December 2018 and January 2019 were both busy and productive months for the City of Hamilton. Much of this work was accomplished by the city council, city employees, county officials, community partners and the mayor.
Some of the highlights are as follows:
City Employee Appreciation Lunch:
The Mayor hosted a City Employee Lunch to express his gratitude for the work the city staff performs and to celebrate the holiday season. The lunch was catered by Trapper Creek Job Corp’s Culinary Arts Crew. The Mayor appeared as Santa Claus and presented the employees with Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce gift certificates. Also, at the luncheon, Police Commissioner Ken Brown presented Officer Josh Scoggins with the Police Commissioner’s Annual Award for Excellence in Firearms.
Santa Claus appearances:
The mayor plays Santa Claus in December for a variety of events and functions and was particularly honored to be a part of two Christmas miracles. The first was participating in the adoption of a small child to a new family. The family requested that Santa Claus be present as the child still believed in Santa. The mayor wrote the child a poem and presented the poem and a gift to the child. It was a very emotional event for everyone involved. The family and friends gathered in the judge’s chambers all had tears of joy.
The second Christmas miracle was for Child and Family Services. CFS asked for Santa at their Annual Supervised Parent/Child Christmas Party. A few days before the event, the mayor received a phone call from a gentleman who had been contacted by the Army Reserve Recruiting Company in Missoula. The Recruiting Company had a trailer of toys to donate but didn’t know who to give them to. The mayor connected them with Child and Family Services who welcomed the toys as they needed many toys for the number of children in their care. It was a small but wonderful miracle for those giving and those receiving. The CFS party was also an emotional event, that caused the mayor to reflect and consider the challenges that many families in the area face.
Snow and ice on sidewalks:
The mayor would like to remind business owners and city residents to remove accumulated snow on city sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses by 9 a.m. The mayor also requests that people consider using pet friendly ice melt as many Hamilton residents walk their dogs on the sidewalks. “Traditional” ice melt can burn the pads of dog’s feet causing pain and discomfort.
Appointment of city council president, planning board representative and zoning commission representative:
At the Jan. 2, city council meeting, the city council voted to appoint Councilor Travis Martinez as the council president. As council president, Councilor Martinez will run the committee of the whole meetings after setting the agenda. The council president meets weekly with the mayor to discuss upcoming meeting agenda items. Their weekly meeting allows for both to be more prepared for committee and council meetings. Councilor Rod Pogachar was voted in as the planning board representative. Councilor Joe Petrusaitis was voted in as the zoning commission representative. They will attend those prospective meetings and report back to the city council.
The second Reading of Ordinance No. 402, an Ordinance of the City of Hamilton amending Chapter 12.20 of the Hamilton Municipal Code by creating Section 12.20.043 establishing skatepark rules and regulations with respect to city skateparks. The rules will be posted at the Hamilton Skatepark and can be found on the City of Hamilton website. Visit: http://www.cityofhamilton.net/living/parks_and_recreation/skatepark.html
The mayor encourages users to exercise caution, don’t try to skate beyond their ability and to wear a helmet
Supervisory control and data acquisition project:
The city is upgrading its supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that controls its water and wastewater facilities. This upgrade will provide redundant communication between sites, remote monitoring for operators, easier adjustment of set points, and provide additional automated controls to run the wastewater treatment plant. These improvements will increase reliability of the water and sewer systems and help provide more consistent treatment at the wastewater treatment plant.
Wastewater treatment plant solar project:
The City of Hamilton is moving forward with its solar power project to be installed at the Hamilton Wastewater Treatment Plant. This renewable generation project received funding through the NorthWestern Energy Efficiency Plus(E+) Renewable Energy Program. The program is established with the Universal System Benefits Program funds collected from all NorthWestern Energy customers in Montana. The system will generate up to 50kW of electricity and offset 5-10 percent of the wastewater treatment plants yearly electric costs.
Meeting with county commissioners:
In early January the mayor sat down with the Ravalli County Commissioners and discussed collaborative projects of 2019. The mayor expressed his desire to keep open lines of communication and a positive outlook on items affecting the city and county. His requests were well-received, and the commissioners also expressed a desire for mutual-cooperation.
Some items discussed were: Independence Day fireworks, Targeted Economic Development District, walking/bike trail, and the River Park expansion. The mayor is very pleased with the working relationship that exists between the city and county and appreciates the individual and collective efforts of the Ravalli County Commissioners.
City council meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. The committee of the whole meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are held at Hamilton City Hall, 223 South 2nd St., in Hamilton. All meetings are open to the public.