Because of schedule changes, the city councils for the biggest cities along the Hi-Line are meeting today, both at 7 p.m.
Havre council does “housekeeping” and talks employee wages
Havre’s City Council, in its first meeting in February, is looking at a resolution to accept surplus property from the state and to finalize the last portion of last year’s employee contracts with the city’s police and public works department unions.
First on the agenda a resolution authorizing city officials to acquire surplus state property.
According to City Clerk Lowell Swenson, the resolution is just something the city has to renew every few years in order to keep receiving things from the state.
“Every three years we have to pass a new resolution,” Swenson said. “It’s just some housekeeping.”
The next two items on the agenda are Police Chief Jerry Nystrom’s pay request and the final changes to the city’s contracts with the Montana Public Employees Association for the police department and public works department.
Last year, the city approved contracts with the two groups that included everything but wages, according to Mayor Tim Solomon. Tonight’s meeting goal is to finalize those remaining portions.
Not included in these final discussions is the Havre Fire Department.
Solomon said that those contract negotiations are ongoing, but he believes they will be resolved soon.
“They’re still negotiating,” Solomon said. “It’s one of those things that’s hard to tell, but I’m hoping we’re getting there with them.”
Opportunity Link Inc.’s Executive Director Barb Stiffarm said this morning that someone from the organization will talk with the council about it’s support of the North Central Montana Transit system in upcoming attempts to acquire funding.
Chinook’s City Council mixing old and new business
Chinook’s City Council was going to meet last Thursday, but delayed the meeting until 7 p.m. today.
Its agenda for February holds some familiar items from agendas past, with some new additions.
Issues being revisited include a program to require businesses that serve alcohol to have employees attend training programs to learn about legal issues involved in serving drinks.
Chinook City Clerk Lorraine Mulonet said that the council should publish the proposed ordinance and schedule a public hearing to take in public input before action is taken.
The council also plans on looking again at the energy-saving renovations on the city’s water treatment plant. The council will continue looking at this project until the energy grant that allows the renovations is done.
Also from old agendas are possible changes to water hookup fees and a requirement in building codes to have contractors need a certain amount of insurance.
One of the new items on the agenda — a presentation from another Opportunity Link representative about the Chinook’s support of the transit system.
Chinook’s council will also be looking at modifying a community assessment for Chinook residents to provide input on what they want out of the city.
The council will finally consider working on the city’s sidewalks with a state Community Development Block Grant.