Colstrip City Update: Week of March 9, 2014


This week the regular City Council meeting time has changed from Tuesday 3/11 to Wednesday 3/12 starting at 7:00 PM at City Hall.

On the agenda will be new business:

  • Garage Size Variance Request/4011 Prospector Drive
  • Assisted Living Facility Conditional Use Request/7437 Castle Rock Lake Drive
  • Health Insurance Benefit for the Mayor
  • Police Vehicle Repair
  • Maintenance Worker/Laborer

The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00 PM.  All are welcome to attend.  Comments and questions, during specified times of the meeting, are also welcome.

More information:

Garage Size Variance Request/4011 Prospector Drive

4011 Prospector Drive is located in the R-3 Residential District.  According to city code, the maximum garage size for this area is 1800 square feet.  The owners want to store a truck used for a home business in the main garage and “store [various sized equipment] under a lean to addition to the proposed garage.  They are requesting a variance to build a 32′ x 60′ garage with an attached 10′ x 70′ lean to on the north side for a total of 2620 square. feet.”  This amounts to 820 square feet over the 1800 sq. ft. allowed for “accessory buildings” in the R-3 district.

Assisted Living Facility Conditional Use Request/7437 Castle Rock Lake Drive

The property at 7437 Castle Rock Lake Drive, currently used for business as the Lakeview Bed and Breakfast, is located in the R-1 Residential District and is for sale.  A Colstrip resident proposes to “purchase the property and run an assisted living facility from the location.”  A Conditional Use Permit is required in order to operate a business in this district.  The bed and breakfast operates under a “Permitted Conditional Use” but an assisted living facility is “not specifically listed as a permitted use under Conditional Use Permits.”  The proposed business will “be a twenty-four hour care provider seven days a week for between seven to twelve residents” and the business must be “licensed and inspected by the state and met [sic] all code requirements of the state.”

Health Insurance Benefit for the Mayor

Mayor Hanser submitted a letter to the City Council asking the council to “consider allowing the Mayor to participate in the City’s insurance plan and/or provide insurance for the position of Mayor.” The letter also states, “at this time there is no avenue for the Mayor to even purchase insurance through the City” and that the Mayor is “open to discussion on the subject; adjusting the monthly expense amount could be part of that discussion…as a budgetary concern, this may be provided for in the upcoming fiscal year.”

Police Vehicle Repair

One of the police cruisers, a 2008 Crown Vic, “has blown a head gasket.”  In 2013, the City Council budgeted for a 2014 Dodge Ram to be purchased by the Police Department to replace the Crown Vic.  The dealership, Veto Enterprises, offered a $2,000.00 trade in for the Crown Vic.  However, the trade-in is contingent upon the Crown Vic being in “good working order”.  The gasket repair is expected to cost $1,920.00.  The request that Police Chief Hert will present to the Council will include recommendations on what to do with the Crown Vic now that the repair cost diminishes the original trade-in value.  Two available options are to continue with the trade-in or try to auction off or sell the Crown Vic at a later time.

Maintenance Worker/Laborer

Public Works Director Bryan Swan will request approval from the Council to create a laborer position within the Public Works Department.  In the past months, the Council has requested better snow removal from city streets.  Director Swan thinks “the most effective use of manpower would be hiring a full time laborer” to primarily assist with snow removal during the winter months.  In addition to snow removal responsibilities, this position will assist in other projects around the shop and the Water Treatment plants and be used for various projects during the summer months.  The pay rate for the new position “would be $18 to $20 per hour.”


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