Hamilton’s new Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf visited with the Ravalli County Commissioners on Thursday about projects shared between the city and the county.
“I’m looking for partnership, looking forward to finding a way to work together to serve the citizens of Ravalli County,” Farrenkopf said. “The county airport and the TEDD are looking at if city waste water services can be provided to those properties and the costs to city and county tax payers.”
Farrenkopf said that report should be completed by March.
The shared Geographical Information System Project reached an agreement between the city and county on Thursday morning.
“I think sharing resources is very important because not only city residents use city services,” Farrenkopf said. “People from the county shop downtown, eat downtown and use the parks. And if the city can be a safe haven for people to shop and recreate and enjoy things, that is fantastic.”
Other projects listed were the Daly School extension of wastewater facilities, Hamilton Police Department records management system, the local emergency planning committee and the county loan of the fairgrounds for the Fourth of July fireworks show.
Commissioner Chris Hoffman, the former sheriff, said the records management sharing between the Hamilton Police Department and Ravalli County Sheriff Office is a good project.
“I’m really happy to hear about that project,” Hoffman said. “One of the problems was we didn’t have the ability to share records. They deal with the same people we deal with day in and day out, and having those systems merge is a real step forward.”
Responsible growth was another topic Farrenkopf brought to the table. He said he would like to attract businesses to the community that would enhance the quality of life and “tighten the social fabric.”
“We’re in this together,” he said. “I think commercial and residential. I like to share Montana with people that move here. They are coming to a place with a river to fish in, good schools and a nice small-town feeling. I support people building homes.”
Farrenkopf said there are good zoning regulations in place in Hamilton to support expansion.
“I’m okay with people moving here and becoming part of us,” he said. “I don’t know a whole lot about this but I am very eager and very energetic and I put a lot of effort into everything I do. I’ll learn about all this and we’ll sit down and make good decisions – nothing hasty and the taxpayers will praise us.”
The commissioners agreed with Farrenkopf’s suggestion of making the community able to support our children and grandchildren instead of them graduating and moving away for good jobs, but were cool to the idea of zoning.
Hoffman said he is pleased that the mayor came to the county's meeting.
“We really like to keep the lines of communication open,” he said. “People come and go, personalities change, but open communication is good.”
Farrenkopf said city and county government workers are paid by revenue generated by taxpayers.
“Working together and sharing resources and pulling talent from each other is a great way to do business,” he said.