CS Masthead

Airport Lends Money, Sewer Project Still Held Up

The Culbertson airport will be lending money to the Baker airport and the new sewer system has yet to make much progress.

The city council’s meeting on Monday, June 4, included discussion on the airport lending money and the need for progress on the proposed sewer system.

To kick off the meeting, Rick Knick gave a report to the council, noting that the FAA had asked if Culbertson would adopt an Airport Affected Area, which will protect the area around the airport from cell towers and buildings.

When asked who approves it, Knick said that whoever owns the airport would be the one to adopt it.

The council has met with Roosevelt County Commissioners to switch ownership from the county over to the city and a letter is in the process of being sent to the commissioners.

Knick said that the Schutze Foundation wanted to have the airport buy that land and, before a purchase is made, the land needs to be appraised.

Knick reported that the Baker airport had asked Culbertson for about $150,000 to help with some construction.

According to Knick, airports lending money to one another is quite common.

A motion was made to transfer $150,000 in entitlements to loan to the Baker airport. The motion carried.

Dennis and Gary Park proposed to the council to turn their mother’s land into possible affordable housing, such as condominiums. The units would not be low-income housing, but would be affordable.

After some discussion on the land being a possible flood plain, the brothers decided to bring a detailed sketch plan to the council to review.

Paul Finnicum informed the council that the school is working with the county to build housing for teachers, as well as the possibility of housing for hospital employees.

Senator Max Baucus and Rural Development “seem to be on board” with the idea, according to Finnicum.

Finnicum will be going to Helena for a legislative ses- sion this week to see if there is a way to get oil and gas money back into schools in impacted areas.

Finnicum noted that the state has money that could be used areas that are hit hardest by oil and gas development.

In old business, councilman Bruce Houle gave an update on the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway. The Montana section, which runs from Bainville to the North Dakota state line, is far ahead of the planning for the North Dakota side.

The plan is to widen the highway to four lanes. According to Houle, the Montana Department of Transportation had “beefed” up their application, though the expansion cannot be built without funding.

Under new business, the council discussed the progress on the wastewater collection and treatment system, which has yet to be put out for bid.

“I thought the bid was supposed to go out this month,” said Mayor Gordon Oelkers.

Jeremy Fadness, a planner for WWC Engineering, noted that there are still a few slight hold-ups before the plan can go out for bidding.

Oelkers said the delays happened recently and the council discussed the possibility of holding a special meeting so the plan can go out to bid on time.

A meeting has not yet been scheduled.

A motion made to accept a DEQ-approved system for the Geib Development was carried.

A motion was made to adopt the proposed Culbertson Growth Policy Amendment, change of land use designation. The motion carried.

The second reading of Ordinance No. 218 to “amend the Culbertson land use map by an amendment of the development review designation from ‘residential district’ to ‘commercial district’ on the area generally located at the intersection of 3rd Ave. W and Highway 2...”

This area will be a coffee kiosk for the Averills, but will not be started for at least 30 days.

The council also discussed the idea of allowing local truck traffic only on 1st Street West to Jasper land. They decided there was not enough information on the matter to take any action.

A workshop will be held in Miles City on Tuesday, June 26, that is intended to instruct local governments and their consultants on how to used Tax Increment Financing to help fund infrastructure.

The workshop will be provided by the Montana Economic Developer’s Association, which is aimed at using the Bakken boom to help impacted areas build public infrastructure.

Bills were paid and the meeting was adjourned.

The next Culbertson Town Council meeting will be held Monday, July 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Culbertson Senior Citizens Center.