Wolf Point Herald

City Looks To Use $750K Grant For Future Affordable Housing As Wolf Point Village Project Is Canceled

The proposed 24-unit Wolf Point Village rental complex, that could have provided affordable rental housing, will not be built.
Wolf Point Mayor Chris Dschaak said Monday, March 30, that developer, Jonathan Reed of Jonathan Reed & Associates of Colorado, Springs, Colo., notified municipal officials in an email last week that he was withdrawing from the project.
“There was a financial shortfall of between $600,000 and $700,000 on the developer’s side and he was never able to bridge that gap,” Dschaak said.
Two rounds of construction bidding for Wolf Point Village during the summer and fall of 2014 produced high bids that put the project over budget.
The city received a $750,000 HOME grant for the project through the Montana Department of Commerce in early 2014. The city acted in a pass-through capacity with the project for the funding. Great Northern Development Corporation was the project manager.
While Wolf Point Village will not be built, the city has until March 2017 to use the HOME grant money for an affordable housing project.
“The HOME Program of the state of Montana is working hand-in-hand with us to utilize the money,” Dschaak said.
“We’re trying to find a way to bring in housing into the town. We are still committed to using the HOME grant money,” he said. “We promised the residents of Wolf Point affordable housing.”
Dschaak said it is unknown what the project might be or where it would be located. Municipal officials have two years to use the $750,000 grant, but Dschaak said he hopes housing is built sooner than two years.
Wolf Point Village was slated to be built on a site near the Northeast Montana Health Service - Wolf Point Campus hospital.
Plans were to build four one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom.
The complex would have been targeted to families with incomes between 40 and 60 percent of the area median income. A family of four with a household income between $23,240 and $38,860 would have qualified for Wolf Point Village. Rent would have ranged from $354 to $767 monthly.

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14 Candidates File For Wolf Point School Board

Fourteen people filed papers with the Wolf Point School District declaring their candidacy for six school trustee positions.
All races are contested with two or three declared candidates.
Five of the seats are newly redistricted single-member districts within Wolf Point and there is one at-large position that includes all of Wolf Point and the Frontier School District.
All six current trustees were elected at-large. Only one current board member is running in a single-member district.
The new trustees elected in the upcoming election will serve one, two and three year terms. All school board members will be elected to three-year terms in future elections.
Ballots will be mailed to all eligible registered voters and ballots must be returned to the school district office located inside Wolf Point High School by 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 5.
The candidates by district are:
District 45-1, two-year term: Yvonne (Smoker) Bashay, Corey E Reum;
District 45-2, one-year term: Jaronn R. Boysun [incumbent], Linda L. Hansen;
District 45-3, three-year term: Mark Kurokawa, Gib R. Medicine Cloud;
District 45-4, three-year term: Paul K, Gysler. LaRae Hanks, Lawrence “Larry” Wetsit;
District 45-5, two-year term: Lanette Clark, Mary Vine;
At-large district 45A, one-year term: Brandon Babb, Roxanne Gourneau, Glenn Strader.

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Several School Board Races Contested In Area

The deadline for candidates for school trustee positions passed Friday, March 27. The following is a list of candidates by school district.
In Brockton, incumbents Leonard Boxer and Rodney Burshia are opposed by Darren Long Hair. The top two finishers will serve on the board.
In Frazer, incumbent Harry Beauchamp is opposed by Michael Cole, Jamie Smoker-Lilley and Grant Stafne.
In the Frontier School District, incumbents Brandon Babb and Bill Pew are running for reelection unopposed.
There are two three-year terms open in Poplar with 13 candidates. Incumbents Faith O’Connor and Noah Strauser are opposed by Howard Azure, Scotty H. Azure, Jodie Boyd, Thomas Brown, George Budak, James DeHerrera, Susan L. Ennis, Rick Kirn, Shannon Knowlton, Debra J. McGowan and Gary Sadler.

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School Trustees Approve $70K Phone System

The Wolf Point School board approved the purchase and installation of a new telephone system for all school buildings during a special meeting Monday, March 30.
Safety reasons and that the current system does not always work were cited as reasons for the change.
The cost is $70,130.
Nemont is selling the equipment to the school district and will install the equipment, new wiring and cable jacks.
The district received two quotes and Nemont provided the lowest bid.
“Once Nemont came in and looked at our phone system, it was determined it would not be compatible,” superintendent Joe Paine said.
Available monies from several existing school district funds will be used to pay for the phone system.
In other business, the school board approved hiring Brittany Hagerman as an assistant cook and Lindsey Ellison as a secretary for the junior and senior high school pending successful background investigations.

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Conversion To Larger FPCC Library In Poplar Completed

The merger between the James E. Shanley Tribal Library on the Fort Peck Community College campus and the Poplar City Library is completed, giving the community a substantially larger library with a superior collection.
James E. Shanley Tribal Library is now an affiliate library of the Roosevelt County Library System.
Roosevelt County Library director Andrea Hayes told Roosevelt County Library trustees meeting in Wolf Point Saturday, March 29, that it had been hoped that the merger would have been completed by late December.
The majority of books from the former city library were moved into the FPCC library and the remainder was transferred to Wolf Point.
“They took between a quarter and a third of the collection. The rest, we put in bags and brought here,” Hayes said.
She said library staff will determine which books to keep and which will be included in a future book sale.
“I gave the keys [to the former library in Poplar] back to the city at the end of January or beginning of February,” Hayes said.
The Roosevelt County Commission approved the merger during summer 2014.
In other business, Hayes said Tamra Fossetta has been hired as Culbertson Branch Library librarian and was scheduled to start work Thursday, April 2. She is replacing Beck Hekkel, whose last day was March 5.
Hekkel extended her notice to resign to allow more time to hire a replacement.
Leona Colvin, library trustee from Culbertson, said Fossetta is a former municipal planner from Washington.
In other business, Hayes said Montana State Librarian Jennie Stapp of Helena visited Roosevelt County a few weeks ago and toured the James E. Shanley Tribal Library in Poplar, and the libraries in Culbertson and Froid.
Gloria Mason, trustee from Froid, took Stapp on the tour of the library in Froid.
The trustees also approved by-laws for the county libraries.

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