The final City Council meeting was held on Tuesday, Dec. 26, for 2023. In attendance were the council members, Mayor John Demarais, PWD Jim Truelove and Laura Pankratz. The meeting began with the pledge to the flag, followed by communications from the Mayor.
Mayor Demarais shared that he is done with his involvement in the Montana Rural Water Board, stating, "I carry my emotions on my shoulders...I am done in June, so I am signing some dots...and Jim (Truelove) will be taking over the water operations. I've been doing this for 40 years, it's been a major part of my life. It's gunna be hard but it's gunna be good."
Motions were made, followed with a second to the motions, to approve the minutes of the last meeting, to approve the agenda, and approve the claims submitted. All motions were approved unanimously.
PWD Jim Truelove reported the crew has been working on patching and will be working on upkeep on equipment and vehicles. He reported the garbage truck transmission has arrived and there will be no garbage pickup on January 3rd and 4th. He said a notice will appear in the local publications.
Truelove requested permission to attend the rural water conference in March of 2024, which was approved.
Clerk Lorie Bond presented her packets which contained the check register and current shut off list.
Bond asked that members get their ideas on using the HB 355 funds put into writing and to her.
The possible sale of empty lots was discussed. The group discussed the steps and measures necessary to do so and the initial footwork will begin and be brought back to the council for voting on.
The question of whether the City will lease out any of the grazing on City owned property was brought up, as Bond said she has been getting inquiries about it. It was stated that earlier the Council had addressed the matter and voted not to lease any of the grazing. Bond was instructed to share the decision with any individuals inquiring to the Clerk.
Bond then inquired of the council for permission for herself and John Wright to attend the Flood Plains Management meeting in late February in Helena. The Council voted and approved their attendance.
There were no reports from the various committees or departments.
Discussion was held about the Compliance Officer and action is still needed on some reported vehicles. There was also discussion on some work being done around town and whether all measures were in place.
Under new business, Mayor Demarais swore in William Hicks as Ward 1 Councilperson and newly elected Councilperson Laura Pankratz for Ward 2.
The Council had been presented with a report from Great West Engineering, which contained the Water Preliminary Engineering Report Contract. The Council unanimously voted to approve the contract.
At the closing of the meeting, Mayor Demarais addressed Jim Sintler, who retired from the Council. Mayor Demarais, holding a plaque, said, "...this says here, thanks for eight years, Jim. I've given you a lot of crap over the years, and I'm gunna miss that part. But we will still have coffee." Demarais continued, "I've given him crap for 13 years; I got to know Jim real well when he was janitor and bathroom cleaner and we hit it off. Jim's been a pretty good councilman, you guys, and once again thanks, Jim."
Demarais said now Jim could watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, again.