By Alan Sorensen
The city council Monday night approved the course for a May fund-raising walk, sent four proposals to committees for further review, and accepted Havre Police Officer Randy L. Robinson's resignation.
Annmarie Robinson of Bear Paw Development Corporation explained the city's options concerning replacement of the existing 16-inch water main on West First Street. The water main has a history of breaking, with an average cost to repair of between $20,000 and $23,000.
The three proposals Robinson discussed with the council were placing a new 16-inch main over the top of the existing main, putting in a 20-inch main on West First Street, or putting in a 16-inch main on West Second Street and an 8-inch main on West First.
Three reasons she gave for choosing Second Street over First Street involved the integrity of the main.
The water table on West First Street, she said, is only 7 feet deep, while the water table on West Second is 10 feet.
The soil on West First is soft and sandy while the soil on West Second is firm.
First Street gets more traffic which, coupled with the high water table, would drive the frost deeper in the winter and create more pressure on the main.
She added that West First Street has a higher concentration of hydrocarbon contamination and is considered an elevated health risk.
Robinson explained that the First Street projects were estimated to cost about $420,000 less than the Second Street project. Even at an estimated cost of $1,464,119, though, Robinson argued that the Second Street project was the best choice.
Robinson then showed the council the funding sources available for the project: $303,747 in TSEP funding and $770,000 from EDA.
The million dollar total in outside funding would still leave the city about $390,372 short.
City Clerk Lowell Swenson told the council that the budget is set and it can not move money from its general fund to help pay for the project. He did say, however, that the city council has the authority to pass a resolution to amend its budget to reallocate debt service and enterprise (water, sewer, street light) funds.
The council voted unanimously to send Robinson's proposal to the finance committee and to give the committee the power to act on it.
Robinson also explained the Montana Department of Transportation Pilot Program in which Havre is eligible to participate. Robinson said that Havre is line to receive $241,095 for an urban route project.
The deadline to submit a project proposal and apply for the funds is April 7, Robinson said, so the council must act quickly. The council voted to send the proposal to the street and sidewalk committee for review and possible application.
Havre also is eligible to apply for up to $500,000 in matching TSEP funds but application must be made by May 1, Robinson said. Money could go to phase two of the waste water project. The council sent that proposal to the water and sewer committee for review.
Another project sent to committee was the possibility of hiring an independent appraiser to assess the value of property on Fifth Avenue that the city parks and recreation department would like to purchase. That project went to the finance committee.
All three committees will meet next Monday evening at city hall. The water and sewer committee will meet at 6 p.m., followed by the finance committee at 7 and the street and sidewalk committee at 8 p.m.
The March of Dimes WalkAmerica 2000 will be held on May 20. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the walkers will begin their trek west from First Bank Park at 10 a.m. The course will be the same as years past, Police Chief Mike Shortell said.
Robinson, a nine-and-a-half-year veteran with the police department, will devote himself to his farm, his wife, Annmarie Robinson said.