By Crystal Thompson
The Havre City Council heard from several parties Monday night regarding the distribution of this year's Community Transportation Enhancement Program (CTEP) monies.
Craig Erickson, planner at Bear Paw Development Corporation of North Montana, told the council that this year's CTEP funds total approximately $117,000. Erickson advised the council to allocate $10,000 to $15,000 of that money to complete the ongoing improvement project at the Havre Ice Dome, leaving an approximate balance of $105,000 to be distributed locally.
The first project to request money was the Wahkpa Chug'n Bison Kill Site. The site currently has projects under way to reconstruct the entrance and trailways through the site. Upon approval of the request, the site curators would use the CTEP funds to cast artifacts and use the casts in interactive displays.
Other ideas for CTEP funding included creating and improving dioramas, as well as improving signs and updating the site handbook. Wahkpa Chug'n requested to redirect $23,000 in CTEP funds that were allocated to a project last year that was later deemed ineligible, as well as an additional $17,000 for this year's projects.
The Heritage Center and H. Earl Clack Museum requested city CTEP funds in the amount of $23,000 to repair the Heritage Center roof. The Sixth Avenue Softball Association requested funds to improve the Sixth Avenue ball field and surrounding area. Suggested improvements to the field included creating a park in the south end parking lot, replacing the perimeter fence that borders the field, creating sidewalks around the field and replacing deteriorated wooden fence posts. A request was made for $45,000 to complete these projects in a prioritized order.
Erickson told the council that members of the Downtown Merchants Association were interested in working with the city to improve sidewalks outside their businesses. The final estimate for sidewalks and gutters in the project area, which includes The Park Hotel and Restaurant, the Atrium and Koefod Insurance, was $86,500. Ron Knudson, owner of The Park, spoke on behalf of the project, saying that he felt taxpayers would see the project as beneficial and worthy of CTEP funding.
"It's time to impact the average taxpayer directly," Knudson said.
Other suggestions for CTEP funds included the purchase of decorative trash receptacles and the planting of trees in the sidewalk areas. The council closed the hearing and will discuss the requests further. Applications for new CTEP projects are due in July.