Written by Al Stover
The City Council met with Environmental Protection Agency officials to exchange information and discuss the possibility of Wolf Point receiving water from the Wambdi Wahachanka Water Treatment Plant east of Wolf Point.
By receiving water from the treatment plant, Wolf Point would be getting surface water instead of ground water, which through wells system, they currently get from the city’s current well water treatment facility.
Julie DalSoglio, EPA director for region 8, gave a report on the plant’s first year in operation. DalSoglio said the EPA was pleased with how the system has been operating and the plant’s operation is overseen by four operators. According to DalSoglio, one of the differences in switching from ground water to surface water is how the system is operated in terms of the filter system.
DalSoglio also went into detail about the excessive amount of sediment that came from the Missouri River from the high spring runoff back in June.
Due to the high amount of sediment that went into the system, the filters clogged. This resulted in the shutdown of the system, leaving Poplar without water.
The system was back up after a couple of days and Poplar citizens could take showers and flush toilets, but there was still an order not to drink the water until the sediment was flushed out of the system. During this time, the EPA provided the city with bottlewater. They also brought in operators from Colorado to help with the situation.
Once the system was operational, the EPA asked Poplar to develop a communication plan in case a similar situation happened. They also asked the city to turn off their wells to prevent contamination while the system is running, but still have the wells ready to turn back on in case the system needs to be shut down.
Wolf Point City Councilman Chris Dschaak said the runoff may have been the worst that northeast Montana had seen in five years and that the committee would need to know what the EPA is going to do to mitigate problems in the future. He said as soon as the EPA presented them with a plan of action for all of northeastern Montana, the city would sit down and look at all options.
HOME requested the council to authorize a request for proposal for the preliminary architect review and advertise for an architect. The council will advertise for two weeks and then review or award the position. The city will have to pay for the cost up-front, but they will get reimbursed through the HOME Grant. Wolf Point city clerk Marlene Malhum said the cost may be $17,500 to match, but it may be more.
The council also voted for the approval of the HOME Grantee/Developer Agreement, pending legal review, as well as a loan to Jonathan Reed without interest.
Brianna Vine of the Great Northern Development Corporation presented her final report of the Community Development Block Grant housing revitalization project. She gave the council a spreadsheet that detailed all the projects and demolitions completed over a period of five years. Mayor Dewayne Jager thanked both Vine and Tori Matejovsky, who also represented the corporation for their help on different projects.
Prior to DalSoglio answering questions, a citizen addressed the $77.28 citizens pay in street maintenance. Malhum assured her that they are trying to build up the money to repair the streets. Jager said he would refer the request the streets and alleys committee and he would have an answer for her.
The city will begin issuing violations to property owners that did not respond to article in The Herald-News regarding the weeds.
The CTEP project for the gazebo project is currently under review and construction could begin starting next spring.
Eldon Porras was promoted to maintenance supervisor, effective July 29 and Nicholas Ahneman was hired as SW maintenance worker II, effective Aug. 13.
The council approved the claims and payroll for July, as well as the minutes of the meetings and special hearings that took place on June 17, & 27, July 8, 15, & 31 and Aug. 7.
The 100th annual Firemen’s Ball will be held Oct. 12. The fire department is planning on feeding the community. Tickets will cost $25. There will be both silent and live auctions, as well as a fundraiser drawing for a trip to Las Vegas.
Wolf Point Police Officer Joey Olsen has been accepted into the Montana State Law Enforcement Academy Officer’s Basic Course #151 and will spend 12 weeks in Club Helena.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16.