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City OKs Ridgewater final plat

POLSON — Polson City Commissioners recently approved the final plat of Ridgewater Commercial Subdivision, phase 4.

After public comment — some regarding no public hearings or participation in the different phases of the Cougar Ridge subdivision, the legality of the subdivision, and whether there originally was a residential subdivision in Cougar Ridge — Polson City Commissioner Jill Southerland asked, “Do we have the facts?”

Polson City Manager Mark Shrives said the history he’d read was a motion on May 2, 2005, to accept the Cougar Ridge Subdivision, the master plan, zone change and annexed residential. Plus, the developer had to meet 48 conditions before the project could continue, which were completed.

“We’re talking 2005 — long past appeal time,” Shrives said.  

Usually issues like this need to be appealed in 30 days, Shrives said, so he can’t say the facts are wrong or right, but “we can’t deal with those facts because we can’t appeal it.”  

In a phone interview, developer Dennis Duty said, “The master plan shows where the density is going to go. If we are going to go back and review (this subdivision,) there would have to be a change in density.”

During city manager comments, Shrives introduced Dave Simons, who will be replacing Mike Howke as Polson Building Inspector. Simons brings electrical, plumbing and mechanical certification so he can do work the State of Montana is now doing. 

“We’ll be a one-stop shop for anyone doing some construction,” Shrives said.

Commissioners have a busy next couple of months. The pre-bid meeting for the downtown looping project will be held Aug. 13, and bid opening and awarding is scheduled for Aug 21. 

The looping project will replace sewer and water pipes north of Highway 93 in and around the North Lake County Library. Several years ago, the City dug up Main Street south of 93 and this is just a continuation of that project.

Commissioners will receive the preliminary City budget on Aug. 18 at the regularly scheduled meeting, and then hold a public hearing on the preliminary budget on Sept. 2.  At the city commission meeting on Sept. 3, a public hearing on the water and sewer rates will be held at 5:30 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. regular commission meeting where the final budget will be presented.

The irrigation project on the old nine at Polson Bay Golf Course will be delayed until next spring, Shrives said, since the project might continue into winter weather and the group is still reviewing finances.

A triangle of land near the golf course would be nice for the city to own, but actually getting the land would be labor-intensive. The City would need to work with the Montana Department of Transportation’s Department of Surplus Land. Following a request from the City of Polson, MDT would determine whether the land was surplus land and request an appraisal. The appraisal price would be what MDT would ask for the piece of land.  

In a case filed against the City of Polson by the Citizens for Open Government, summary judgment was granted to throw the case out. Attorney fees were not awarded for either side.

The suit, filed last fall, questioned the legality of the City’s hiring of Shrives. 

Also present at the meeting were Linda Greenwood and Aric Cooksley from the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County. Cooksley described what the club does, such as summer brain gain, clubs within the club, summer camps, homework power hour during the school year, keeping kids safe and off the street and healthy lifestyles.

Greenwood talked about the club’s 20/2000 program. Since the club needs sustainable income, the board has developed a new fundraising effort asking $20 monthly from 2,000 families. She asked the commissioners to consider supporting the program.

The next city commission meeting will be held Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.  

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