At its November 14 meeting, the Stevensville Town Council unanimously approved making a grant application to Montana Department of Commerce for $10,000. No match is required. The grant request was brought forth by former members of the recently closed Main Street Association to help fund a community effort at re-inventing the organization with a new economically sustainable model.
The grant application was prepared by former Main Street president Bob Cumming, Loey Knapp and Amy Berglund. Several people, including business owners, spoke in support of the grant which would cost the town nothing.
Gretchen Spiess, a downtown business owner, said, “I’m begging you please!” She said she was worried about the future, “because I remember what it was like before Main Street.” She said many businesses have benefited from the Main Street activities. She noted that the Main Street Association also got a significant grant to improve the downtown sidewalks and intersection crossings.
Colleen Meyer, Director of St. Mary’s Mission, talked about the Mission and the town’s history and the importance of promoting it to the outside world.
Bob Michalson, council member-elect (and former council member) spoke against the grant, saying he didn’t think it was a good idea for the town to spend any money on the grant. When he was reminded that it would cost the town nothing, he said “Hey, try applying for $20,000.”
In other business, the Stevensville Town Council decided to table discussions and decisions to adopt the final budget for FY 2020 and approve a resolution decreasing water rates. The issues will be taken up at the December 12 meeting. Councilperson Patrick Shourd cast a dissenting vote.
The Council unanimously approved re-advertising for a CPA to conduct a special audit since there were no proposals submitted after a previous round of advertising.
The Council approved unanimously having Councilperson Dempsey Vick draft a resolution creating a Climate Action Advisory Board. Vick said that the board was needed to address the looming issue of climate refugees flooding in from southern states due to climate warming. He said the committee could help find ways to head it off. The board would be strictly volunteer.
The Council approved the transfer of a state liquor license from Ruth Carmona to Rob Ralls.
The Council cancelled its meetings scheduled for November 28 and December 26. Town Hall will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday.
Mayor Brandon Dewey reminded the public that the town will once again sponsor the “Flip the Switch” coloring contest for children to win a chance to flip the switch for the overhead Christmas lights on Main Street following the Parade of Lights on December 6th. The coloring sheets can be picked up at Town Hall or at the Bitterroot Star office.