By Alan Sorensen
The Havre city council heard several suggestions Monday night on how it can best spend nearly $200,000 in CTEP funds.
The CTEP matching funds come from the federal Community Transportation Enhancement Program and can be used for a variety of transportation and historic projects. Among projects already receiving city and county CTEP funds were the purchase of the Heritage Center building and construction of a drainage system to help alleviate the saline seep problem at the Hill County Fairgrounds.
The city currently is eligible for $197,000 in CTEP funds and is expected to be eligible for about $60,000 more each of the next three years, Craig Erickson of Bear Paw Development Corporation said.
Four possible projects outlined by Erickson included:
$10,000 for restoration of stable and shop doorways and windows at Fort Assinniboine;
$23,000 for cleaning, categorizing and possible displaying of numerous archeological materials currently being stored in the Heritage Center basement. Archeologist John Brumley said the materials have been collected over several generations and include some artifacts from the Wahkpa Chu'gn Bison Kill Site.
$97,000 for building a 3-tiered, landscaped parking area complete with green belts, underground sprinkling system, retaining walls and handicap parking on the south side of the Ice Dome. The parking lot would be gravel because CTEP funds may not be used for blacktopping, Erickson said.
Development of walking and bicycling trails around Havre. No value was quoted on the project that could possibly be constructed on the existing dikes that stretch around the south, east and north sides of town.
Erickson said it may be possible to use CTEP funds to plant trees along First Street.
Evelyn Krause, a resident of east Fifth Street, asked if CTEP money could be used for sidewalk improvements in the east end. She said the sidewalks are in such bad shape in her neighborhood that she routinely walks in the street.
Erickson explained that Fort Benton, Chinook and Joplin are using some their CTEP monies explicitly for sidewalks. In the case of Chinook, he said, residents were asked to sign up for sidewalk work with the understanding that they'd have to pay half the cost.
City Engineer Ron Bastin explained that CTEP are matching funds that are released to a community only after the matching funds have been raised and are available.
Mayor Phyllis Leonard explained that if Havre went with a sidewalk project, it would have to be offered to everyone in town at a cost far exceeding the city's $197,000 CTEP allocation.
The city council has until July to decide which projects to submit for CTEP funding. Applications open on July 1 and close on July 31, Erickson said.