In a nearly hour-long meeting Monday, the Hill County Park board discussed a variety of issues, including finding alternative power for Camp Kiwanis and setting a new deadline to pick a specialty license plate design for Beaver Creek Park.
The board set a Sept. 1 deadline for submissions in a contest for designs for the license plate, which would provide additional funding for the county park.
Previous submissions met with a lukewarm welcome by the board, which said in earlier meetings that the designs were not colorful enough.
The board agreed to notify the people who had submitted entries, including more specifics on the state requirements and what the board is looking for.
Board member Robbie Lucke, who proposed holding a contest to find a park license plate, said that deadline would delay the release.
It will be next spring before it comes out, "but I think it’s better to get the right plate, ” he said.
Looking at wind power
Beaver Creek Park Superintendent Chad Edgar told the board he is looking into using wind power at Camp Kiwanis, where the park offices are located.
He said the park now spends about $5,000 a year on electricity for the offices and camping facilities there.
“I thought it was another way to save money, if we could actually afford it down the road, ” he said.
He added that turbines are expensive, and the county would have to look into grants to pay the expense if it pursues the idea.
Edgar said he contacted Montana State University-Northern, which has a program in wind energy, and a class came out to survey the site and to help research and plan where a turbine could be placed.
“It was kind of a neat deal for both of us, ” he said. “Maybe down the road that’s in our future. ”
Pursuing disaster mitigation funds
Edgar said his assistant, Lesley Zellmer, has received training in how to apply for mitigation funds from the federal disaster money that came to the state last year for flooding in Hill County.
That funding is separate from the money allocated to repair damage due to the funding. The money is awarded to projects that would reduce the damage from future disaster events.
Edgar said the park could be eligible for up to $17,000 for projects, after the county road and bridge department receives its awards.
The deadline for applying for those funds is June 1, he said.
Rotary Bridge, chapel work ongoing
Edgar said he has been working with representatives of Sletten Construction in planning the construction of a new walking bridge at Rotary Pond, to replace the bridge damaged by last year’s floods.
He said Sletten will weld the steel beams for the bridge and donate them to the project. The plan is to pour concrete pillars on each side of the creek to use as footings, allowing the bridge to be built without touching the creek itself.
Little was done last month on the work to repair the chapel at Camp Kiwanis due to the weather, although Edgar said he met with the contractor and architect Becki Miller to continue planning the project.