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Volume XXIII, Number 41

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tending to the trout

By Greg Lemon

Right now as spring is hitting its stride, cutthroat trout are swimming from the Bitterroot River up Skalkaho Creek to spawn and this year young and mature fish alike will have a better chance of making it back to the river. More...

Paul Barteni, director of Daly Ditches Irrigation Company, stands over Skalkaho Creek at the point the Republican Ditch meets the creek. Barteni explains how the diversion structure in Skalkaho Creek works with his ditch and how the new siphon will convey the ditch under the creek and keep creek water and ditch water separate to protect native trout.

Flooding coming our way?

By Greg Lemon

Everybody is talking about it – all that snow in the mountains surrounding the Bitterroot Valley waiting to melt and fill the streams and rivers to the tops of their banks and possibly flood over.

People who have seen a lot of winters in the Bitterroot Valley say this winter is more like it used to be – long and cold with lots of snow. But according to Roy Kaiser, snowpack specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman, winter has held on a little longer than normal. More...

County investigates alleged floodplain violation

By Michael Howell

A dispute between Ravalli County and the founder of the Big Sky Coalition, Tom Robak, over his alleged violation of the Ravalli County Floodplain Regulations is likely headed to court, according to Robak. Robak has also been an outspoken opponent of the county’s efforts to establish streamside setback regulations. If the allegations prove true, Robak could be forced to remove a new home that is close to completion on property he owns along the West Fork of the Bitterroot River south of Darby. More...

Morado Mountain Estates variance request continued

By Michael Howell

Following a full day of public comment and discussion as well as an initial round of voting on the criteria, Ravalli County Commissioners decided to continue a meeting regarding a variance request for the Morado Mountain Estates subdivision. In Commissioner Alan Thompson’s absence the four commissioners present at the meeting came to a split decision over three of the five criteria used in judging a variance request. At the suggestion of County Attorney George Corn they considered continuing the meeting at a later date to allow Thompson to participate. More...

Hamilton hikes water and sewer rates

By Michael Howell

The City of Hamilton held two public hearings at its regular Council meeting on May 6. The first resulted in approval of a series of water rate increases over a three-year period based upon an estimated inflation rate of 4 percent. The resolution would not entail any rate hike in 2008, but would implement a 4 percent hike in each of the next three succeeding years, 2009 through 2011. More...

Hamilton receives one grant and applies for another

City accused of subsidizing developers with grant money

By Michael Howell

Montana Department of Commerce Director Anthony Preite was in Hamilton last Thursday to hand a check for $750,000 over to Mayor Jessica Randazzo. The money is a grant from the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) for improvements to the City’s wastewater treatment system. Preite called it a “project that benefits the entire community.” More...

Formal complaint filed against city

By Michael Howell

A formal complaint compiled by a group of citizens and signed by Chris Linkenhoker making similar allegations concerning the use of grant funds to offset impact fees from developers was recently sent to several state agencies and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The complaint calls for an investigation into what is called a “deliberate, illegal program to channel federal and state grant funds to new development in the Hamilton area.” More...


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