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New problems plague Spring Creek Lift Station

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RONAN — After approving the draw down for the Spring Creek Project at a council meeting on Monday, the Ronan City Council was informed of new issues that had recently developed with the Spring Creek Lift Station.

The impermeable liner that was installed to act as a reinforcement in the station, came loose and has been blocking the station’s pumps.

“It’s coming up from the bottom and plugging the pumps,” Ronan Public Works Director Kevin Templer explained. 

Templer said that city workers need to block off the main line to observe the problem. With the water running through, city employees are only able to catch a brief look at the problematic situation.

Templer said that he expected the contractor to help remedy the situation on Tuesday.

Librarian Michelle Fenger and Ronan City Library Board Members Dick Gallagher and Frank Delgado were present to discuss recent developments with the Ronan City Library. 

Delgado presented city council with the information regarding a mill levy request. City council requested the information from the library at a council meeting two weeks ago. 

The library board is requesting the approval of a 20 mill levy request, which represents about $35,000 in revenue, Delgado explained. In order for the city to place the mill levy on a ballot in September, the library board is seeking an answer from the council at the first meeting in June. He noted that the library hasn’t chosen a specific date for the vote yet. 

Gallagher approached the council requesting a number to base this year’s library budget on. 

“The library is in the throws of trying to do the budget for the fiscal year,” Gallagher explained. 

He said the board would prefer that the council give the library a number to work with while doing their budget “rather than throw in a figure and have it go back and forth and back and forth.” 

Gallagher explained that the library needs roughly $16,000 to open its doors without paying its employees.

“We have to know if we will be able to serve this populace,” Gallagher said, noting that the library serves an average of 108 people per day. 

The council responded that they have no way of knowing the exact number until tax revenues are in. 

Tax revenues vary each year due to the fluctuating number of residents who pay their taxes. The city council cannot give an estimate of the amount of money they will be able to designate to the library’s budget. 

“Normally, what you can do is budget on the least you can,” council member Ann Smith Brower said. “We don’t see our real numbers until the fall. There’s not really any avoiding that.”

Other council member recommended the library base their budget on the approved budget of the previous fiscal year. 

The library also asked city council for a budget amendment after receiving a $1,500 donation from the Lower Community Flathead Valley Foundation for the summer reading program. 

Council approved the amendment unanimously. 

“We’ve had a lot of people supporting the library and they’ve kept us going and kept our spirits up,” Delgado said.

Ronan Police Chief Dan Wadsworth was also present to request permission to hold a fundraising barbecue for animal control on Father’s Day in June. Council noted that permission was not needed, and it was an excellent idea. 

City council also approved the amendment to fund the administration services contract for the Wastewater Project. 

The council tabled two issues involving the creation of an SID for roads and storm water in the R and J subdivision and a proposal for a land swap from Rus Sherman. 

City council planned a work meeting to discuss the issues and hopefully come to an adequate solution. Sherman and Sherman surveyor Marc Carstens noted that he would make himself available for the planning meeting anytime that is convenient for council.

The next regular Ronan City Council meeting will be held at the Ronan City Hall on June 7 at 6 p.m.

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