By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Mayor Speaks on City Issues

 


Mayor Becky Erickson and Director of Public Works Rob Kompel sat down with the Courier to discuss the city’s success in soliciting grants, raising money for the recent fire truck purchase, handling the declared state of emergency, the final stage of the water improvement district, and the positives of working with the current City Council members. Mayor Erickson was emphatic in her recognition of city employees and the City Council who work hard on behalf of the city.

Mayor Erickson began by discussing the upcoming publishing of the City Council meeting minutes in the Courier stating, “Glasgow City Council has decided that in keeping with transparency and open government, you will see the Glasgow City Council approved minutes published in the Glasgow Courier.”

The mayor spoke at length about the city’s success in receiving grants, having received currently $541,798 in grants, including $18,886 for Smith Park Bike Park from the Montana Department of Tourism, and $15,000 from the Department of Commerce to fund a branding study for Glasgow in an effort to market the city as a potential destination for visitors.


Additionally, the mayor said, “We have also received a $500,000 non-competitive grant from the Department of Commerce to address blighted and un-safe structures in the targeted area from Highway 2 south to 3rd Street South over to 13th Street South.” The grant is intended for the rehabilitation and demolition of qualifying structures in the target area. The mayor continued saying, “Stacey Amundson has spent numerous hours making this program available to our citizens- taking almost two years in just becoming certified.” The mayor also commented that an article will be coming out in Dec. stating the required criteria to apply for the money.

Lastly, on grants, the mayor said that the city will be receiving $500,000 in TSEP (Treasure State Endowment Program) funds for the water improvement district being worked in Glasgow. Kompel stated that the improvement district is coming along and is currently in the design phase and should go to bidding next summer with a likely two-year construction time, but once completed the water infrastructure should be up-to-date. Kompel said, “We’ve methodically gone through and dealt with the big ticket items over the last few years, so after this we just have routine maintenance to deal with on our water infrastructure.”


Mayor Erickson added that the community will receive a total of $1.5 million in grants this year, and more monies are in the works. The mayor stated, “Kathy Granger, our city grant writer and assistant to Chief Barstad, is currently working on grants for a new swimming pool, updated playground equipment for Sullivan Park, and safety equipment/air compressor for our Glasgow Fire Dept.”

Another topic important to the mayor is that of the recent State of Emergency declaration made due to forecast flooding of the Milk River. She commented that these declarations are necessary to receive support from the Army Corps of Engineers and to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency funds for disaster clean-up if anything were to be affected. She also stated, “I am very proud of the collaboration between Rick Seiler with Valley County DES (Department of Emergency Services), Tanja Fransen with the National Weather Service and the City of Glasgow. Communication was at an all-time high.”

Lastly, both Mayor Erickson and Kompel expressed their gratitude toward City Council members for being proactive and supportive in decision making. “City Council is very proactive and willing to think outside the box,” said Erickson. Kompel added, “They are very good at hearing priorities and realistically looking at the situation and asking, ‘What do we need?’”


 

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