to join the association. "I would like for the city to reconsider," he said. "I honestly believe when you have a city say they are behind (4 for 2), it says more to our legislators." Rice suggested a contribution from each of the members would also show support. "I would be willing to contribute personally instead of using taxpayer dollars," Brekke said. Rice told the Havre Daily Wednesday, taxpayers won't have to pay anything more than they already do. "I will find a way to put it in the budget," he said. "One hundred dollars won't break us. It's just support. Last year we sent a letter of endorsement." The motion passed, with Brekke, Schend, and Council member Pam Hillery voting against the proposal.