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By Connie Betson
Seeley Lake, Mont. 

Seeley Lake Sewer Voted Down, Vote Being Ignored Again - Is that Legal?


SEELEY LAKE – I think voters voted against the sewer because so many questions were not answered. Like how much would the monthly cost be to users? It was quoted from $50-$192 a month, that is a huge margin. We need definite numbers.

Then we were told the other four districts or phases may never be added to the sewer. Then how much would a few of us be paying? I think everyone should be put on at the same time, that way a lot of people are helping to pay for it, not just a few. An even better idea is to have every household in the Seeley Lake area help pay. That means everyone on the lake, Double Arrow, the airport, from north of town to Salmon Lake since they will all benefit.

Another thing I don’t believe is that our taxes will not go up for those of us in the Sewer District. How will the loan be paid back? Every small Sewer District that I know of the customers have had to pay $6,000 to $10,000 each. A portion of the loan was added to their taxes over years, that means about $100 a month plus the monthly fee to maintain the system. Therefore, hooking to the system is definitely not free. I have been told by one board member it will not be added to our taxes. So how is it being paid back?

I for one am tired of paying $79 on my taxes for nothing. There was a vote at a meeting in the grade school years ago on this. It was voted down. After the vote, the County Commissioners at the meeting said they were going to do it anyway. I’m not even sure that was legal.

We were told it was just for one year to pay for a study for the lake. That was years and years ago and we are still paying it every year.

Once again the vote is being ignored. The sewer was voted down and once again we are being told it doesn’t count, they will do what they want. Is this legal? Does that mean anything that is voted on, it can just be ignored and changed because you don’t like the outcome? Maybe we should change the outcome of the officers who think it is alright to ignore the laws of a vote and boot them out of office.

And as for E. L. Taylor’s comment about his wife not being able to swim in Seeley Lake because of pollutants. Am I to understand that her doctor said it was okay for her to swim in every lake around here: Alva, Inez, Placid, Salmon but not Seeley Lake?

I think we need a lot of questions answered, honestly and accurately. Here are my questions:

1. Exactly how much are we going to pay per month for the maintenance, electricity, employees, chemicals for treatment and a reserve for breakdowns? We should have a good idea by now.

2. How is the loan being paid back? How much each year? If we are paying taxes, it is not free.

3. Why can’t all the districts be done at one time? I know it would cost more but a lot of people would be footing the bill, not just a few of us.

4. How many people live in District 1? They will have to pay the whole $2.2 million or more if the other four districts never hook to the sewer, which has been stated by the board.

5. Why do some customers pay more than others?


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