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Chase presents awards at city commission meeting

POLSON — At the Polson City Commission meeting on March 1, Polson Police Chief Doug Chase presented a series of awards to Polson Police Officers. Chase was joined by Tribal Law Enforcement Chief Craige Couture and Montana Highway Patrol Captain Clancy King and Sergeant Randy Owen, who presented awards to their trooper and officer. 

MHP Trooper Tim Proctor and PPD Officer Chris Wright both received certificates of merit for assisting a woman who was not breathing and who was being transported to town by private vehicle from Rocky Point Road. Proctor and Wright heard radio traffic on Aug. 14, 2009, responded to the victim and started CPR.

In addition Captain King said Trooper Proctor would be nominated for the Hedstrom award, given by the MHP.

PPD Officer Wright and Assistant Chief John Stevens both received a commendation of highest merit certificate and a lifesaving ribbon. Stevens and Wright responded to a report of a person considering jumping off the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge on Jan. 14. 

Wright started talking to the person as she was standing on a small ledge over the railing on the bridge. Wright and Stevens managed to grab the person and pull her to safety. 

Tribal Officer Orsino Walker and PPD Sergeant Wade Nash each earned a certificate of commendation and a medal of honor for pulling a person to shore after he jumped off the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge. Nash and Walker waded out into the 36-degree water to rescue the unconscious man as he floated downriver. 

Polson Volunteer Firefighter Craig Rubel put on an ice rescue suit and entered the river to assist Walker and Nash to tow the man to shore. 

Once the man was on shore, Stevens started CPR as the man was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Stevens received a meritorious service award as well as a citation. 

Chase said all the first responders should be commended for quickly warming Nash and Walker, serving as backup and readying the fire department’s boat should it have been needed.

Polson City Manager Todd Crossett and Stevens turned the tables on Chase, presenting him with an award for assisting Walker and Nash. 

In other business, community member Murat Kalinyaprak brought three agenda issues regarding the golf board before the commissioners. Kalinyaprak said 23 people have been on the golf board in the past three and a half years, and he said the board meets “kind of haphazardly.” 

Kalinyaprak was asking the commission to replace any or all of the current golf board. A motion was made but died for lack of a second. 

Crossett said the city is seeking people to fill the two vacancies on the golf board. He also said the golf board is engaged and feels it’s being listened to so he said, “Let’s work on re-engagement.”

Kalinyaprak also questioned the rounds played statistics. Not all golfers sign in so the rounds played are an estimate. Kalinyaprak would like to see more accurate records kept. 

Crossett said starters, who physically check off each golfer who tees off on the first tee, could be hired, but four starters would cost the golf course approximately $7,000 per month or $56,000 for the eight-month season.

The commissioners told Kalinyaprak the golf course books are audited each year. 

“It’s (the golf course) a business without an inventory in the morning and in the evening,” Kalinyaprak said.

After much discussion, the commission moved on.

The commission scheduled a 6:30 p.m. hearing on a short term zoning initiative on medical marijuana for March 15 at 6:30 p.m. 

The commissioners also approved:

• amending Ordinance #523 to allow a 20-year rebate period 

• beer license # 15-860-3769-101- High Plains Pizza, Inc., (Pizza Hut) shareholders increase over 10 percent: W. Kent Colvin, Michael L. Colvin and Gregory K. Colvin

During city manager comments, Crossett reported:

• Main Street waterline project started on March 1. The Streetscape project may not be able to commence this spring. If not, it will begin in September.

• Instructions for the TIGER grant will arrive on or about March 15. The grant has a timeline of two and a half years.

• The second Fire Stakeholders meeting was held on Feb. 24. Crossett said they made some progress. The next meeting is scheduled for March 24 at 7 p.m. 

• The golf course clubhouse will get a paint job. Crossett traded a couple of golf passes for painting. 

• Polson received a $20,000 recycling grant from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Lake County also received $20,000. Crossett said the city, the county and the schools have all bought into the recycling project and will recycle aluminum cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and white paper. City staff will take the recycling to the transfer station.

• The appropriations request has been sent to congressional representatives. Crossett said the request asked for funding for the wastewater project and help with the engineering portion. 

The next Polson City Commissioner’s meeting will be held on March 15 at 7 p.m.       

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