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Polson commissioners okay Cougar Ridge reimbursement

POLSON — Polson commissioners approved a reimbursement agreement with Cougar Ridge Development LLC at the Dec. 17 commission meeting. 

The reimbursement issue was raised and approved at the March 19, 2007, city commission meeting. At the June 4, 2012, meeting, commissioners passed it again, but they removed an item that says the city will ensure water pressures and flows meet or exceed Montana Department of Environmental Quality standards since the city of Polson has a legal obligation to maintain pressures and flows.

According to minutes from the June 4 meeting, Cougar Ridge installed approximately $400,000 worth of water infrastructure and are asking for a reimbursement of $200,000.

The $200,000 would not come out of the city’s coffers, but from water impact fees collected in the area, and water impact fees forgiven for Cougar Ridge and Mission Bay development in the area served by the water infrastructure. 

According to Commissioner John Campbell in a phone interview, the process involves the builder, in this case Cougar Ridge, meeting with the city, submitting their total costs, asking for what they’d like back and designating an area. Cougar Ridge has a 15-year period to collect.

 “The improvements must be something that will improve the system, not just your subdivision,” Campbell said.

In other business, Bonnie Manicke, city treasurer, reported on real estate tax collection and the Streetscape Main Street project. 

About $72,238 in delinquent real property taxes has been collected since November of 2011, Manicke said, and credited Lake County Treasure Patti Kugler with sending letters requesting the delinquent taxes be paid in full.

The Streetscape project is completed and closed, Manicke said, after Lake County Commissioners approved an $11,110 transfer from the county’s Community Transportation Enhancement Progam fund to the city’s CTEP fund to cover the negative balance left in the construction fund.   

 Polson City Manager Todd Crossett spoke of his sadness and the sadness the whole community felt about the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

In the remainder of his city manager comments, Crossett said he and city staff were wrapping up the audit and the development code overhaul.

Another two Heart and Soul gatherings were held, one at Mission Bay and one at the Fairgrounds Fire Station, and 19 more are scheduled in different neighborhoods in Polson, Crossett said.

People are invited to engage in conversation with their neighbors, ultimately to help develop a stronger, healthier Polson, according to a press release from Heart and Soul.

City staff is also working on an agreement with bond attorney Bob Murdo regarding an analysis of the tax increment financing bond. 

Crossett also would like to switch road maintenance on Main Street with the State of Montana. They currently maintain Main Street, and the city clears First Avenue West. 

“The state really doesn’t want to hassle with the bulb outs, and our boys have practice,” Crossett explained.

Polson Bay Golf Club director Roger Wallace and Crossett have been working on a restaurant plan for the coming year. 

After Polson City Parks Department head Karen Sargeant mentioned the city’s mission statement at the Dec. 3 meeting, Crossett plans to bring the document out for the commission to review. 

Downtown Polson businesses are working hard to plan activities, and the city’s fire pit has been downtown for the last two Fridays, Crossett said. 

At the last Polson Business Community meeting, Crossett said that Festivals on the Flathead is working on more concerts at Salish Point for the summer and fall. The group is working with the Salish Point committee and thinking about a terraced design for seating as well as other options, such as a floatable stage. 

Mayor Pat DeVries brought up snow removal on city sidewalks. If the city reminds people to shovel their walks, maybe there won’t be snowy sidewalks, she said.

Crossett added that residents need to move trash cans out of the street so snowplows can plow a straight line. 

The city also has been serving as a clearinghouse for elderly people or others unable to shovel their walks by getting them in touch with Boy Scouts, who will do the shoveling.

The commission’s next meeting will be Jan. 7.

 

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