agenda

City Council Meeting-September 23

regular meeting badgeGood morning Colstrip!  Your City Council will meet tonight starting at 7PM at City Hall.

Have you ever attended a Council meeting before?  It can be helpful to know the people who were elected to serve you and manage tax payer funds.  By going to a meeting you’ll get to meet your representatives and learn a little bit about them while watching them think through and decide on agenda items.

The line up for the evening is:

Public Comment and Participation
A. Public Hearing – Solid Waste Special Assessments

Unfinished Business
A. Drug & Alcohol Testing Policy
B. Resolution No. 2014 – R16/Goodwill Policy
C. Resolution No. 2014 – R22/Solid Waste Special Assessments

New Business
A. Interlocal Agreement w/Colstrip Public Schools
B. Mobile Home Purchase
C. Public Works Department Pickup Purchase
D. Bid Award – Backwash Treatment System

Let me know if you have any questions about the listed items. I can help you find out about the details.

Colstrip City Update: Week of April 6, 2014

Summary:

On Tuesday night, 4/8, starting at 7:00 PM, the Colstrip City Council will meet in regular session at City Hall.

The main business on the agenda will be:

  • Public Hearing/Wastewater Preliminary Engineering Report
  • Resolution No. 2014-R09/Health Insurance Benefit for Mayor
  • Additional Public Works Department Employee
  • Resolution No. 2014-R10/Budget Transfers
  • Fireworks Purchase
  • Concrete Pad at New City Shop
  • Anthracite Purchase for Water Treatment Plant
  • Resolution No. 2014-R11/Safety & Health Program

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

More information:

Public Hearing/Wastewater Preliminary Engineering Report

A public hearing for “the purpose of obtaining public comments regarding the ongoing Wastewater Preliminary Engineering Report project.”  During the hearing, the City’s engineer consultant, KLJ of Billings, will: provide an overview of the report and project, highlight the problems with the wastewater system used by the City, summarizes the recommended solutions and financing options.  The system is organized into two components: collection and treatment.  KLJ will provide seven (7) proposals to fix the collection system with costs ranging from $105,000-$372,000.  KLJ will also recommend eight (8) solutions to fix the transmission system with costs ranging from $34,000-$1.5 million.

Resolution No. 2014-R09/Health Insurance Benefit for Mayor

This resolution is a follow up to the previous Council meeting and a recent Personnel Committee recommendation.  The committee recommended the Council allow the Mayor “to be eligible for the payment of the individual Madison Plan Single Coverage premium available to (sic) the City’s health insurance provider, MMIA” and advised that there is enough funds in the Mayor’s budget to pay the premium.  They also noted that the cost to continue of the benefit into future budget years should be addressed in the upcoming budget year.

Additional Public Works Department Employee

The Public Works Committee met on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 to consider the request to create one more employee position within the Public Works Department.  The committee recommended that the Council approve one additional Union position within the Public Works Department.  Mayor Hanser also stated in a memo to the Council, “it is anticipated that the City would have two (2) Senior Operator Positions; two (2) Utility/Maintenance 1 Positions; one (1) Solid Water Position; one (1) Lead Operator Position.”  Public Works Directory Bryan Swan wrote in a memo to the Council that, “the hiring of an additional employee would be a first step toward that goal” of starting up new and improving current department programs.

On a related note, the Mayor also requested in a memo written to the Council that the Council would consider creating a position of assistant to the Public Works director in the future.

Resolution No. 2014-R10/Budget Transfers

This is a standard resolution that if passed would authorize the City to transfer various funds from one budget appropriation to another.  New money will not be added to the current budget, but merely moved to another account within the current budget.

Fireworks Purchase

The Colstrip Volunteer Fire Department will request permission to purchase fireworks for Colstrip Days celebration for the quoted amount of $7,378.50 from Big Sky Fireworks in Helena, MT.  This is an annual request and planned for in the annual budget.

