All the signs of spring are showing up in Hamilton. The robins are out rebuilding their old nests and the city’s cold-patch crew is out filling potholes. Donny Ramer, Director of Hamilton’s Public Works Department, told the City Council last week that he will soon have a full inventory of the potholes that can then be prioritized. The city’s streetsweeper has also hit the streets starting on Pine, 10th, State, Ravalli, Fairgrounds, and Kurtz, and will begin working in the downtown on nights that are above freezing starting on the 12th or the 19th.
The City Council granted Jeremy Weaver, owner of the EATibles Food Truck, permission to park his food truck on the city’s public parking lot at 2nd and State for an additional six months. Weaver has been operating his food truck from the parking lot two days a week but asked for and was approved for another day of operation. To provide some flexibility, he may operate the food truck for three days a week on any of four days, from Wednesday through Saturday. The new 6-month authorization begins on May 1, 2019.
Councilor Travis Martinez asked a few questions of Weaver including whether or not other food vendors were allowed permits to use the parking lot.
“It’s open to other vendors,” said Weaver. “The more the merrier. If we can bring in others, I could have something different for lunch. That would be great.”
The permit extension was approved on a 5 to 0 vote with Martinez abstaining.
The council approved the installation of a StoryWalk in Claudia Driscoll Park. A StoryWalk is a children’s story book that is spread out page by page across a number of reading stations along an approximately .25 mile trail that promotes health and literacy in children. StoryWalk is generally geared for children between the ages of 1-7.
Kaitlin Anderson of the Montana State University Extension Office proposed erecting a StoryWalk in the park. The StoryWalk project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition (VBPC) and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.
Anderson said that the pages of the book will be mounted on the posts in such a fashion that they can be removed and replaced easily so that the story can be changed. The stories will be posted every Saturday through May. Anderson said that a survey was planned to assess the effectiveness and popularity of the program to see if it is something that the community wants to continue.
The council adopted a job description for City Planner/Administrator. The Mayor formed a selection committee consisting of the Mayor, the Council President, Public Works Director, City Attorney and City Clerk to help devise the new description. The new position will probably work out of the Public Works building.
The council also revised the description for the Street seasonal positions to drop the requirement for a Commercial Driver’s License to require that one be obtained within a year of being hired. Ramer said the department was looking to hire one nine-month position this year.
The council also approved agreements with the Bitterroot Red Sox and the Hamilton Babe Ruth teams for use of the ballfields for the 2019 season. The agreements have not changed from last year.
The new justice center building being remodeled on Main Street will be named the City of Hamilton Justice Center and a sign will be placed on the wall of the building with appropriate lighting. It will house the Justice Court, the Police Station and the City Attorney’s office. Although two interview rooms were included in the center’s design, no detention cells will be located in the building.