- Written by Angela Rose Benson
The Culbertson City Council approved a resolution during a lightly attended special meeting held at the Senior Center on Monday, June 6.
The resolution will increase sewer rates for users within the city limits to help pay for phases I and II of the sewer system expansion. This will increase sewer costs by $17.10, bringing the cost from $40.90 to $58.00 monthly.
The rate increase will become effective Aug. 1.
The cost increases will also pertain to land plots with usable services and will include a $50.47 debt-service charge for every line hook-up. Rate applies to all users who have an established curb stop regardless of snowbird or building status. This will have everyone help defray the costs for the new wastewater system.
“If the infrastructure is there and water is available on your lot, but you never use it, you won’t pay that cost. But, that money will have to be paid in full if that meter is ever turned on again,” said Mayor Gordon Oelkers.
New hookup fees for land where new meters are placed can expect a larger one-time fee for hook-up. That amount is still being determined.
Phase II of the wastewater project is ramping up and will include three new, smaller ponds with bubbling systems. The town has received a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality to discharge into the river.
Don Davis, a technician supervisor for W.W.C. Engineering, reported to the council that Century Companies has been on site and working to get the project underway while meeting the tight deadline for project completion.
“They’ve been out there with an impressive amount of equipment and are moving top-soil and building the berms for the ponds. Time is critical for this project and they have made a commitment to get it done,” Davis said.
Four years ago, the lagoon system was found in violation of DEQ standards. However, the city was not fined at the time because they started on the wastewater project in an effort to begin to meet the demands of an increasing population while upgrading the aging and leeching ponds.
Phase I of the project begin last year and was leveraged by State Revolving Fund loans. Once all phases of the project are complete, the lagoon will be able to service 1500 units compared to its original capacity of 700. Since the project began, some 2.6 million in grant funding has been captured for the 3.5 million dollar phase I project. The total cost of both phase I and phase II is $8.8 million dollars.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
For the past couple years, the Culbertson Museum’s staff and volunteers have been planning and arranging their 25th anniversary celebration set for Saturday, July 25.
“In the last 25 years, we have grown, and thanks to community support, we are able to display many artifacts from the area and to preserve the past for the future,” said Suzette Houle, president of the Culbertson Museum.
At this celebration, a meal will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There, visitors can enjoy roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetables and cake. Music will be played at the event, including an entertainer playing Culbertson Museum’s old pump organ. The cowboy poet D. W. Groethe of Bainville will make an appearance and will be available to autograph his book which is available to buy at the museum.
Guests are welcome to walk through the museum and view exhibits. Because this is the “Silver Anniversary,” the museum has added a silver display and also some 25th anniversary memorabilia.
While free will donations are accepted, everything is free. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Daily museum hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact the museum at 787-6320.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Bainville held it’s first ever Fourth of July Heritage America Celebration Saturday, July 4. The event started by the Bainville Rural fire Department serving 400 plus people breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m., followed by a parade at 11 a.m. Vendors kept people shopping from noon until 5 p.m. Bouncy houses and a super slide were on hand for the youngster as well as games, mini golf, a lemonade stand and concessions. The FFA alumni served burgers and beef tips for lunch with a pig in the park barbecue dinner hosted by the town of Bainville from 6 to 7:30 p.m., that night. Later, there was a street dance with local performers Ashlee Anderson, Derek Oestreicher and the Knudsen Brothers rocking the streets. Fireworks ended the night of fun, family and friends celebrating the Fourth of July Bainville style. (Submitted photo)
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
The Culbertson Chamber of Commerce held its July meeting July 1 at the senior center with a limited numbers of attendees.
Chamber president Bruce Houle said he would like to see more chamber members attending the meetings to help keep everyone aware of the current events taking place in the community. Larry Crowder, chamber secretary and Culbertson School superintendent, said the monthly meetings are informative, worthwhile and a great platform for bringing the community together to discuss and share issues.
Houle said he would make sure members knew about the meetings in a timely manner to help ensure more participation.
Currently, the chamber is comprised of 36 members and will receive $1,225 in dues from its members.
Updates were given from those in attendance representing their respective organizations.
Mayor Gordon Oelkers reported receiving a phone call from the office of Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., with an update on building an Amtrak depot in Culbertson. He was told a second feasibility study will be conducted to determine whether or not it would be viable to build the estimated $3.2 million building and platform.
Houle reported on the addition of the new business Sionix to the area, noting five people have been hired and that the company property will annex into the town as part of their water usage conditions for the water depot.
