CS Masthead

Tabs For The Ronald McDonald House


The second grade class of Jimie Lou Marchwick-Wix at Culbertson School has been collecting aluminum pull tabs from soda cans, soup cans, pet food cans, etc., since the beginning of the school year. The class was recently able to donate over 10 gallons of tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Billings. Students, as well as donations from community members, helped make the first shipment a success. The class will continue to collect as they will be sending further donations throughout the school year. Community members may send donations to the school with students or drop them off at the school office. The Ronald McDonald House, which serves over 600 families each year, recycles the tabs, which are made of a more pure form of aluminum.
(Submitted photo)

Culbertson Fire Department Checks Smoke Detectors


The Culbertson Volunteer Fire Department recently went door to door to remind residents about fire safety and to check their smoke detectors monthly.
Batteries and smoke detectors were handed out or replaced when needed. Culbertson firefighter Chris Dunphy (above) installs a smoke detector. If the CVFD missed your home and you would like to have your smoke detector checked, contact Mike Olson at 406-480-0730.  (Submitted photo)

Missouri River Rats Collect Food For Food Bank


Missouri River Rats 4-H Club members (front row, left to right) Brooks Solem, Carson Solem, Trevor Miller, (back row) Brady Craig, Lucas Oelkers, Colby Craig and Zach Miller collected food for the Culbertson Food Bank as a community service project.   (Submitted photo)

GNDC Backing Funding Legislation

The Great Northern Development Corp. board discussed supporting funding legislation during the nonprofit regional development corporation’s quarterly meeting, Thursday, Oct. 9.
The Eastern Montana Impact Coalition will draft legislative bill, with a goal of obtaining as much as $90 million for needs in the 16 counties in eastern Montana.
“We’re taking a swing at $90 million,” GNDC executive director Martin DeWitt said.
He said House Bill 218 from the last legislative session would be used as a basic template for the draft of the new bill.
HB 218 was a bipartisan bill that was intended to require the Board of Oil and Gas to administer a grant program for oil and gas impacts and would have set up a $15 million annual fund to help local governments impacted by oil and gas development.
HB 218 started at $75 million, was whittled down to about $30 million by the time it had passed in both houses of the Legislature and was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Steve Bullock.
In other business, DeWitt reported that he met with several people in Billings in August, including Ken Elliott of Wolf Point, a partner in Wolf Point Green, the developer that is hoping to clean up the 110-acre former Kenco Refinery site a few miles east of Wolf Point and develop a “clean-energy campus,” that would include a new refinery and rail terminal within about four years. DeWitt’s report included that plans are to move forward with the project.
Wolf Point Green purchased the property in December 2011. Long-range plans, according to Elliott, include a wind farm and solar and geothermal energy production that would partially power the refinery. There are also plans to build a hotel and greenhouses heated with energy produced within the site.
DeWitt also reported that the second round of construction bidding has been completed for the Wolf Point Village apartment complex development that is slated for the northern edge of Wolf Point. A first round of bids during the summer came in too high. A groundbreaking date has not been determined.
GNDC is currently administering a federal HOME Program grant for $750,000 for the development and construction of the 24-unit affordable housing complex that is anticipated to be complete and open to tenants by summer 2015.
In another matter, DeWitt reported that funding applications have been submitted for the proposed Sand Creek Winds wind farm development near Vida.
GNDC has been working with Sand Creek Winds since 2012 to determine the feasibility of a 75 megawatt wind farm to be located on 18,360 acres of private lands in northern McCone County. So far, a feasibility study and system impact study have been completed with the assistance of a $119,000 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant and a $21,000 Big Sky Trust Fund Grant. GNDC is currently working with Sand Creek Winds on securing additional funds to move forward with an environmental assessment.
It was announced that a public meeting addressing the wind farm project will be held at the school in Vida Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 5 p.m.
The board also voted to accept online donations for community and business development funds and to make that option available on the GNDC website. The board will review that decision at the next annual meeting in July.
The GNDC board also heard a teleconference presentation from a Vancouver, Canada, fundraising company that seeks private foundations as funding sources. The cost to GNDC would be $8,995 for a five-year-membership. The representative of that company said there is a money-back guarantee. The board made no decision, but might revisit it in the future.
The United States Economic Development Administration and the State of Montana have certified GNDC as a nonprofit regional development corporation that serves a six-county economic development district, consisting of Roosevelt, McCone, Valley, Daniels, Sheridan and Garfield counties. The Fort Peck Tribes is also a member.
GNDC was incorporated in October 1995 and has remained in continuous operation.

Bainville Council Holds Special Meeting

The Bainville Town Council set a mill levy but did not pass a budget for the current fiscal year during in a special meeting, Thursday, Oct. 9.
The amount of the mill levy, whether it differs from last year and the reason the budget was tabled until a future meeting were not provided to The Searchlight.
The council also discussed a temporary building for a new town office with no decision. The council rejected an offer from an oil company for a “skid unit” trailer. The town will look at the possibility of building a permanent structure.