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County wants city to help pay for courthouse repairs

Hill County would like the city of Havre to help pay the cost of rehabilitating the exterior of the landmark Hill County Courthouse.

Replacement of the terra cotta on the front of the building is necessary, Commissioner Mark Peterson told Havre City Council Monday night.

The county has saved some money over the years and will spend its entire of Montana's Community Transportation Enhancement Program allocation this year, he said. But the county is still short of the $462,596 it needs to repair the terra cotta, Peterson said.

So he asked the city to pitch in $100,000 of the $128,000 it expects to get in CTEP funds.

Peterson spoke at the hearing held by council to get ideas on how the money should be spent. This is the last year the CTEP program will operate.

The county has done much of the repair work proposed in a 2007 study, he said. But the terra cotta work turned out to be more expensive than anticipated.

The city would benefit, he said, because the nearly century-old building is so important to the community.

Havre Softball Association representatives asked for $60,000 of the city's CTEP allocation to continue improvements it is making to the 6th Avenue Memorial Softball Complex.

Association President Brandy Kurtz had a long list of repairs and improvements the association has made with dues and private donations over the years, including new dugouts, irrigation repairs and planting of trees in the area.

With the additional money, new bleachers could be added, new walkways opened and the fields could be made completely handicapped accessible.

Teams from all over the state attend tournaments on the field, she said.

In future years, she said, she would like to have softball championships held in Havre. That would attract 15 teams from around the state.


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