Culbertson Council Discusses North Bank Boat Ramp
The Culbertson Town Council held its regular meeting Monday, Jan. 8, at town hall beginning at 6:30 p.m. Members of the Culbertson Economic Development Corporation held a short meeting at 6 p.m.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks representativeness explained the general outline of a plan to add a boat launch and parking area on the north bank of the Missouri River below Culbertson Bridge. The site is located on land between Steve and Shelley Baldwin’s property to the west and town of Culbertson and Montana Department of Transportation to the east.
FWP’s Steve Dalbey and Tim Potter said the boat access on the south side of the river at the current FWP fishing site is not manageable or improvable due to river conditions. The Baldwins were on hand to hear the plan and express their concerns that the proposed site is too small for the traffic involved. They pointed out that the site is also impacted by seasonal flooding, which can reduce the usable area.
“It’s a good spot,” Steve Baldwin told the council, “It just doesn’t have much room.”
Mayor Todd Gabriel and council member Dave Solem also expressed concerns about the size of the site. The issue was tabled for further discussion.
Brandi Schweigert from Opportunity Bank discussed investment and securities options that she is recommending to the town. Council members agreed to table the discussion until the full council was present to weigh in on the matter.
Adoption of a new lighting district and related streamlining of lighting billing and administration processes moved another step closer to completion. As stipulated, most residents will see a decrease in lighting fees while some residents will see a charge for the first time. Public hearings are in planning stages.
The council approved up to $7,500 in new gear and uniforms for the Culbertson Volunteer Fire Department, upon request from department members. Culbertson utility billing clerk Amber Fox and contract water and wastewater tester Lyle Lambert were approved for travel to the Montana Rural Water Conference in March in Great Falls.
The council approved a new payroll system at a cost of $250 per year. The ACH system is expected to improve timeliness and availability of payroll deposits.
Ongoing delays in the town’s auditing process were discussed without resolution. Council and audience members pointed out that audits are behind in many small towns and auditing services are very hard to find. Clerk/ treasurer Terri Merrill said she would look into a list of possible replacement auditors and would encourage the State of Montana to assist in motivating the current contractor.
The council discussed the possibility of presenting funding for the bathhouse project as a levy on the November elections. Discussions are ongoing. Devon Beal was on hand to answer questions about the Midwest Assistance Program GIS Map/Lead and Copper Inventory Assistance program. The council approved a resolution adopting the program at no initial cost to the town.