Written by Al Stover
Tim Steffan of Steffan Associates presented a preliminary architect report for the Wolf Point Village Project at a public meeting held at Great Northern Development Corp., Sept. 19.
The preliminary architect report is part of the requirements for the project to receive funding from the Montana Home Tax Credit Program.
The report entails a summary of the project, the type of funding going into the project and how developers will make sure the project succeeds for the next 15 years. There are two main requirements for the report: the preliminary architect report form checklist and the environmental review checklist.
Steffan said the report is 75 percent complete. The remainder of the completion of the report relates to the environmental checklist.
The proposed site for the project is located near Trinity Hospital on Fourth Avenue North. Steffan presented the preliminary floor plans and said he recently did a soils report for the area. He said the issues with the water and sewers at the site have been resolved.
Steffan also said he needed a letter from the Fort Peck Tribal Council to approve the project. The council had 30 days to send back a letter to approve the poject and that deadline has passed.
“We’re doing a lot of sustainability things,” Steffan said. “[Going] green and LEED certified requirements. I think we have a good understanding of the specific climate and understanding of the neighborhood.”
Steffan said he wanted to make sure they were picking the appropriate site and that the community was in favor of it. He asked those who were present about any other sites.
Brianna Vine, housing specialist and marketing officer at GNDC, said one of the other sites they were looking at was near ALCO. In the environmental review, there had been discussions that the area was not safe for families and children and that the site was far from groceries and healthcare services while the site at Fourth Avenue North is close to the hospital.
GNDC executive director Martin DeWitt said the proposed site has the safest access to schools and transportation.
“It’s the ease of access truly what narrows it down to being the best site,” DeWitt said.
Lee Redekopp, Wolf Point City Council representative, said that, while he was in favor of the project, he was concerned about the traffic splitting the access between the main access to the hospital and pharmacy.
GNDC resource coordinator Tori Matejovsky said that splitting the access is not final and that Jonathan Reed would be happy to not split the access and physically move the project. Steffan said part of the process was also looking at different access points to the site.
Some of the benefits of the proposed site include the view of the hillside, security lighting and opportunity for privacy.
At the public hearing, Wolf Point city clerk/treasurer Marlene Malhum said the mayor’s office gets numerous calls from people who are looking for housing in Wolf Point.
“People were looking to move here for teaching jobs and nursing jobs and they were calling on a daily basis to get listings for a place to live,” Mahlum said.
Matejovsky also said she had gotten calls from people already wanting to move into the village.
Redekopp said that one benefit from the project is that it will encourage others to develop more real estate in the city. DeWitt said the last time there was any “stick construction” was in 1984.
“It’s long past due to have a new facility and some kind of community pride,” DeWitt said.