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Commissioners approve city engineer contract

POLSON — At the Polson City Commission meeting on April 19, Polson City Manager Todd Crossett’s comments were moved to the beginning of the agenda. Crossett had quite a few people and projects to bring the commission up to speed on, too. 

Starting the list, Crossett said he wanted to personally thank Commissioner Mike Lies for all his help at the golf course, doing not such fun jobs as replacing greasy tiles, insulating the walk- in freezer and painting. Lies also has been working with a new food and beverage manager and sat through interviews.

Joyce Weaver has been moving ahead quickly with the medical marijuana issue after the commissioners voted for up to a six-month moratorium on new medical marijuana businesses in Polson. Crossett commended Weaver on assembling a well-rounded advisory committee composed of Sue Shannon, Wade Nash, Paul Bonelli, Ken Avison, David Whitesell, Ken Siler and Margie Hendricks. 

The first public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lake County Courthouse with another on Friday, May 7, also from 6 to 8 p.m. 

The public is encouraged to attend, Crossett said, since the committee needs to find out what people want. From public comment and committee input, a draft will be assembled and sent to planning and zoning before coming to the city commissioners. 

The Polson Street Department has finished a detailed street inventory. The inventory will be incorporated into the community improvement plan.

Since two Polson Street Department people are retiring on June 1, Crossett said the city had advertised for a street worker. The position has closed, and interviews will be scheduled.

Crossett said a Department of Environmental Quality grant will allow for some remodeling for energy efficiency at city hall, such as replacing doors and windows and a proposed separate entrance for the court and another for the clerks. Karen Sargeant  was responsible for adding in new energy efficient lights, too, Crossett said.

Polson City Attorney James Raymond and Crossett have been working with Polson City Librarian Marilyn Trosper and Jackie Gran from the Polson Library board to come up with some resolution language. If a library district is created, there will need to be an agreement in place to transfer the building. 

Crossett added that the Farmer’s Market would be moving to 3rd Avenue W. near The Cove on Fridays starting this spring. The Farmer’s Market current location in the Masonic Temple parking lot doesn’t allow any room for growth. There are also safety issues with shoppers crossing 4th Ave. E., cars parking on the shoulder of the road and cars turning off Hwy. 93. 

Billie Lee from Lake County Community Development, Lake County Commissioners Paddy Trusler and Bill Barron and Crossett will present the Skyline project at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council on April 20.

Crossett said painting is ongoing at the Polson Bay Golf Course and soon workers will be putting a new surface on the deck. The city is shooting to open on May 1, and Food and Beverage Manager Susanne Tomer has been working half time ordering equipment, setting up inventory protocol and getting everything pulled together. Crossett has been working on supplemental policy for the restaurant/bar. 

Mayor Pat DeVries had asked Crossett to update the commission on the progress of ongoing projects. Crossett keeps a weekly master list and will be forwarding info to the commissioners. 

The next meeting of the Fire Stakeholders Meeting will be held on April 21 at 7 p.m. at the Fairgrounds Fire Station according to Crossett.  

Next up was awarding the city engineer contract. Crossett recommended Shari Johnson and Associates Engineering for a three-year contract.

Johnson’s firm was chosen from 13 firms which submitted bids. The engineering has been running the city about $100,000 per year Crossett said. He believes in the end the city will save money since Johnson’s firm will be paid $67,584 annually, which will buy approximately half of Johnson’s time. 

After much discussion, the commissioners approved the motion with Mayor DeVries abstaining.

In other business, the commission approved:

• The March cash report

• Investments recommended by City Treasurer Bonnie Manicke 

During the segment of the meeting devoted to public comment on matters of significant interest not on the agenda, Margie Hendricks presented a comparison of water studies. One of Hendricks’ concerns was that the numbers on the Anderson-Montgomery study were incorrect. 

The next Polson City Commission meeting will be held on May 3 at 7 p.m. in city council chambers.

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