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Chinook council talks water, sledding

 


Chinook council talks water, sledding

Zach White

Chinook's City Council met Monday night to handle its monthly business. This month's agenda covered a wide range of topics, from safety concerns on the town's "Tower Hill", to projects on the water treatment plant and sidewalks.

'Tower Hill'

Wes Bevis, a Chinook business owner whose car wash is adjacent to Chinook's "Tower Hill, " between 1st and 2nd streets and Ohio and Indiana avenues, came to complain about young people climbing up under the water tower to sled down, frequently going over the retaining walls at the bottom.

Bevis said that there can be anywhere from five to 25 kids on the hill at a time, and the sliding has ruined one of his retaining walls and broken a large, expensive window, among other vandalism.

Signs have been put around the tower on the hill, telling people to stop sledding. Bevis admits that they have slowed the sled traffic a bit.

But Bevis wants the activity to stop before someone gets hurt and questions of liability come up.

Council members said the city would do its best to keep an eye out for rogue sledders until the spring or summer, when the city can build a fence around the hill to keep people out.

The budget has money for a fence.

Responsible alcohol retailers

Cheryl Schuldt, program officer for Moving Forward in Blaine County, a part of the Montana Community Change Project, came to the council to follow up on an ordinance she discussed at a December council meeting.

Schuldt told the council then that the city should consider an ordinance requiring businesses that serve or sell alcohol to put their employees through a "Responsible Alcohol Sales and Serving" class.

Now Schuldt returned to discuss what to do, since the state Legislature is considering a bill that would impose the same requirement statewide.

Senate Bill 29 would require alcohol retailers to have employees take the classes within 60 days of being hired and every three years afterward or face a $200 fine.

The bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting House action.

Before this bill, the council was waiting to get an idea of what the local alcohol retailers felt about the proposed ordinance.

Having still not heard back about local thoughts, the council is still holding off on any final decisions.

Schuldt said she thought it was good that Chinook had looked at these rules before the state Legislature did.

"I thought it was encouraging that we're being proactive instead of reactive, " Schuldt said.

Water issues

Chinook had a number of items on the agenda surrounding the topic of the city's water.

The council talked about a state Department of Environmental Quality tour of Chinook's water treatment plant this Thursday.

The tour is a part of the city's attempt to get an energy grant to pay for renovations for greater energy efficiency.

The council also voted to apply for a planning grant for work on the treatment plant from the Treasure State Endowment Program and to commit local matching funds.

The city will send a letter asking Bear Paw Development Corp. to help.

City Clerk Lorraine Mulonet explained that the application would put Chinook in line for the grant, just in case the DEQ or another state agency requires the city to make improvements to the treatment plant.

The plant recently had an incident of "by-products" in the water beyond required state levels.

The by-products are the result of cleaning outside materials, like plant bits and other organic substances, from the water. They are a particular problem when the treatment plant gets a lot of run-off.

Sidewalks

A few months ago, the city was pursuing a project to redo sidewalks downtown through Community Transportation Enhancement Program funds.

They were told that the cost estimate reached by the Chinook Chamber of Commerce was too low, and didn't include enough engineering costs.

On Monday night, city officials looked at the possibility of using the funds they have available from the Community Development Block Grant to facilitate sidewalk work.

The city has access to $47,000 in CDBG funds, which Mulonet said could be loaned out to community members to help them pay for their own sidewalk projects.

The council will consider the CDBG funds as one means of repairing Chinook's sidewalks and will make a decision about how to move forward later.

Chinook's City Council met Monday night to handle its monthly business. This month's agenda covered a wide range of topics, from safety concerns on the town's "Tower Hill", to projects on the water treatment plant and sidewalks.

'Tower Hill'

Wes Bevis, a Chinook business owner whose car wash is adjacent to Chinook's "Tower Hill, " between 1st and 2nd streets and Ohio and Indiana avenues, came to complain about young people climbing up under the water tower to sled down, frequently going over the retaining walls at the bottom.

Bevis said that there can be anywhere from five to 25 kids on the hill at a time, and the sliding has ruined one of his retaining walls and broken a large, expensive window, among other vandalism.

Signs have been put around the tower on the hill, telling people to stop sledding. Bevis admits that they have slowed the sled traffic a bit.

But Bevis wants the activity to stop before someone gets hurt and questions of liability come up.

Council members said the city would do its best to keep an eye out for rogue sledders until the spring or summer, when the city can build a fence around the hill to keep people out.

The budget has money for a fence.

Responsible alcohol retailers

Cheryl Schuldt, program officer for Moving Forward in Blaine County, a part of the Montana Community Change Project, came to the council to follow up on an ordinance she discussed at a December council meeting.

Schuldt told the council then that the city should consider an ordinance requiring businesses that serve or sell alcohol to put their employees through a "Responsible Alcohol Sales and Serving" class.

Now Schuldt returned to discuss what to do, since the state Legislature is considering a bill that would impose the same requirement statewide.

Senate Bill 29 would require alcohol retailers to have employees take the classes within 60 days of being hired and every three years afterward or face a $200 fine.

The bill has passed the Senate and is awaiting House action.

Before this bill, the council was waiting to get an idea of what the local alcohol retailers felt about the proposed ordinance.

Having still not heard back about local thoughts, the council is still holding off on any final decisions.

Schuldt said she thought it was good that Chinook had looked at these rules before the state Legislature did.

"I thought it was encouraging that we're being proactive instead of reactive, " Schuldt said.

Water issues

Chinook had a number of items on the agenda surrounding the topic of the city's water.

The council talked about a state Department of Environmental Quality tour of Chinook's water treatment plant this Thursday.

The tour is a part of the city's attempt to get an energy grant to pay for renovations for greater energy efficiency.

The council also voted to apply for a planning grant for work on the treatment plant from the Treasure State Endowment Program and to commit local matching funds.

The city will send a letter asking Bear Paw Development Corp. to help.

City Clerk Lorraine Mulonet explained that the application would put Chinook in line for the grant, just in case the DEQ or another state agency requires the city to make improvements to the treatment plant.

The plant recently had an incident of "by-products" in the water beyond required state levels.

The by-products are the result of cleaning outside materials, like plant bits and other organic substances, from the water. They are a particular problem when the treatment plant gets a lot of run-off.

Sidewalks

A few months ago, the city was pursuing a project to redo sidewalks downtown through Community Transportation Enhancement Program funds.

They were told that the cost estimate reached by the Chinook Chamber of Commerce was too low, and didn't include enough engineering costs.

On Monday night, city officials looked at the possibility of using the funds they have available from the Community Development Block Grant to facilitate sidewalk work.

The city has access to $47,000 in CDBG funds, which Mulonet said could be loaned out to community members to help them pay for their own sidewalk projects.

The council will consider the CDBG funds as one means of repairing Chinook's sidewalks and will make a decision about how to move forward later.

 

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