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Animal control officer sought

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ST. IGNATIUS—St. Ignatius is advertising for an animal control officer to take care of the town’s growing dog problem. During the May 3 city council meeting, Chief of Police John Parker said he thought the problem had reached an emergency situation. 

“It is one of the most prevalent calls we get,” Mack McConnell said. “We have too many loose dogs in town.” McConnell explained some of the calls have involved some aggressive dogs.

During the meeting in May, McConnell moved and Marine Johnson seconded to authorize Mayor Charles Gariepy to proceed with finding a part-time animal control officer hire. St. Ignatius currently does not have a pound and McConnell said that existing dog ordinances are not well enforced.

The deadline to apply for animal control officer was June 13 but Mayor Charles Gariepy may extend this depending on how many applicants they received. During last Tuesday’s meeting, Parker said he was “moving forward like we will have a qualified candidate” to fill the animal control position. He did not know how many people had applied because the hiring is being handled by Lake County Job Services.

During this month’s city council meeting on June 7, council members voted unanimously to change the residency requirements for police officers. Before the change, officers could not live more than five miles from city limits, but the board voted unanimously to increase that requirement to 10 miles. 

“Ten miles is reasonable response time for multiple agencies to get here if it is a nature or man-made catastrophe,” Parker said. “They (police officers) would still have to come to town to shop or worship which would allow them to create that relationship with the community.”

The change is effective immediately for all current and future officers. 

During last month’s meeting on May 3, Gariepy appointed and council approved continuing routine appointments of Rick Newman to the airport board, Scott Morton as zoning administrator and Ray Frey to the solid waste board. Connie Trudeau and Doug martin were re-appointed to the board of adjustments and Bernie Lovell was appointed to fill Dan Seery’s unexpired term. Claudia McCready was re-appointed to the planning board and zoning position. Ray Harbin and Ralph Foster were re-appointed to these two boards as well. The police commission was disbanded because it is not required and the council that it was unnecessary. The council and the mayor have been serving as overseers.

There was also further discussion concerning intersections in St. Ignatius. During the last meeting Morton thought the town should cut out and re-pave four major intersections this summer instead of paving two blocks.  

“We have a lot of potholes and the roads are falling apart,” Morton said.

The city has about $13,000 set aside for roads. Morton is currently looking into bid prices for road repairs. 

Two St. Ignatius City Council seats will be up for election at the end of this year. City council members Marine Johnson and Ray Jensen’s terms will expire on Dec. 31. Interested candidates need to fill out municipal election forms and have them into the election office in Polson by June 30. These forms can be picked up at the St. Ignatius city clerk office or the election office in Polson.  

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