Meeting Minutes for March 12, 2014–Colstrip City Council

At the regular Colstrip City Council held on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 the Council considered six (6) motions and approved six (6) motions.  A total of five members of the public spoke regarding two motions when the floor was opened for pubic comment.  You can read the official minutes online at cityofcolstrip.com.

The Business

Garage Size Variance Request/4011 Prospector Drive

Motion: Council-member Williams made a motion to Grant a variance to the garage size limitation for a 2,620 sq ft garage at 4011 Prospector.  Council-member Koczur seconded.

Discussion:

In his motion, Council-member Williams referred the fact that the “City Council has previously approved similar requests.”  During the discussion of the motion, Council-member Williams suggested that “Building/Planning official Morgan review the code and consider revising it to reflect the actual use of property in the acerage  tracts.”  Council-member Koczur later stated that “the semi-trailer has been parked at this residence for years and is not aware of any complaints or problems.”  In response, Building/Planning Official Morgan stated, “semi-trailers are not normally allowed in residential areas but Colstrip does not have an industrial district to accommodate this and feels this qualifies as a hardship.”  She clarified, “the garage size limitation has already been increased once from 1,500 square feet to 1,800 square feet.”  Mayor Hanser commented that “this request would not decrease land values or constitute a fire danger and is consistent with the neighborhood.”  Council-member Miller “believes the garage sizes should be handled on a case by case basis because not all of the lots in this subdivision are larger than an acre.”

No public comment was received.

Result: Motion carried all in favor.

 

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

Motion:  Council-member Koczur moved to approve Conditional Use Request for Dorian Sichi to operate an assisted living facility at 7437 Castle Rock Lake Drive.  Council-member Miller seconded.

Discussion:

Building/Planning Official Morgan explained that the proposed facility would serve 7-12 residents.  Currently, the intended location for this facility operates as a bed and breakfast.  State law requires a conditional use be granted if a residential facility holds more than eight residents.  Council-member Miller asked “what kind of residents would be cared for” to which Attorney Ryder answered, “state licensing procedure specifies what kind of patients can be taken care of at the facility.”  Mrs Sichi later responded that she “plans to take elderly residents who cannot take care of themselves at home.”

Council-member Williams voiced his support for the project and “welcomes the opportunity”.  Council-member Miller also spoke in support of the proposal.

Four residents of Colstrip spoke during the public comment portion of the discussion.  John Sizen of Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) read a letter of support from SEMDC director Jim Atchison.  Branden Blake, of Castle Rock Lake Drive, voiced concerns of overflow parking since “the current bed and breakfast has vehicle overflow problems into the city street.”  Dorian Sichi spoke in favor of her request and answered some  concerns raised during the discussion.  She intends to operate an “upscale living facility for the residents of Colstrip” and that the intended residents would not have vehicles parked on site since they are not able to drive.  Andrew Kohn, a resident living on Piedmont, spoke in support of the project and said he “knows Mrs Sichi well and that she sets a high standard in everything she does”.

Result: Motion carried with all in favor.

 

Health Insurance Benefit for the Mayor

Motion: Council-member Williams moved to Provide opportunity for [Colstrip] elected officials to purchase insurance through the MMIA Employee Benefits Program and that any possible funding for the Mayor’s insurance be sent to the Personnel Committee for recommendation.  Council-member Miller seconded.

Discussion:

Councilperson Williams spoke in favor saying “when he became a council member he tried to address the compensation level of the Mayor. He feels the Mayor’s compensation should be commensurate with the responsibilities of the position.”  Council-members Miller and Koczur agreed the question should be sent to committee for recommendation.

One resident spoke during the public comment portion of the discussion.  Ken Stokes, of Sage Ct, agreed “that the Mayor and City Council should be able to purchase the city’s health insurance but does not feel the city should pay for it.”

Result: Motion carried with all in favor.

 

Police Vehicle Repair

Motion 1: Council-member Koczur moved to sell the 2008 Crown Victoria [police cruiser] as is without repair via online auction. Council-member Miller seconded.

Discussion:

No discussion or public comment received.

Result 1: Motion carried with all in favor.

Motion 2: Council-member Koczur moved to Approve the additional cost of purchasing the new police vehicle without the trade-in of th 2008 Crown Victoria in the amount of $36,674.00. Council-member Miller seconded.

Discussion:

No discussion or public comment received.

Result 2: Motion carried with all in favor.

 

Maintenance Worker/Laborer

Motion: Council-member Koczur moved to refer question of an additional Maintenance Worker/Laborer position to the Public Works Committee. Council-member Miller seconded.

Discussion:

Council-member Koczur “asked if it would be a part time or full time position.” Public Works Director Swan answered that the request is for a full time position.

No public comment received.

Result: Motion carried with all in favor.

 

The Record

Motion Moved by Seconded by Council Discussion Public Comments Tom Jankowski Greg Koczur Lawretta Miller John Williams Mayor Rose Hanser Result Date
Grant a variance to the garage size limitation for a 2,620 sq ft garage at 4011 Prospector. John Williams Greg Koczur Yes No absent yes yes yes n/a Pass 03/12/14
Approve Conditional Use Request for Dorian Sichi to operate an assisted living facility at 7437 Castle Rock Lake Drive Greg Koczur Lawretta Miller Yes Yes absent yes yes yes n/a Pass 03/12/14
Provide opportunity for [Colstrip] elected officials to purchase insurance through the MMIA Employee Benefits Program and that any possible funding for the Mayor’s insurance be sent to the Personnel Committee for recommendation. John Williams Lawretta Miller Yes Yes absent yes yes yes n/a Pass 03/12/14
Sell the 2008 Crown Victoria [police cruiser] as is without repair via online auction. Greg Koczur Lawretta Miller No No absent yes yes yes n/a Pass 03/12/14
Approve the additional cost of purchasing the new police vehicle without the trade-in of th 2008 Crown Victoria in the amount of $36,674.00. Greg Koczur Lawretta Miller No No absent yes yes yes n/a Pass 03/12/14
Refer question of an additional Maintenance Worker/Laborer position to the Public Works Committee. Greg Koczur Lawretta Miller Yes No absent yes yes yes n/a Pass 03/12/14

 

NOTE: The information above is from the official draft copy of the March 12, 2014 meeting minutes available to the public online and upon request from the office of Colstrip City Clerk.

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