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Polson approves application to access TIF funds

POLSON — The Polson Commission last week approved an application that locals can use to apply for Tax Increment Financing.

TIF funds are provided by a tax on properties in the city and are typically used to renovate or renew blighted areas. 

City officials said several people have expressed an interest in applying for the funding. 

According to Commissioner Brodie Moll, the city has used its TIF district to fund a walkway underneath the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge, a pier restoration, new sewer lines and a streetscape, for example. 

The next step the city will take is determining what criteria to use when scoring any applications that are received. 

Boardwalk Cafe redux?

During public comment at the Feb. 21 meeting, Tiecha Broussard, owner of the Boardwalk Cafe, spoke at length about issues she has had with city officials, mainly Parks Director Pat Nowlen but also City Manager Mark Shrives. 

Broussard, who was given notice by Shrives on Jan. 4 that her lease was not being renewed and that she had until April 1 to remove the building from Boettcher Park, said she has listed it for sale for $65,000. She previously said she has been trying to sell it for three years and recently expressed a willingness to sell it to the city. 

Mayor Paul Briney noted that he asked Shrives at the previous commission meeting on Feb. 5 to work with Broussard to come up with a new lease for her business this summer. At the Feb. 21 meeting, Shrives said he had called her to set up a meeting and she refused. Broussard replied that she will not work with Nowlen, whom she called unprofessional and unethical. Broussard said Nowlen never met with her and failed to provide her lease paperwork in 2016 and 2017 after he took over for Karen Sargeant. Broussard said Sargeant provided her leases from 2013-2015. 

Broussard said she believes the city decided not to renew her lease because city officials thought the city owned the building and wanted someone else to rent it. Nowlen previously said that the city updated its parks fee schedule in 2017 and that “the Boardwalk Cafe lease agreement does not fit within the program.”

Commissioner Jan Howlett said she doesn’t think the city is out to get Broussard and added that she hasn’t seen any of Broussard’s documentation. After Broussard said she emailed it, Howlett said her computer died. 

The commission asked that Broussard provide commissioners with paper copies.

Broussard has said the Boardwalk Cafe dates back some 50 years. She has owned it for five after taking over for Carolyn and Wayne Zuehl, who owned it for six years. 

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