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Havre City Council holds long discussion on boil order

Many complaints, questions and some statements of support

Filed 11:30 p.m. Monday, May 6, 2024.

On the fourth item of the agenda for Havre City Council's meeting tonight, the council, mayor and city officials had close to three hours of comments, questions, criticism and some support on the water boil advisory issued in April.

A health advisory was issued in February when a high level of unidentified sediment came into the plant from the Milk River.

April 19, after consultation with county, state and federal agencies following a spike in confirmed cases of Giardiasis, an illness caused by a water-borne parasite, the city issued a water boil advisory, saying it was in "an abundance of caution" despite no proof that the cases were caused by consuming Havre water,

City officials again said the same tonight,

At the end of the meeting, a water treatment plant operator -- who came to the meeting immediately after getting off shift at the plant -- gave a description of what has been happening with Havre's plant over the last several years, last several months and since a health advisory was issued in February and the boil advisory was issued in April.

One audience member said what he told them did more to relieve advisory than the previous more-than-two-hours of comments from city officials.

Multiple people during public comments criticized the city for its actions and for how it has communicated the issues, with one calling for resignations, firings and possibly recall elections.

Other's complimented the city for how it was dealing with a complex, difficult issue.

The city officials described actions already being taken -- including flushing the city water system and increasing treatment actions at the water plant -- and more actions already set by agencies and ways to find more to do to ensure the water is healthy and the issue is less likely to arise again.

Watch for more in Thursday's edition of Havre Weekly Chronicle.


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