By Martin J. Kidston
The political fate of four Havre City Council members will be decided in Tuesdays general election, but as the council gathered on Monday night, talk was more about Christmas festivities than it was of politics.
In a letter to Mayor Phyllis Leonard, the Havre Chamber of Commerce asked that the Christmas tree be placed at the intersection of Third Avenue and Second Street.
The community tree will be placed by a group of volunteers on the weekend of Nov. 20. Montana Power Company will decorate the tree that same week. The Havre Jaycees will place holiday decorations on Sunday, Nov. 22, and a tree-lighting ceremony will take place on Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m.
The chamber, along with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, is working to coordinate the arrival of Santa Claus. Given that everything goes as planned, the chamber said that Santa Claus is supposed to arrive by train at the Amtrak Depot. He will then be escorted by the Havre Police Department to the tree-lighting ceremony.
I think we can handle Santa, Police Chief Mike Shortell said.
In other news, Insurance Services Offices, Inc., of Chicago, Ill., completed a recent exam of the Havre City Fire Department. The exam will be used as a tool which insurance companies can use to adjust home fire insurance in the area.
The purpose of gathering this information is to determine a fire insurance classification which may be used in the calculation of property insurance premiums, a letter from the company said. We have completed our evaluation and confirm that your current fire insurance classification continues to be appropriate.
The company found that Havre Fire Departments equipment was up-to-date, its shifts were fully staffed and the citys fire hydrants were adequate to provide timely and safe fire protection.
The council reviewed City Ordinance 836, which pertains to rebates given for privately financed extensions of water and sewer mains outside the citys limits. The ordinance states that property owners may not connect to the citys water and sewer lines which rest outside the citys limits unless the property owner first meets certain mandated requirements. Those requirements are on file in the citys ordinance codes.
The Street and Sidewalk Committee told the council that the Department of Transportation will study the intersection at Sixth Street and Second Avenue to decide if stop signs should be installed at the dangerous crossroads.
The committee also received a request by the Havre Wrestling Club asking that it be allowed to install a new four-foot sidewalk in place of the current broken sidewalk that runs in front of the Wrestling Clubs building. The committee tabled the clubs request until the clubs plans become better organized.
The Street and Sidewalk Committee also voted to deny a request from Lotton Construction pertaining to $5,000 which the company wants reimbursed. Lottons request came after it completed a sidewalk project at the Sixth Avenue Christian Church. The council voted not to reimburse the company for the project.
The Street and Sidewalk committee said that it decided to accept the $1,132,955 water main project. The committee had been given the power to act when after it decided which of three options would best suit the city for the water main replacement project.
Option two includes running an 8-inch water main down First Street and a second, 16-inch main down Second Street in order to meet the citys growing demand for water. Option two is the most expensive of the three plans.
The city will look to Annmarie Robinson of Bear Paw Development in hopes that she can secure the grant money the agency told the city it could receive, such as TCEP funds and EDA grants to help pay for the project.