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Second dog park to be built in Polson

POLSON – Thanks to some donated land, Polson will be getting a second dog park in the not-too-distant future. 

The Morehead Trust donated 1.9 acres near South Bayshore Drive and Morehead Lane near a bike/walking path. 

Trey Nowlen, the city’s parks and recreation director, told the city commission last week that it has received a $1,000 Northwest Farm Credit grant that will be used for the dog park. 

Nowlen said the city will proceed, in order, with installing a fence around the dog park, building a parking lot and adding a restroom and playground equipment as funds allow. 

The city’s current dog park is located off Seventh Avenue near the wastewater treatment plant. Patrons who use that dog park are asked to park across the street at the sports complex due to an ongoing upgrade at the plant that is scheduled to be complete in September 2018, City Manager Mark Shrives said. 

Public safety building

In other news, Shrives said he will obtain information from companies in Missoula and Oregon about conducting surveys of local residents regarding a new public safety building. He has requested $15,000 in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget for this effort. 

Mayor Heather Knutson said she wants the city to consider options besides a new public administration building, which a consultant estimated will cost $7 million. 

“This is the cream of the crop option,” she said. “There are other ways to fulfill our needs.” 

The city is considering what to do to provide another space for the city court, police and fire departments that currently share cramped quarters at city hall – a former grocery store building – at 106 First St. with other city staff. 

She wants any company the city hires to “get a feel” for what the residents think. She doesn’t want the city to be “selling” or promoting a new public safety building at this point. 

“We’ve spent $10,000 on this project already,” she said. “It was supposed to be used for building renditions (drawings), and it wasn’t used for such.” 

Shrives said the commission will ultimately approve whatever is spent for such surveys when it adopts a new budget. A budget workshop is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 31. 


In other news, Commissioner Jill Southerland resigned and said she will be moving to Reno, Nevada, to be closer to family. Shrives said the commission may appoint Robert Martin to fill the seat on July 31 since he was the only one who filed for the position in the Nov. 7 election. 

Board of Adjustment member Johna Morrison, owner of Betty’s Diner and Stageline Pizza, also resigned. Knutson read Morrison’s resignation letter at last week’s commission meeting in which Morrison referred to the July 10 Board of Adjustment meeting where a variance for the “Dude’s Place” restaurant was considered. Morrison, who voted against the variance for parking and unloading purposes, said in her resignation letter that she still stands by her decision.

Bill and Cynthia Barrett withdrew their application for a variance at that meeting after facing opposition from the board. 

Shrives said the meeting was the board’s first since 2014. He noted that the board only meets when someone requests a variance from city code. Seven seats are allotted for the board, but only three are currently filled. The board, which Shrives said needs at least one more member to conduct business, consists of Larry Ashcraft, Mark Johnson and Patricia DeVries. 

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