It has been a very hectic and also rewarding first six months (almost) as your Mayor. Hectic with the unwarranted attacks on our City but also rewarding with the support I have received from our residents and city employees.
I had attempted to get our newsletter in the mail during our first quarter; however, because of the logistics of mail permitting and printing this newsletter will be our first since my returning to office. We have expanded the newsletter and I hope you find it interesting and informative. It will also continue to be available online. Several of the new informational articles are the addition of Colstrip United, Southeastern Economical Development Corp. (SEMDC), and the Rosebud County Public Health.
Something I need to stress to you, our residents, is my availability. The coffee pot is always on at city hall and I welcome your visits. I can also be reached by phone at city hall 748-2300 or cell 749-6009. I do send and receive texts and also will respond to email. My email address is here. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with issues or concerns or if you just want to visit. I welcome your contact, of course our city staff is always available to you. One sure way of squelching rumors is to go directly to the source. Unfortunately, we all have a desire for sometimes turning rumors into fact.
The City has two Coal Board applications that will be presented to the Coal Board at the Billings meeting on June 16, 2016. The first application request is for $138,000 to assist in the engineering of the replacement of the Zone 3 water storage tank. This 650,000 gallon tank will be replaced with a smaller elevated 400,000 gallon tank. This will improve both the taste and odor problems with this tank and by increasing the elevation will increase the water pressure in that area. This tank replacement is a 2.2 million dollar project. Though not a part of this project, we are also in the process of taking the two Zone 1 tanks off line and combining with Zone 2. The Zone 2 tank has recently been rehabilitated. We have for years been combating the issues associated with an overbuilt poorly designed water storage system that was to accommodate a population of 5000 residents. The other Coal Board application is a request for the development of an Economic Diversification Strategy. The amount requested is $25,000. This request will be coupled with money from the Big Sky Sate Trust Fund (coal money) and $50,000 from Economic Development Administration Power Grant (EDA). The city will be working with Southeastern Montana Development Corp. (SEMDC).
Colstrip Days celebration is scheduled for June 25th and 26th. Let’s all work together to make this celebration special this year because of all the issues we are dealing with. Our Grand Marshalls are Ashley Dennehy, Lori Shaw of Colstrip United and Senator Duane Ankney. The personalities and the strength of these individuals is so reflective of what makes our community so special—Congratulations to them.
In closing my part of our newsletter, I would like to thank all that participated in the Governor’s visit. Everyone that participated with their presence and all comments that were made had significant value. My heartfelt thanks to you all. I am very proud of all our residents. These are very difficult times for us all—Keep the Faith, we are all in this together!