Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

City Council approves Suicide Awareness Walk route


September 20, 2017

The Malta City Council approved a route for the first ever Phillips County Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk which will be held on Saturday, October 7, and cover 3.15 miles around the perimeter of the city.

Phillips County Nurse Jenny Tollefson attended the council meeting last Tuesday at Malta City Hall and told the council that she, Phillips County Hospital and Clinic’s Ward VanWichen, and members of the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line Malta Extension and Phillips County Coalition for Healthy Choices have been meeting over the last several months and talking about suicide prevention and how to raise awareness. These meetings have led to training in local schools for teachers and staff and in the future will lead to classes for the students. She said the Awareness Walk is a result of those meetings.

“Gina Lamb (Boys and Girls Club) has participated in an Awareness Walk in Billings called ‘Out of the Darkness’ which is a national walk,” Tollefson said. “We thought we should have an awareness walk in Phillips County.”

Tollefson said there is no fee to participate in the Awareness Walk, but added that donations will be happily accepted and any money raised will be given to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) which has a Montana Chapter with the aim of having the money used locally to further the cause. Early Bird Registration for the walk will be held until Wednesday, September 27. The walk would start on the afternoon of October 7 (2 p.m.) at Veteran’s Memorial Park on South 1st Street East, head west toward S. 5th Avenue West, wraparound to South 9th Street West, past the Hi-Line Retirement Center on the east side of town and back up toward the park via S. 2nd Street East.

“We thought we could follow the walk up with a potluck and let people get together and tell their stories,” Tollefson said. “There are families in the community who have lost loved ones in the last few years and this fellowship would be a way to let them know they are not alone.”

Those who make a donation of $50 before the early bird registration will receive a walk t-shirt and those looking for more information on the event are encouraged to contact Tollefson via email at or via phone at 654-2521.

The City Council voted 4-0 in favor to approve the route around the City of Malta with the stipulation that they contact local law enforcement so the walkers are safe and have a chaperone during the event.

During the department reports, Public Works Director Jim Truelove told the council that mosquito spraying has been dialed back to three nights a week, but added that the football field will continue to be sprayed around 4 p.m. for Friday games. Director Truelove said that street sweeping has been done on the east side of the city and will continue to be done multiple times until the area is clean. He also said that the street near Veteran's Memorial Park would soon be swept.

Gleanings from past Malta City Council meeting minutes.

A special council meeting was held on Thursday, August 31, in which it was decided that “182.50 mills would be levied at $2,253.318 each, generating $411,230.54 in taxes” for 2017/18. Mayoral candidate John Demarais “asked why the City had decided to Mill less Mills than in the past. Mayor Jones stated that Council wanted to save the taxpayers money and in the past, the City had not always milled the maximum amount of mills. Clerk Bond stated that with changes in GASB the City would not be milling the usual 15 mills for the Fire Relief.”

Later in the meeting, the council approved the levy mills in a 4-0 vote.

Also at the special meeting, “Mayor Jones informed Council that she had requested Clerk Bond to add $50,000.00 additional dollars to the Sewer budget for change orders on the Dobson Lift Station Refurbishment project.” This motion also carried by a 4-0 vote.

During the Tuesday, August 22 Malta City Council meeting, during the water project reports, Mayor Jones “stated that there are no direct answers about the asphalt issue. Michael O’Brien from TDH explained that the oil used in the asphalt that was delivered was better suited for warmer climates and could crack under extreme cold. The oil required by the specs holds up better in colder climates. Mr. O’Brien stated that there is no way to determine how much of the asphalt contained the incorrect oil. Mayor Jones stated that all of the asphalt would have to meet the compaction specs.”


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