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St. Ignatius receives $430,700 grant

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ST. IGNATIUS — The St. Ignatius City Council met last week to discuss several issues. 

The St. Ignatius Police Department has been accepting applications for an open officer position and has decided to interview four viable applicants. Council members did not have an exact date for the interviews, but did say they’d been working to put together a hiring board to conduct the interviews. 

The town’s attorney position contract expires Dec. 31. City officials elected to conduct interviews with three new candidates as well as current attorney Bob Long. According to most city council members at the meeting, a legal question always seems to arise and they are unable to answer it during council meetings, as Long is seldom present.

“The council would like to have the city attorney present at all meetings,” said city clerk Lee Ann Gottfried. 

The tennis court in St. Ignatius needs resurfacing. Public works director Scott Morton informed the council that he’d spoken with a contractor from Bozeman capable of doing the work, but that resurfacing the court would cost $30,000 and replacing it would cost $75,000. The council took no action on the tennis court issue. 

Several local residents raised concerns that the city’s youth were riding skateboards down the center of U.S. Highway 93. Presently, no city ordinances or laws preventing people from riding a skateboard on the highway near St. Ignatius exist.

“It’s a safety issue, and obviously everyone is concerned with it,” Police Chief Aaron Frank said. 

The council will begin looking for an existing draft framework to create a new city ordinance outlawing this practice. 

Speaking of moving forward, the city recently received a $430,700 community development block grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant will go far in funding the next stage of the city’s ongoing water project. 

“I didn’t think there was a possibility to get (the grant,)” Morton said. “But the council was persistent, didn’t give up and it turned out well.”

Stage 2 involves replacing three different sections of old water pipe on Mountain View Drive, Arrow Street and Home Addition Road. Morton said some of these pipes are 70 years old. 

In addition, Stage 2 includes plans to drill a new well to support the two existing town wells. 

“Now, if we can pull it off — which I think we can — we’ll have everything we want,” Morton said. 

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