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Ronan city council discusses business licenses, marijuana revenue

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RONAN — The Ronan City Council held a meeting on Jan. 25 to discuss upcoming projects and existing concerns for the town.

The councilmembers reported their continuing discussion on potential business licenses for the city of Ronan. City Clerk and Treasurer Kaylene Melton compiled examples of business license requirements in other Montana towns for the councilmembers to review prior to the meeting, and Councilmember Lindsay Myers reached out to towns the approximate size of Ronan, such as Three Forks and Columbia Falls, to gauge in what way their business licenses were handled. They reportedly discovered a wide variety of results: while some towns had very detailed code for their licenses and zoning, others kept the code short and written in broad strokes. They sent several examples of these licenses to City Attorney Ben Anciaux prior to the meeting for his input. 

“It’s totally dependent on how much you want to do,” Anciaux told the council. “You’ve all talked about what you’re hoping to accomplish, so I think that’s where you focus … and that kind of dictates how deeply you go into it.” 

Councilmembers have previously stated their intentions for the business licensing to be used as a tool to help determine the kinds of businesses allowed in town. Licensing will also assist the chamber to create a cohesive list of the businesses and services available in town. 

The council subcommittee will continue to work on their draft for the possible license proposal and will bring it before the city council in a future meeting. 

Additionally, Councilmember Julie Moore shared that the county is not receiving transparency from the State of Montana regarding the allocation of funds from the marijuana tax revenue. Moore mentioned that an individual with Lake County shared that the county had received a check for $11,000 from the State of Montana - portions of which goes to Ronan, Polson, and St. Ignatius alike - with no itemization per town or specification on the encompassing dates for which the funds were distributed. 

Councilmembers will keep in touch with the county for any updates regarding the specifics of what money they should be receiving from the marijuana tax. Currently, Ronan has received $1,300 out of the $11,000 check, and there is no documentation stating if that amount is for a quarter or for the entire year the city participated in the marijuana tax revenue program.

In other news:

- Mayor Chris Adler read off his first proclamation as mayor during the meeting, announcing a new Ronan Hall of Fame Day. “Whereas the school district and community of Ronan has produced numerous distinguished individuals and teams, and whereas the Ronan Hall of Fame committee will induct the 2022 hall of fame class on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at the Ronan Community Center, and whereas the city of Ronan desires to recognize and honor these individuals and teams, therefore let it be resolved that I, Chris Adler, Mayor of Ronan, do proclaim Saturday, Feb. 11, as Ronan Hall of Fame Day,” he read in a statement.   

- Chris Adler was also reaffirmed as the Ronan Fire Chief for the year 2023 and was approved unanimously by the council. 

- Three upcoming street closure events requested by the Ronan Cooperative Brewery were approved: an icehouse contest on Feb. 17, an annual member meeting on March 3, and a St. Patrick’s Day event on March 17.

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