Dillon City Council meets under weighty agenda tonight

Though now short a member, the Dillon City Council will have no shortage of big issues to discuss at its regular meeting tonight.

In the wake getting word last week that one of its Ward 4 representatives had resigned (see story on page 1), the council will water-ski through a packed agenda that includes, among other items, a particularly important and expensive water project, a construction project at the local animal shelter, a deconstruction and reconstruction project, a pair of resolutions, a pair of proposals related to the American Legion and a pair of proposals related to bike racks.

Near the end of tonight’s meeting during the report of its Water & Sewer Committee, the city council will review alternatives for the installation of a new water mainline across the Beaverhead River west of the city.

The proposals reviewed so far range from doing nothing while hoping the main line does not fail and lead to a potentially catastrophic disruption in the city’s water supply, to a quartet of potential projects with estimated costs from approximately $1.648 million to $1.925 million

The “preferred alternative” identified by a report prepared by the engineering firm DJ&A is a “jack and bore” crossing that would cost an estimated $1,738,723.

During the Water & Sewer Committee report the council will also consider a proposal for the expansion of the Beaverhead Animal Shelter located on the north side of the city that the shelter would cover the costs for.

During the Mayor’s Report shortly after the start of tonight’s meeting, the city council will review the recent resignation of one of its members (see story on page 1), as well as review its committee assignments as they relate to that resignation.

The report to the council by Mayor Mike Klakken tonight will also include discussion of a bid for the disassembly and removal of two steel buildings from Beaverhead County High School property to the site of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, where they would be reassembled and used as storage and shop space for city crew members.

At a meeting earlier this year, Klakken said the bid would show if it would be cheaper to move the high school’s buildings, which BCHS would donate to the city, or to put up a new structure at the lagoon site.

Klakken’s report to the council tonight will also include a vote on a resolution requesting “distribution of reserved bridge and road safety and accountability program funds.” If approved, the resolution would compel the city to ante up $1653 in funds to gain a pot of $31,000 from the state’s Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Account for the repair of two street intersections with the installation of four storm drains.

The report by the council’s Cemetery Committee this evening will include a pair of proposals for a statue and plots for the American Legion, as well as the installation of waterlines and removal of trees at the city cemetery.

During the report of its Zoning Commission tonight, the city council will vote on a resolution of intent to set up an April 4 public hearing on the proposed change in the zoning designation of the 700 block of South Atlantic Street from R-2 residential to C-2 commercial.

Trial project proposals to place sets of bike racks in Dillon with the help of the Beaverhead Trails Coalition will be discussed and voted on during the report tonight of the council’s Street & Alley Committee.

The council tonight is also scheduled to hear reports from representatives of its other standing committees—Fire & Order, Finance, Judiciary, Health & Welfare, Paks and City Hall, which will include the calling for bids to replace the city hall roof and a vote on an amendment to the contract of City Treasurer Neal Straus.

The city’s Library Board, Tree Board, Planning Board and Board of Adjustments are also scheduled to offer updates on their activities to the council tonight.

The council is also set to hear reports tonight from Police Chief Don Guiberson, City Attorney Jim Dolan, City Director of Operations Todd Hazelbaker, City Judge Kaylan Minor, Fire Chief Darrin Morast and or Fire Marshal Rick Later and City Treasurer Straus.

The city council meeting tonight will conclude with a period of public comment “on items of significant public interest not on the agenda and within the jurisdiction of the city.” Members of the public may also request to offer input during the discussion periods on agenda items.

The Dillon City Council will meet today, Wednesday, March 21, starting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 125 N. Idaho St.

Tonight’s meeting will be preceded by a public hearing on the creation of a parks district in the city (see story on page 3).

For a full agenda and packet for tonight’s meeting, go online to the city’s website (www.dillonmt.org).