Dschaak Seeks Solutions To Blight, Asks County Commissioners For Help

The Roosevelt County Commissioners held their regular meeting Tuesday, March 19, with commissioners Gary Macdonald, Duane Nygaard and Gordon Oelkers in attendance.
Following the approval of minutes for the March 5 public meeting and a March 11 special administrative meeting, the commissioners welcomed Wolf Point Mayor Chris Dschaak.
Dschaak asked for help with property cleanup in Wolf Point. He told the commissioners that the problem is too big for the city and represents a shared problem for the wider community. He asked for assistance and ideas, but presented no formal requests to the county.

Macdonald acknowledged the problem and said that past attempts to contribute to city cleanup efforts have resulted in complaints from his constituents, many of whom live outside city limits.
Roosevelt County Attorney Austin Knudsen told the commissioners that liability issues around cattle guard maintenance are murky. He acknowledged that snow removal efforts during recent winter weather have proved challenging, indicating that the best solution may be for area ranchers to employ common sense about where they choose to feed their livestock during inclement weather.
The commissioners discussed the need for a new written policy on snow removal around cattle guards, road regulations and fines.
The commissioners again discussed a test release planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at For Peck Dam. Nygaard and Oelkers reiterated their feelings that local ag interests — especially irrigators — should make their opposition to the plan known before the March 26 deadline for public comment.
Great Northern Development Corporation executive director Tori Matejovsky updated the commissioners about local community planning efforts. She described an informal grassroots program called “Make Poplar Great Again” designed to combat blight and assist with area lot cleanup efforts, including testing for methamphetamine contamination. She said the group is also working on securing a splash pad in Poplar for use during hot weather.
John Bach from Interstate Engineering submitted a proposal for preparation of a Comprehensive Capital Improvements Plan.
According to Bach, the CCIP will be prepared in conformance with the Montana Treasure State Endowment Plan. In a letter addressed to Macdonald, Bach said the CCIP will assist the county in long-term planning efforts and enable it to remain eligible for future additional funding through various sources, including TSEP.
The commissioners unanimously approved the proposal.
Darla Zimmerman was approved as a new hire for the health department and the commissioners accepted the resignation of detention officer Vincent MacDonald.
Claims for March 11 were $182,366.09.