Written by Devon Boen
The Wolf Point City Council met June 17 and received an update on the HOME funding issue for the Wolf Point Village tax credit housing project.
At last month’s meeting, GNDC representative Martin DeWitt told the board GNDC couldn’t be the lead entity on the HOME application because the Montana Board of Housing did not consider it a CHDO certified business.
The HOME application is essential to the completion of the project because its approval will secure nearly 1/5 of the $4 million budget. Normally, GNDC would complete the application for the city, but since MBOH doesn’t consider it CHDO certified, it isn’t eligible. DeWitt said last month the city or county would need to be the lead on the application. He said the city could contract out the grant writing to another source, but was unsure if GNDC could be that source. On June 17, DeWitt said the application was 1,100 pages long and approximately a four-month process. He said if the HOME funds are not approved by Oct. 31 of this year, the project will not move forward.
Mayor Dewayne Jager told DeWitt he wanted the city to be the lead on the application as opposed to the county since it was annexing in the land and had been approving the various parts of the project throughout the last year. Other council members said they would like to find out more about the liabilities that would come along with taking the lead on the application. DeWitt said they would have an opportunity to find out about those liabilities from the MBOH in the near future.
Board members pointed out the application process would need to be started by July 1 in order to meet the October deadline. Despite the time constraints, no decision was made at the June 17 meeting since the city needed more information about the process in order to participate.
DeWitt told the board GNDC was in the process of planning a potential business and entrepreneurship center that would be located where the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame was supposed to stand.
“It’s a site that we’re considering working with and we’re applying for funds and planning a feasibility study. The center would house a 300-person conference center and office space for GNDC and then some potential other opportunities,” DeWitt said.
In the Wolf Point Police Department report, Police Chief Jeff Harada said the city responded to 544 complaints and issued 65 citations during May. He said he participated in the Summer Fury tornado exercise drill on June 14 by establishing a command center for the WPPD in the event of an emergency and outlining the department’s responsibilities.
The board announced Shakespeare in the Park will be held July 5 and Art in the Park will be held July 13 downtown.
The council approved promoting Joe Hogan to SW maintenance worker III and announced it had multiple job openings that would be advertised.