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Havre sets new directors, police officer, street closure for spring celebration

Havre City Council swore in new department heads, and confirmed a new police officer at their monthly meeting Monday evening.

Stacy McIntosh and Trevor Mork were sworn in to the positions of finance director and public works director, respectively, with Havre Mayor Doug Kaercher administering their oaths of office.

The council also confirmed the appointment of Lucas Elander as a full Havre police officer as his probation period had ended.

Havre Police Chief Gabe Matosich said Elander will be an asset to the force and a good officer.

After confirming his appointment, Matosich presented Elander with a letter of commendation from his sergeant for his impressive service during his probationary period last year.

The letter said Elander served with professionalism and integrity having already accomplished a great deal in the year since he joined.

Elander's first traffic stop resulted in a DUI arrest and in his first years he's already successfully investigated domestic violence situations and engaged in a high-speed chase, Matosich said, reading from the letter.

He said Elander has demonstrated keen perception, having solved a hit-and-run case despite there being no witnesses or footage of the incident and he's managed to stop a number of other crimes before they occurred.

He said Elander is sure to excel in his career from here on.

During the meeting the council also approved a road closure of Fourth Avenue between Second and Third Streets as well as the alley between Third and Fourth Avenues and First and Second streets June 3 for the Hi-Line Arts Council Spring Celebration.

Debbie Vandeberg of the Hi-Line Arts Council said there will be music and dance as well as children's activities and art displays and she's hoping people running the Bear Paw Marathon, scheduled for that day, will attend like last year.

The closure was approved by the council.

During the meeting Council Member Sarah McKinney brought up a number of issues she wanted action taken on.

First, McKinney said, she was wondering what the city is doing about people violating its snow removal ordinance.

Kaercher said the city hasn't really been enforcing that ordinance for some time due to a lack of manpower.

McKinney also said there is a property in her district where someone is clearly feeding the local feral cats, but otherwise not taking care of them and they are causing a nuisance to neighbors.

Matosich said his department would have to look into the specifics of that situation but they have an animal control officer who can handle that kind of thing.

Kaercher said if people do have complaints about that property or the animals it would be best for them to go directly to the police department rather than the council.

Lastly, McKinney said she'd heard a rumor that BNSF was doing a feasibility study about a section of First Street to evaluate whether it is worth it to have renters there and she wants the council to send a letter asking them to reconsider any decision that would evict tenants.

Kaercher said the city could do that, but he's uncomfortable with the idea of doing that based on a rumor.

Council member Andrew Brekke said he'd heard the rumor from some people but when they asked BNSF about it, they didn't know what they were talking about.

Brekke said the matter would be of concern to the council, but he agrees that the council shouldn't act on a rumor.

Kaercher said he appreciates that McKinney is putting in the time to address potentially concerning issues, but the city would need more to go on before acting.


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