Concrete Pad at New City Shop

When the new city shop was designed, a 1317 sq/ft concrete pad located in the front of the building was included.  However, this was taken out of the original design “to bring the bid price down”.  The Public Works Director now wants the concrete pad to be constructed.  It will “be used for parking and for a vehicle wash-down area” and :serve to protect shop foundation integrity by providing drainage away from the building”.  The shop building project came in under budget and the new concrete pad can be paid for from the shop building fund.  The total bid amount from Total Asphalt Repair is $10,410.50.

Anthracite Purchase for Water Treatment Plant

Anthracite coal is one of the three main components used in the water filters at the Water Treatment Plant; the other two being garnet sand and gravel.  The anthracite coal layer of the filter system is “at least 12 inches low in all 4 filters” and has not been re-added “for some time”.  In order to bring the anthracite layer back to an efficient layer, at least 1500 cubic feet is needed.  The Public Works Director solicited two bids from both suppliers the City has used in the past and received a bid from only one.  The supplier. Brentag, offered a bid for a total of $27,662.50.

Resolution No. 2014-R11/Safety & Health Program

The City utilizes an employee focused safety and health program with the goal of reducing “the number of job-related fatalities, illnesses, and injuries” and “applies to hazards covered by the Montana Safety Culture Act, General Duty Clause and by OSHA standards”.  The Council will discuss and possibly update the current health and safety program policies and procedures.

Note: All citations and quotes were taken from public documents provided by the office of Colstrip City Clerk.

regular meeting badge

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.

meeting minutes badge

Colstrip City Update: Week of March 23, 2014

Summary:

On Tuesday night, 3/25, starting at 7:00 PM, the Colstrip City Council will meet in regular session at City Hall.

The business on the agenda will be:

  • Resolution No. 2014-R08/Allow Elected Officials Participation in MMIA Employee Benefits Program
  • Engineering Task Order No. 11/Water Plant Backwash System
  • Hawkins Chemicals Purchase

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

More information:

Resolution No. 2014-R08/Allow Elected Officials Participation in MMIA Employee Benefits Program

At the previous Council meeting, Mayor Hanser requested the Council consider allowing the Mayor to participate in the medical benefit program provided to city employee’s and administered by the Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority (MMIA).  This resolution is a follow up to that request.  The resolution states, “the City of Colstrip determines that both elected and appointed officials of the City of Colstrip, including the Mayor, City Council members and the City Attorney should be eligible to participate in the City of Colstrip’s employee medical benefit program…”.  The resolution specifies that the “funding for this particular medical benefit will be made through either the City of Colstrip’s budgetary process and/or contributions by the official.”

If approved by a majority of the Council, this resolution would not require any official to participate, but only allow them to participate.

Engineering Task Order No. 11/Water Plant Backwash System

This item concerns a proposed second amendment to Task Order 11; an engineering task order authorizing KLJ of Billings to provide engineering services for the Water Plant Backwash System project.  The original task order was for the amount of $83,644.00.    The amendment seeks to add project services to the original order for the completion of the project: final design phase ($42,054.00), bid phase ($12,305.00) and construction administration ($43,557.00).  If approved, the proposed amendment will add a total of $97,916.00 to the original project cost.

Improvements to the backwash system are required by order of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MT DEQ).  The DEQ requires that “system improvements and compliance with Colstrip’s permit must be achieved by February 27, 2015”.

Hawkins Chemicals Purchase

Public Works Director Bryan Swan will ask the Council to approve the purchase of “14136 lbs of Aqua Hawk 457 and 3220.8 lbs. of Potassium Permanganate” from Hawkins, Inc, a chemical supply company in Roseville, MN, for the total amount of $13,231.00.  According to Mr Swan’s written report, “these 2 [sic] products used for water treatment have been purchased from 2 [sic] different vendors in the past but are both now purchased from Hawkins.”  The Council must approve the purchase since the total amount is over $10,000.00; the limit is set by the City purchasing policy.

Note: All citations and quotes were taken from public documents provided by the office of Colstrip City Clerk.

regular meeting badge

Colstrip City Update: Week of March 9, 2014

Summary:

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.”