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City waives impact fees for Mission Valley Aquatics

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POLSON — A crowd of Mission Valley Aquatics supporters packed the Polson City Commissioners meeting on Oct. 3, waiting for consideration of an agenda item waiving fees. The group had asked the commissioners to refund $66,688 in fire, parks, sewer, water and administration impact fees.

During commissioner comments on the proposal, Commissioner Fred Funke said, “It’s important for city government to show support.”

Asking for other examples where fees had been waived, Commissioner Judy Preston learned that the schools, Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry, the Fairgrounds Fire Station and the Office of Emergency Management all had fees waived.

Impact fees should not be confused with monthly fees for water and sewer, Commissioner John Campbell noted. Impact fees have already been paid, and MVA seeks a refund.

Community members Ric Smith, Jan Tusick, Mickey Rosa, Cindy Willis, Melinda Leas, MVA Board president Hu Beaver, MVA Board members Reyna Stene and Co Carew and MVA volunteer Connie Plaissey all spoke in favor of the fee waivers.

Murat Kalinyaprat commented that he had asked if there would be discounts or free swimming and was told it wouldn’t be free.

Cheryl Wolfe asked if all 501(c)(3)s were considered for waived fees, and Mayor Pat DeVries said they were considered on a case-by-case basis.

As far as water and sewer goes, DeVries said, “I don’t think we ever waived anyone’s usage.

Wolfe also questioned why the cost of impact for the MVA building would be less than a normal commercial enterprise.

After hearing all the comments, the commissioners passed the motion unanimously.

In other business, the commissioners approved resolution 1022 to adopt the 2011-12 final budget, although it was amended to approve a $1 per hour raise for Polson City Treasurer Bonnie Manicke.

They also approved a sublet of B & I Holdings, LLC lease on the Meridian or old Tamsco building on Kerr Dam Road to OPE, a group manufacturing light industrial outdoor tools and gasless power tools.

Dan Gabig from OPE said the first tool is a weed-eater, and an expected 25 to 30 jobs would be generated.

“The more jobs, the less the lease,” DeVries added.

During city manager comments, Todd Crossett reported on attending the International City Managers Association Conference. One of the sessions dealt with hiring a police chief, Crossett said, which is very timely for Polson. A search for a new chief of police will take place during the next month, with the position being offered internally first. Crossett also said the staff is developing a new job description and interview questions, as well as giving officers two weeks to pull together their resumes.

Crossett commented that:
• The Skyline project is progressing, with curbs and gutters coming soon.
• Eagle Scout Clay Frissell and the Boy Scouts finished the trail in the Travis Dolphin Dog Park.
• Resurfacing in the Riverside Park playground was completed.

The next city commissioners meeting will be held on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

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