By Michael Howell
In a long anticipated move the Hamilton City Council approved the annexation of 22 acres along the Bitterroot River known as the Taber Property but currently owned by the Bitter Root Land Trust. The annexation petition is contingent upon the City of Hamilton’s acceptance of donation of the property to the City for use as a public park subject to a perpetual conservation easement. The council also approved a zoning designation for the property as a Public and Institutional Zone. In a third related action, the Council approved a Conservation Easement and Management Plan for the property.
“It’s another step in creating a City Park that people will appreciate forever,” said Councilor Ken Bell.
Concerning another long discussed option the Council also finally approved signing a contract with the State of Montana Department of Transportation for the purpose of allocating duties between the parties for the operation, maintenance, repair and reconstruction of the amenities on U.S. Highway 93 at the north entrance to the City of Hamilton. City officials have been frustrated for some time at the inability of the county to adequately care for the amenities resulting in a blighted entrance to the city that was embarrassing to the town.
In other business the Council:
• approved a Job Description for Municipal Code Enforcement Officer;
• approved a Weed Management Plan for the City;
• authorized the Mayor to award a contract to Nelson Tree Service for removal of five hazardous trees at a cost of $9,597.57;
• approved the purchase of a 2014 Walton tilt deck equipment trailer from Sport Land Trailer Sales for $6,568.00;
• approved the purchase of curb stops and signs for Fairgrounds Road parallel parking at an estimated cost of from $1,400 to $2,000.