Money matters before council tonight

By 
M.P. Regan
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Dillon City Council at its meeting tonight will prove bottom-heavy, financially speaking, with the council set to consider some relatively weighty money matters in the final two council committee reports of the meeting.

During the report of its Streets & Alley Committee, the council will be asked to approve a change order to pay an additional $225,706 to Mungus, the company overseeing the multi-year, multi-million-dollar replacement of the city’s aging waterlines.

The request comes in relation to problems, delays and equipment damage encountered during the jack-and-bore portion of the project beneath the Beaverhead River.

The add-on would inflate the project’s total estimated cost to $4,340,962.30.

During the report of its ARPA Committee, the council will consider the latest recommendations by that committee on specific expenditures of federal pandemic relief money funneled to the city by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

Those recommendations include expenditures on behalf of the splash pad in Jaycee Park, the local food pantry, the police department and a local facility for seniors.

The council’s ARPA Committee recommended that the city send $174,232 of its ARPA funds to Beaverhead Senior Citizens, Inc. for a kitchen remodel at the group’s facility at 126 S. Montana St. in downtown Dillon.

“This update will create a safe, clean and usable space for the senior center and its members,” read a request for the funding submitted to the city by Senior Citizens, Inc.

Another food-related request okayed by the ARPA Committee would go to the Beaverhead Community Food Pantry.

“The Beaverhead Community Food Pantry requests that the City of Dillon consider funding the Beaverhead Community Food Pantry purchase of refrigeration equipment with ARPA funds,” reads an April 12 letter from Neal Straus, a food pantry board member and former treasurer for the City of Dillon, requesting $4,000 for the project.

Under the ARPA Committee recommendations, the splash pad in Jaycee Park would gain a $9,600 UV System with replacement bulb and sleeves to keep the water and the kids playing in it safe.

The ARPA Committee also endorsed spending $16,000 for another sort of public safety measure—the purchase of a WatchGuard system for unlimited cloud storage and regular replacement of body cameras used by city police.

People attending tonight’s city council meeting in person or via Zoom can offer comments on these matters during their discussion periods.

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