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Olson swears in new Polson mayor, city commissioners

POLSON — Polson City Judge A. Douglas Olson came to the Polson City Commissioners meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 to swear in the new mayor and commissioners. Mayor Pat DeVries and Polson City Commissioners Ron Boyce and John Campbell, Ward 1, and Judy Preston and Mike Lies, Ward 2, immediately jumped into action.

The commissioners moved to direct Polson City Manager Todd Crossett to use a budgeted $6,000 to commission Great West Engineers to estimate any and all improvements needed on the old Tamsco building on Kerr Dam Road.

The commissioners want to look at this new study before they decide where to locate the wastewater facility. Crossett estimated it would take about a month for the study to be completed.

Tim McGinnis, president of Riverside Terraces Homeowners Association, spoke in favor of putting the treatment center on the east side of Kerr Dam Road.

McGinnis said the highest and best use of the 40-acre parcel of property which houses the sewer lagoons is not a sewage treatment plant. The commission has a chance to make a change for the better.  

Commissioner Preston said the commission wants to make the “best decision possible in the shortest amount of time.”

Local developer Mike Maddy was present at the meeting. Maddy and his wife constitute B & I Holdings, L.L.C., which owns the old Tamsco building. Maddy came to answer the commission’s questions and to see if the city was ready to make an offer on the old Tamsco building.  

The city commission unanimously passed the first reading of Ordinance 653, which would formalize approval to use tax increment revenue as security for bond as a portion of the Streetscape Urban Renewal Project.

The commission also rescheduled their next meeting, which fell on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday on Jan. 18. The meeting was postponed until Jan. 20 at 7 p. m. 

During Polson City Manager comments, Crossett welcomed the new mayor and city commissioner. He reported that the city and Lake County have completed a $20,000 recycling grant. The grant would provide funds to set up recycling containers in Polson. 

Crossett said he City of Polson Parks Department has applied for a forestry grant to purchase GIS software and will be doing a tree inventory. 

In February Crossett said he would find out about the TIGR grant, applied for in conjunction with the tribes and the county for walking paths on Skyline Drive.

Crossett said he is looking at information on the food and beverage service at the Polson Bay Golf Course. 

The item will be on the next agenda, and Crossett said the primary discussion will be on “who do you want to run the food and beverage?”

Commissioner Preston asked Crossett, “Are you going to recommend we (the city of Polson) run it ourselves?”

Crossett replied, from the ”numbers we’ve run so far … that would be my recommendation.”

Mayor DeVries asked Crossett to confirm that a retreat for the Polson City Commission had been set up for Monday. 

Crossett confirmed the retreat and said the retreat would focus on building leadership skills and determining how the commission wants to work. 

DeVries encouraged everyone to attend a Montana Municipal Insurance Authority training on Jan. 28. 

During public comment, Murat Kalinyaprak suggested the city commission use e-mail addresses

George Mahoney asked when the city commission agendas could be accessed.

Crossett said the agenda is typically available on Thursday the week before the city commission meeting. 

Realtor Rory Horning asked for a definition of abusive language discussed at the past two meetings.

Crossett defined abusive language as “language that threatens, demeans or belittles.”

The next Polson City Commission meeting will be held on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

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