Wolf Point Herald

City Moves Forward On Gysler Property Purchase, Cleanup

The Wolf Point City Council authorized the city’s purchase of the charred former site of Gysler Furniture and Appliance on the 100 block of Anaconda Street for $1 during a special meeting, Thursday, Aug. 21.
The purchase is contingent on Gysler Furniture and Appliance owner John Gysler paying a 20 percent match of the cost of the cleanup, which is $55,493, and providing proof of continued insurance coverage on the property.
The council also advertised for a request for qualifications for engineering firms under the guidance of Great Northern Development Corporation, authorized a special committee under the city council to select a firm based on the RFQ and authorized acceptance of terms and conditions for a federal Brownfields program loan to the city with loan forgiveness.
The site qualifies as a designated Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields site where expansion, redevelopment or reuse of the property might be complicated by the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The designation makes the city eligible for funding through a revolving loan fund and/or federal grant funding for remediation and clean-up of the site.
While the Gysler buildings dated to the early 1900s, remodeling of both structures during the 1960s included roofing and flooring materials made of asbestos, which the fire this year rendered as “friable asbestos,” which is any building material containing more than 1 percent asbestos that could be pulverized or powdered by hand pressure, including asbestos that is damaged by fire, and is subject to federal regulation.
“Due to the asbestos, we are not allowing anyone to go in and we are not allowing anything else hazardous into the property,” Mayor Chris Dschaak said.
He said he wants to see the site cleaned up this year, which had been the intention of city officials since they first began working with GNDC and environmental consultant Newfields of Missoula to remediate the site in June.
GNDC had approved the loan just hours before the council met and the Eastern Montana Brownfields Coalition approved the loan Tuesday, Aug. 26.
The council is expected to award bids by the end of September.
There is a clause for a minimum resale price for the property of $25,000 for the two adjacent lots. If a buyer cannot be found that would pay that price, the city is permitted to give the property to GNDC, which would then attempt to sell it.
The council approved a call for bids for the cleanup during the monthly meeting, Monday, Aug. 18.
A fast-moving fire on March 10 destroyed the Gysler buildings.

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Tribes To Receive Federal Grant To Fight Domestic, Sexual Violence

The Fort Peck Tribes is one of five entities that will share $3 million dollars in grants from the Office on Violence Against Women to increase local and tribal capacity to prosecute violent crimes against women and provide services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota.
The Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence will also benefit.
U.S. Associate Attorney General Tony West announced the grants, Tuesday, Aug. 26.
The Fort Peck Tribes will also receive a three-year $450,000 grant to support the salary, travel and training costs of a tribal prosecutor, who will be cross-designated to serve as a tribal special assistant United States Attorney in the District of Montana U.S. Attorney’s Office in Great Falls.
“This news comes at a meaningful time in Montana,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter. “Communities in and around the Bakken are witnessing its impact, and this grant provides critical resources, including mental health counseling, legal assistance, and other resources to prevent violence against women and help victims recover.”
 The Office on Violence Against Women’s Bakken Region special initiative launched in April 2014 and is the first large scale project targeting resources to support the expansion of services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking as well as aid the local criminal justice system in responding to these crimes in the Bakken region.
With the funding, the Fort Peck Tribes will be able to enhance responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and expand mental health assistance, advocacy, legal assistance, prevention education, sexual assault forensic examiner programs, sexual assault response teams and law enforcement training. The grants are part of the Justice Department’s ongoing commitment to protecting women from violence and strengthening the capacity of communities to respond to domestic and sexual violence.

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School Board Extends Reading Grant

The Wolf Point School board extended a reading grant and hired three people during a special meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m..
The board approved a two-year extension of the Montana Striving Readers Grant, which was originally a three-year grant.
The principals of each of the schools talked to the trustees about the grant program’s benefits.
In other business, the school board hired Judy Leddige and Kelli Vine for the Southside Elementary School Breakfast Buddies program. Karen Yellow Robe was hired as an assistant cook.
Four closed executive sessions were held to address student issues.
The regular school board meeting for September is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. in the Wolf Point Junior/Senior High School library.

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Wolves Social

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Wolf Point Junior/Senior High School held its annual Back To School Social with ice cream, Tuesday, Aug. 19. It was also an opportunity for students to meet teachers and other staff, pick up class schedules and try out their locker combinations. Pictured are Wesley Weeks and Aiyana Bridges getting their ice cream in the cafeteria.  (Photo by John Plestina)

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Alonzo Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges

Adam Lucatero Alonzo, 31, of Williston, N.D. and San Bernadino, Calif., withdrew a not guilty plea and pleaded guilty in 15th District Court to criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, Wednesday, Aug. 26, after signing a plea agreement.
Judge David Cybulski accepted the plea and found Alonzo guilty.
Alonzo testified that he had methamphetamine, syringes, small plastic bags, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, digital scale, 10 cell phones and $991 in cash and paraphernalia in his possession.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Alonzo and Hilario Velasquez, 34, of Williston, N.D., and Riverside, Calif., Sept. 25, 2013, following a traffic stop on U.S. Hwy. 2 eastbound, between Bainville and Culbertson. Alonzo was driving.
A jury convicted Velasquez, of two drug charges in 15th District Court, Friday, Aug. 1.

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