By Alan Sorensen
The city council authorized the issuance and fixing of terms and conditions for a water system revenue bond in the amount of $8,401,000 Monday.
The council's unanimous vote will allow the city to pursue the issuance of the Series 2000 bond to raise money for expansion and improvements to the city water plant. The bond is loan from the Montana State Water Revolving Fund at 4 percent fixed interest.
City Treasurer Lowell Swenson said the construction contract with Williams Brothers Construction of Billings is for a construction cost of about $6.8 million. The remaining loan amount is needed for engineering costs and so the city can set up a loan reserve account required by law. The reserve on a project this size, Swenson said, must be about $654,000.
The Williams Brothers bid was the low bid submitted in a second round of bidding. The bids the first time around were too high.
The council also gave authorization for Bear Paw Development Corporation to submit an application for $500,000 in TSEP funds. The money from the Treasure State Endowment Program, which requires matching funds, would be used pay for nearly half the cost of putting in a 12-inch loop water line around south Havre. The loop would follow the path of a proposed urban highway from 14th Avenue to 12th Avenue in east Havre, around south Havre, along Beaver Creek Boulevard, and hooking into the main line in front of the hospital on 13th Street.
Annmarie Robinson of Bear Paw Development explained at the last city council meeting that the looped water main will be hooked up to both the Ninth Street water tower and Highland Park water tower. By hooking up to both towers, she said, there should be no loss of service anywhere along the line when a main breaks.
The city would be required to come up with the additional $542,000 required to complete the project, Robinson said. The city could raise $271,000 through the issuance of revenue bonds, she said, and $271,000 through an SID. The SID would require a public vote.
In a 6 to 1 vote Monday, the Havre City Council approved a revision to its employee manual banning smoking in all city buildings.
Councilman Arnie Tyler said he cast his lone vote against the policy revision because the revision failed to include all city vehicles. The fire and police departments already have policies in place banning smoking in their vehicles.
The council vote unanimously to vacate a portion of Montana Avenue in front of Eagles Manor that the city has never used as a roadway.
The council also voted to allow the mayor to sign an Infomine agreement to join in the wireless Internet hookup with Havre Public Schools and Havre-Hill County Library. Havre Police Chief Mike Shortell told the council that the school district approves of the city's access because the city allowed it to use the Highland Park tower.
The hookup will allow police department and city personnel to file grant applications over the Internet and to exchange information via e-mail. The contract would include hardware and hookup costs from Infomine. The city may also need to purchase some additional equipment and software.
Any cost the city might incur for the equipment and soft-ware, Shortell said, could be paid for out of the drug forfeiture fund.
Two Havre Fire Department firefighters were presented with their EMT certification at the meeting, too: Joe Lamphier and Tim Evens.
City Council President Helen Hill read a proclamation by Mayor Phyllis Leonard designating the week of May 14-20 as Historic Preservation Week in Havre.
The next city council meeting will be at 8 p.m. Monday, May 15.