By Robert Lucke
The big news at the May Hill County Park Board meeting was that there will be no fence along either side of a new Beaver Creek Highway.
Governor Judy Martz signed a bill April 5 granting Beaver Creek Park and Hill County a waiver from fencing cattle off the road through the north half of the park. That bill had flown through both houses of the Legislature without a single dissenting vote, Hill County Commissioner Kathy Bessette said today.
It was the culmination of a sometimes stormy couple of years of public input as to if there had to be a fence, what kind of fence would it be. Hill County Commissioner Doug Kaercher expressed his satisfaction with the fence waiver.
"The fence waiver got signed. It is a done deal," Kaercher said at the May 7 meeting.
Asked if he was happy with the outcome, he responded, "Yes, absolutely! It was what the road advisory group wanted. We were all able to get after it and got it done."
After the cabin inspection of last month, Park Board members talked about the fact that it seems like the same people get letters every year telling them to make improvements in their cabins, and yet, in many cases, nothing gets done.
"One thing we could do is to set a criteria so that before people sell their cabins, they have to meet some standards," said Kaercher.
Board members decided to send letters to first time owners of problem cabins this year and turn the rest over to the county attorney for further action.
Board members were told by Kaercher that the Gildford Commercial Club is interested in expanding the shelter in their park.
"They need a shelter that has protection from the wind," said Park Board member Dean Hanson.
The Board passed a motion advising the Gildford Commercial Club to go ahead with their plans and then bring them to the Park Board for help.
Commissioner Kaercher told the board that the Rudyard Commercial Club is interested in updating their park and that if the park were turned into a bike stop on a cross Montana bike trail, they might be able to use CTEP funds to help with the project. The board agreed with the proposal.
Board member Hanson briefed the board on Hi-Line potential summer water problems.
"We are really watching the Hi-Line parks and football fields. They will be the first with no water if we don't get any water this summer and the river goes dry," Hanson said. "We have a winter to go through. Some people are trying to work with us and others are not. We can get Marias water to Hingham but east of Hingham, that takes Fresno water and we are facing an extreme situation."
Board members, along with Commissioner Kaercher, thanked board chairperson Kathy Eskestrand for her work on the Hill County Park Board. The May meeting was her last as she is leaving the area.
Hill County commissioners are accepting applications for a new Park Board member.
The next regular Park Board meeting will be June 4, 7 p.m. at the Hill County Detention Center meeting room.