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Strategies Discussed For Blighted Properties

Council Approves Airport Lot Leases

The Wolf Point City Council held their regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Wolf Point resident Bill Juve returned to press the council about the state of blighted properties within city limits.

Mayor Chris Dschaak said city attorney Anna Rose Sullivan had been consulted about the procedures for notifications on properties currently out of compliance with city ordinances.

Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada said notifications will be delivered and posted at the properties under discussion before the next regular council meeting on Feb. 18.

Dschaak told Juve that efforts to clean up vacant and blighted properties are nuanced, with considerations about the city’s potential financial exposure making a plan of action for enforcement a sensitive issue.

“It’s probably the biggest problem we deal with,” said Dschaak. “We need ideas about what we’re going to do with these properties.”

Juve reiterated that blighted properties near schools make it difficult to find teachers and/or attract new residents to the city. He thanked councilman Craig Rodenberg for honoring his commitment to bring the issue up at every regular council meeting until progress is made on the issue. He said he would be waiting to see what the city does next.

Minutes were approved for the Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 regular meetings.

The airport lot lease agreement was approved by the council, following some minor adjustments to the square footage charged to tenants. New rates will be applied moving forward on a delayed schedule as part of an agreement with lessees.

A bid award for upgrades to the swimming pool was tabled pending talks with the Fort Peck Tribes about supplemental funding.

An agreement regarding improvements to the city’s animal shelter was also tabled pending talks with representatives from Indian Health Services Health Promotion and Disease Prevention program.

Provisional approval was granted for moving forward with plans to install electronic traffic signs at select locations displaying the speed of area drivers. According to councilman Dean Malhum, the cost will be covered by donations from area businesses.

Task order #5 was approved in the amount of $43,000, funding a wasterwater project and engineering report prepared by Great West Engineering.

Lt. Brian Erwin has submitted his resignation from the Wolf Point Police Department effective Feb. 1.

The investment committee reported that funds handled by LPL Financial were reinvested at an interest rate of 1.75 percent.

City clerk/treasurer Marlene Malhum submitted monthly and quarterly financial reports, which were approved by the council.

City attorney Anna Rose Sullivan told the council a new boundary map commissioned to address annexation issues will be considerably cheaper than previously expected.

The next council meeting is set for Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m.

Dschaak again expressed his hope that members of the community will come forward to fill council vacancies. If you or anyone you know is interested in serving on the council, call the city at 6531852.

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