City, county to share cost of flood control

The City of Miles City and Custer County will share the cost of the Flood Protection Project, with the city paying 70 percent of the costs not covered by grants or outside funding, and the county paying 30 percent.

The project includes a study, supplemental profession services, and bond counsel services in determining funding options for finding a solution to improve or replace the Tongue River and Yellowstone River levies. The improvements are necessary so the levies will be recognized by FEMA, and bring the high cost of federal flood insurance down for property owners both inside and outside the city.

Tuesday the Miles City Council unanimously approved the letter of agreement for the shared costs at its regularly scheduled meeting.

Mayor John Hollowell told the council that he and Council Member Susanne Galbraith met with the county commissioners and they agreed with the agreement and for it to be retroactive back to July 1, since there have already been some expenses incurred.

Councilman John Uden thought the agreement was “important because one entity (the city) isn’t getting stuck with everything.” 

“I think it’s very generous of the county to step in and help, especially offering 30 percent.” Hollowell said.

The council also:

— received a certificate of appreciation for Miles City’s involvement with the Southeastern Montana Development Corporation. 

— appointed Rock Wankel to the Historic Preservation Commission.

—  waived the $50 rental fee and $200 deposit for the Ryno Bandshell for its grand opening on April 29. Milestown Community Improvement Incorporation, which requested the waiver, built the shell and gave it to the city. “It’s the least we could do after all the time and money they put into it,” Galbraith said. 

— awarded an $1,100 Downtown Facade Improvement Grant to Automatic Transmissions of 516 Bridge St. for signage. Five council members approved the resolution and Council Member Rick Huber, who is the manager of the business, abstained. Council members Brant Kassner and Kathy Wilcox were absent.

— approved a professional services agreement addendum between the city and Interstate Engineering for the development of a long-range transportation plan. 

— designated Hollowell and department heads to acquire surplus equipment from the state.