Hamilton Mayor's Report: September a busy and productive month

DOMINIC FARRENKOPF, Hamilton Mayor - Ravalli Republic

September 2018 was both a busy and productive month 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: 

 Fall Clean-Up Approaching:  Fall has arrived, and the City of Hamilton is again offering curb-pickup of organic yard material, bagged leaves and small, bundled and tied branches. The pick-up days will be Nov. 13, 14 and 15.

With that in mind, the mayor is requesting that city residents take advantage of this service and spend a little time trimming all hedges and bushes on corners that could obstruct driver’s views and trim tree branches, at or below eye level, hanging over sidewalks. The wet spring and warm summer made good growing conditions for shrubs and trees creating these safety concerns. Many intersections and sidewalks are now obstructed and ready for a “good haircut.”

For details on clean-up days, visit: www.cityofhamilton.net.

North Hamilton Urban Renewal District (NHURD) Update: The city council held another public hearing concerning the NHURD and the impact it could have on the designated area of the proposed district.

The boundaries of the district have been approved by the city council and Montana Department of Revenue and include only properties already in the city limits. If the district is approved, it will not cause tax increases or force annexations for any property owners.

It will, however, capture only the tax increases of improved properties in the district and make that revenue available for projects that will benefit the district. Some examples of possible improvements include public safety items like stop lights, fire hydrants, sewer improvements and bike/pedestrian paths. Projects will be selected with public input and council approval.

The first reading of the ordinance to adopt the district occurred at the Sept. 18, city council meeting after a majority vote of the council. The NHURD proposed plan was presented to the planning board, who also, by majority, deemed it in line with Hamilton’s growth policy.

The next steps include a final written letter to property owners, presentation to school boards, the county commission and more public meetings. A second public hearing on the ordinance will be scheduled in November. Please call 363-2101 or visit: www.cityofhamilton.net for information on scheduled public meetings concerning the NHURD.

Emma’s House Fall Fundraiser: The mayor was invited and felt privileged to co-MC with Jessica Murphy the Emma’s House Fall Fundraiser held at the First Interstate Center. The evening featured elegant evening gowns and distinguished suits all worn with smiles by the attendees.

The meal was catered by Café Firenze — much to the delight of the mayor. Even though he was enlisted to talk (a past-time he thoroughly enjoys) the mayor made sure he had time to dine on the delights.

The evening also featured: fiddling by Lauren Roberts, tap dancing by Max Naidl, singing by a chorus of children led by Tasha Fain and a performance by Groovz Dancers. There was a silent auction and live auction featuring the debut of auctioneer, Colton Mason. After the lively auction a lip-synch battle of epic proportions broke out. Emma’s House staff performed “Respect”, Marianne Holmes performed “Red Solo Cup”, Colton Mason performed “Auctioneer”, Scott Holland and 406 Foodies performed, “Diva Melody Of Their Own Design”, Jesse Dufresne and her crew of Heidi, Kathy, April and Amber performed “Dancing Queen” and Michelle Post and Natalie Naidl performed “Rhythm Nation”. Emma’s House is a nonprofit Children’s Advocacy Center for children who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event including: sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect or drug endangerment. Emma’s House opened in September 2006 and saw 17 victims that year. When Emma’s House moved into their new building this spring, they saw 17 victims that first month. In 2017, 125 children received services and care at Emma’s House. These numbers are startling and given the nature of their work, it speaks to the need and impact of Emma’s House in Ravalli County.

Hamilton Volunteer Firefighter Association Fund Drive: Beginning Nov. 1, the HVFA will begin their annual drive. The funds raised for the association help cover some safety equipment, some clothing, help with morale events for the volunteer fireman and much more. The mayor encourages businesses and individuals to contribute to the association and offers his thanks in advance.

The Hamilton City Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. The Committee Of the Whole meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. All meetings are held upstairs at City Hall, 223 S. 2nd St., in Hamilton. All meetings are open to the public.

Joni Lubke