THE LOCAL NEWS OF THE MADISON VALLEY, RUBY VALLEY AND SURROUNDING AREAS

Image of the proposed sidewalk plan. The cross walk at Main Street and 5th Avenue is suggested to move to the intersection of 5th Avenue and Main Street. PHOTO COURTESY OF THAD KAISER/GREAT WEST ENGINEERING

TOWN COUNCIL ROUNDUP

Selecting an interim mayor

A Twin Bridges’ Town Council decision​

The council will choose an interim mayor for Twin Bridges before their next monthly meeting. A subcommittee, comprised of two council members, conducted interviews with the two applicants, Patti Haze and Joe Willauer, Oct. 11. 

Former mayor of 15 years, Tom Hyndman, resigned in the middle of his four-year term effective Sept. 13. The Twin Bridges Town Council will select an interim mayor to carry out his term, which goes to November 2021. 

“We’re looking at what they bring to the community,” the council president and acting mayor, Matt Greemore, said. “And their willingness to work with town employees and the public.”

Haze and her family returned to Twin Bridges about 10 years ago. Haze works at Bicentennial Housing, an affordable housing community in Dillon. Semi-retired, she’s the activity coordinator there. Haze sat on the Twin Bridges Town Council before she and her family moved to Dillon for about five years.

Willauer currently serves as a Twin Bridges’ town commissioner and is the executive director of Headwaters RC&D in Butte, a non-profit that aims to provide access to essential resources that result in sustainable economic development and conservation management in southwest Montana. He’s been a member of the town council for about five years. 

A special meeting will be scheduled on the week of Oct. 21 to appoint the interim mayor. The exact date was not yet determined at the time of publication. 

Coming soon to Sheridan

Updates on developing services in town

The Sheridan Town Council affirmed conservation efforts to reduce wildlife attractants on the landscape, and the town’s efforts to provide reliable drinking water to its residents during its monthly meeting Oct. 7. 

Contingent on a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality and reviewal of operation plans, the town council approved a carcass composting site. Also, two revenue bonds passed to fund construction aspects of the new well’s pipeline.

It has been a long journey for the Ruby Valley Conservation District to confirm a site for carcass composting in the Ruby Valley. 

“A shade under a decade,” RVCD stewardship director, David Stout said.

DEQ assessed the location of the old Sheridan dump for the carcass composting site and is prepared to approve permitting, according to Stout. The area, near Sheridan’s current transfer-landfill off of state Route 287, is not accessible to the public and will be made less available when the carcass composting site is established.

To avoid improper usage and dumping, and safety the site will not be open to the public, rather it will be coupled with a free pickup program. 

An 8000-voltage electric fence will enclose the site, inside the barbed wire fence that wraps around the old dumping ground. The high voltage is needed to keep wildlife out, powerful enough to deter a grizzly bear. 

Access to water is essential for the composting site, to keep it from smelling and to accompany the decomposing process. The economical option for water usage at the site is a tank that can hold 1,500 gallons or more, but it is too early in the process to determine. 

“The water demand isn’t huge but consistent,” project consultant Steve Primm said.

Montana Department of Transportation is interested in using the site for roadkill, according to Stout. The carcasses of wildlife and livestock have to be kept in separate piles and containers to prevent chronic waste disease, which is a prion disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose. The disease has not been reported in Montana but has to be actively prevented with responsible management efforts because there are no vaccines or treatments for the fatal disease.

The highest demand for carcass removal is during calving season, so RVCD wants to have the site ready by February. 

The Sheridan Town Council also approved a $1,101,00 revenue bond from the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and a $400,000 revenue bond from Rural Development to help fund construction of the water system from the new well on Carey Lane. According to Mayor Bob Stump, revenue from Sheridan’s water usage will be used to pay the loans off in a timely manner.

Single agenda item

Ennis Town Council cancels monthly meeting

Mayor Blake Leavitt canceled the Ennis Town Council meeting for Oct. 10 because the agenda lacked content. With a single item for discussion, FEMA’s floodplain mapping, the council decided to add it to the November agenda. It is not a time sensitive discussion, according to Leavitt. Ennis Town Council’s next meeting is Nov. 14.

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