police

The Police Commissioner and a Snow Plow

On Tuesday night, September 9, 2014 starting at 7 PM, the Colstrip City Council will hold the first regular meeting of the month.   The agenda is a full one; the most items of business since the Spring.

1 .Public Comment and Participation

2. Unfinished Business
A. Drug & Alcohol Testing Policy
B. Goodwill Policy
C. Tree Ordinance

3. New Business
A. Solid Waste Special Assessments
B. Resolution No. 2014-R20/Rosebud County Pre-Disaster  Mitigation Plan
C. Resolution No. 2014-R21/Budget Transfers
D. Police Commission Appointment
E. Special Events Permit/Homecoming Parade
F. Snow Plow Purchase
G. Reduction In Force
H. Additional Police Officer Position
I. Code Enforcement
J. Starting Wages for New Police Officers and Dispatchers
K. Planning/Building & Zoning Official Position Description, Hours & Wage

See the official agenda on the City of Colstrip website.

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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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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.”