Crowder gave a brief report on the school, noting the elementary addition project is continuing with the next stages to include the brickwork, windows and concrete pours. He said the addition will most likely start being used this coming winter. The school is also looking into the possible purchase of new playground equipment.
He also said the school would like to be involved with the community’s website as it is getting developed by contributing to the scholarship page, which will provide area students with a centralized location for finding out about scholarship opportunities.
Jaimee Green, an attendee representing Roosevelt Medical Center, mentioned she was creating a welcome packet about RMC that she wanted to provide the town hall with to distribute to new community members. She inquired about other potential members who might want to add to the packet to make it more informative for those receiving it. Crowder reported he would send an email to all members asking for anything they would like to contribute to the packet.
Houle said he thought the parade went well, although the amount of floats was lower than in previous years. He questioned whether or not the parade should have a theme next year that might entice more participation.
“I think the date just kind of crept up on people and they didn’t have time to get their floats together with the date change,” Crowder said.
No report was given on the progress of the community pool splash-pad fundraising project, although discussion ensued about some of the water-park projects being pursued in northeast Montana. Most notable, Houle said he attended a chamber meeting in Sidney where they discussed their hopes of creating a water park similar to the Ark in Williston, with hopes of funding it through donations. “Our pool costs Culbertson $60,000 a year to operate. It’s a worthwhile expense that brings an activity for our community, but it is not cheap and there is a lot of maintenance that goes with it,” Oelkers said.
Other upcoming community events include the Swank Tour on July 21, the Culbertson Museum’s 25th anniversary celebration on July 26, Roosevelt County Fair from July 29 to Aug 21, The Northeast Montana Threshing Bee, Sept. 26 and 27, and the Roosevelt Memorial Healthcare Foundation’s Fall Fest fundraiser to be held Oct. 11.
The next chamber meeting is set for Sept. 2 at noon at the senior center.
- Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force discussed possibly funding drug training for local law enforcement officers during the monthly meeting Wednesday, July 1.
Members of the task force attended the Alcohol Summit in Bozeman in May.
One of the presenters was Boise, Idaho, police officer Jermaine Galloway who makes presentations to law enforcement and schools around the western states.
Galloway addressed alcohol and drugs in rural communities and physical, visual and verbal identifiers of drugged driving, and recognitions of symbols of the drug world.
Galloway, while addressing members of several Montana law enforcement agencies and representatives of DUI task forces from across the nation in Bozeman, warned of gimmicky alcohol promotions that appeal to young people, including inexpensive energy drinks spiked with 6 percent or more alcohol and easily available in some convenience stores, and low-cost alcohol variations that might be easily available to minors in some stores and on the Internet. He also talked about the availability of edible marijuana and people traveling to Colorado and returning with marijuana purchased legally in that state.
The task force will look into the possibility of bringing Galloway to Wolf Point.
“That [alcohol summit in Bozeman] was one of the best three days I’ve spent,” county commissioners Gary Macdonald said.
The county received $10,950 for the task force as funding allowed by House Bill 132 that Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law in April. It reallocates unspent special revenue funds from driver’s license reinstatement fees collected in counties that do not have task forces and distributing those monies on an equal basis to Roosevelt and the other counties that have task forces on July 1 of each year.
Macdonald said more funding is coming this year, but he did not know the amount. He initially anticipated about $18,000 for Roosevelt County, but that amount has shrunk because of an increase in the number of DUI task forces in Montana from 34 to 38. The increase is due to the passage of HB 132 and funding it created.
During the May 6 meeting, the task force discussed using part of the funding to establish one county-wide scholarship for a graduating high school senior in 2016. They also discussed establishing an essay or poster contest for junior high and younger students next year with first-, second- and third- place financial awards.
Several meetings to organize a DUI task force in Roosevelt County were held between late 2013 and April 2014 when the county commissioners approved a resolution that formally established the task force. The group that had been meeting as a steering committee comprised of elected officials, law enforcement and county residents, approved by-laws during its first official meeting Wednesday, May 7.
Macdonald chairs the task force. The other officers are: Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada, vice chair; Mary Vine, who also serves as coordinator for the task force, secretary; and Kahlil Wehbe, treasurer.
Participation is sought by members of the public. For more information, contact Vine at the Health Department.
The DUI Task Force meets the first Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m., in the conference room at the Courthouse North Annex on Custer Street across from the courthouse, which houses the Roosevelt County Health Department and Wolf Point Senior Citizens’ Center. The public is welcome to attend the meetings.