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It has been a very hectic and also rewarding first six months (almost) as your Mayor. Hectic with the unwarranted attacks on our City but also rewarding with the support I have received from our residents and city employees.
I had attempted to get our newsletter in the mail during our first quarter; however, because of the logistics of mail permitting and printing this newsletter will be our first since my returning to office. We have expanded the newsletter and I hope you find it interesting and informative. It will also continue to be available online. Several of the new informational articles are the addition of Colstrip United, Southeastern Economical Development Corp. (SEMDC), and the Rosebud County Public Health.
Something I need to stress to you, our residents, is my availability. The coffee pot is always on at city hall and I welcome your visits. I can also be reached by phone at city hall 748-2300 or cell 749-6009. I do send and receive texts and also will respond to email. My email address is here. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with issues or concerns or if you just want to visit. I welcome your contact, of course our city staff is always available to you. One sure way of squelching rumors is to go directly to the source. Unfortunately, we all have a desire for sometimes turning rumors into fact.
The City has two Coal Board applications that will be presented to the Coal Board at the Billings meeting on June 16, 2016. The first application request is for $138,000 to assist in the engineering of the replacement of the Zone 3 water storage tank. This 650,000 gallon tank will be replaced with a smaller elevated 400,000 gallon tank. This will improve both the taste and odor problems with this tank and by increasing the elevation will increase the water pressure in that area. This tank replacement is a 2.2 million dollar project. Though not a part of this project, we are also in the process of taking the two Zone 1 tanks off line and combining with Zone 2. The Zone 2 tank has recently been rehabilitated. We have for years been combating the issues associated with an overbuilt poorly designed water storage system that was to accommodate a population of 5000 residents. The other Coal Board application is a request for the development of an Economic Diversification Strategy. The amount requested is $25,000. This request will be coupled with money from the Big Sky Sate Trust Fund (coal money) and $50,000 from Economic Development Administration Power Grant (EDA). The city will be working with Southeastern Montana Development Corp. (SEMDC).
Colstrip Days celebration is scheduled for June 25th and 26th. Let’s all work together to make this celebration special this year because of all the issues we are dealing with. Our Grand Marshalls are Ashley Dennehy, Lori Shaw of Colstrip United and Senator Duane Ankney. The personalities and the strength of these individuals is so reflective of what makes our community so special—Congratulations to them.
In closing my part of our newsletter, I would like to thank all that participated in the Governor’s visit. Everyone that participated with their presence and all comments that were made had significant value. My heartfelt thanks to you all. I am very proud of all our residents. These are very difficult times for us all—Keep the Faith, we are all in this together!
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As I begin my message, it is my desire to address some activities that are planned , on going, and also the threats we have against our city, our quality of life, and our existence.
The first is the mailing and expansion of our quarterly newsletter. Communication is key to our success as a city providing you information and soliciting feedback. We will continue to provide the newsletter electronically and also invite you to our web page, that we continue to review and update. The city’s web page address is: www.cityofcolstrip.com.
The major project planned for this year is the Willow Avenue Reconstruction Project. This street is over forty years old and is in much need of the reconstruction effort. Although we have other streets entering into our city, this street does serve as our main entrance. It is our intent as we address this reconstruction will be updating and making it a more attractive entrance reflective of the quality values of our city.
A group of residents, primarily young people, have come together uniting in defense of our coal mining industry, power plants, and most importantly the quality of life we all enjoy in Colstrip. The organization and its activities can be found on Facebook. I encourage all our residents to become familiar with it and support it.
The Colstrip United group is dedicated to putting out thoughtful, accurate information related to the benefits of coal and electrical energy to Montana. In particular, to what we all enjoy in Colstrip a quality life style based on coal.
Colstrip has really been in the forefront of the news, this year, and I appreciate all those that have taken part and addressed the positive aspects of living and working in Colstrip.
Our own Senator Duane Ankney has also been in the forefront of all the controversy of the attempts to shut down the Colstrip power plants and undermine the industry in general. We are all so very fortunate to have Senator Ankney in our support.
The community also has my undying support to put out truthful, accurate information and to solicit support wherever I can to avoid losing the quality of life we all enjoy in Colstrip.
The Town that Coal Built—Tomorrow’s Town Today.
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Incoming Mayor John Williams is sworn in by outgoing Mayor Rose Hanser.
New Councilmembers Jolene Verlanic and Mike Esser sworn in by Mayor Williams.
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"No matter what one's opinion of the Clean Power Plan is, we can't afford to ignore it. We have far to much at stake" Governor Bullock said Tuesday.
He was "In the House that Coal Built" January 5th to announce the members of the Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council. With the Governor on the left is Mayor John Williams on his second day in office. Appointed to the council was Duane Ankney, representative from Senate District 20.
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John Williams - 303
Darla Davidson - 275
Jolene Verlanic - 424
Mike Esser - 303
Wendy Smith - 232
For - 1054
Against - 715