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Two council members take oath, officer congratulated

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ST. IGNATIUS – The St. Ignatius town council board was rearranged on Jan. 7 with newly elected members during the regular meeting.

Daren Incashola was seated after being sworn in. This is the second time he has served on the council. He was on the board back in 2018 for one term. “I like to serve my community,” he said. “I hope to help the town work on needed projects and stay within budget.” 

Ray Frey was also sworn in and retains his seat for another term. The board elected him president so he will continue to serve in that position. The other three members on the five-person board are Mayor Steve McCollum, Chris Heffern and Daniel Thompson. Willy Long finished his term and was thanked for his service.       

During the meeting, Interim Director Billie Lee spoke for the Lake County Community Development Corporation as the former executive director. She is introducing new Executive Director Jim Thaden to the different town councils in the Mission Valley. 

Lee asked the town council for a letter of support as LCCDC applies for their annual recertification. She said the corporation started back in 1995 to support the needs in the local communities with state and federal funds. The mayor said a letter of support from the town would be sent to the corporation.

Lee suggested that the council work with LCCDC to get grant funding for town projects. McCollum said the St. Ignatius City Hall could use a new roof. She said that would be a good project. 

St. Ignatius Police Chief Matt Connelly said the police cars need some work. One of the patrol cars was no longer operational and the truck needs a new transmission. “The car isn’t worth fixing, “ Connelly said.

In other police news, Jessie Girsch graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in December. Connelly said he was proud of Girsch’s accomplishment and is planning to send him to advanced training, which could include a program for breathalyzer tests.  

St. Ignatius Volunteer Fire Department Chief Reece Bailey said lights for two of the trucks have been ordered. He added that two new people were possibly joining the department. “We could use five more to get a full list (of volunteers),” he said. 

McCollum said the town wants to officially wish everyone a Happy New Year. He also asked that people obey stop signs in town to avoid getting a traffic citation. 

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