Articles written by Frank Dufresne

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  • Need a plan with community support

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Montana|Jan 7, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Another lawsuit in the mix may be the last thing the village of Seeley needs to make sense of what is already a train wreck of a process to decide on the sewer. If, after decades of public discussion, we’re still fighting about it, that alone seems a good reason to put this project on the shelf…or come up with a plan than has solid community support. This one doesn’t have it....

  • Land-value method unfair assessment, borders illegal

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 9, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Coming soon will be increased sewer tax assessments for ‘water-linked’ properties ranging from $1,200 to $2,000 to pay ADMINISTRATIVE sewer costs. Other properties in the district are assessed only $90 to $700 for exactly the same purpose. Your new tax can be found in a 10 page, small print document called: “FY21 Assessment Methodology Assessment Options.” Even if you still support the sewer project, I assume you’ll INSIST on being treated FAIRLY in the process. This change in assessments was conceived out of fairness....

  • An election is the solution, not lawsuits

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 2, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - If this sewer was a good idea, users in the district would be ALL for it and it would have been built already. As proposed, it’s dissolved into a decades-long lawyer and lawsuit can-of-worms and getting worse. After the recent board election, members of the board had a CLOSED meeting to discuss how to manage the influence of two newly elected members who weren’t seated yet. Their solution was a LAWSUIT aimed to stop two new members” from taking any steps that may interrupt the ongoing sewer project.” Seriously? Is this the kin...

  • Points to consider with proposed sewer

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jun 4, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - When deciding the proposed sewer, I hope the conservative, financially and socially responsible citizens of Seeley consider this: • Combined utility, water and sewer costs per user is likely to be THREE times what’s considered a normal/fair rate...unless we beg for more grants and hope for help from somewhere. [Montana Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation / Pathfinder article “Annual assessment may double” 05/28/2020] • Is now really the right time to saddle the village of Seeley with a never-ending debt? We are in the mi...

  • Whitefish Lake Subdivision - Relevant Information for Seeley Lake Sewer

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 26, 2018

    A recent Missoulian article [July 15, 2018] about Whitefish Lake and a subdivision on its shore has information that seems relevant to Seeley’s sewer controversy. It was proposed that the Lion Mountain subdivision with 120 lots on the lake’s west shore be connected to the Whitefish city sewer system. The estimated cost, based on decades of data for that system, was about $150/month/lot to connect to the already existing, up-and-running sewer system. In addition, by accepting city services, those lot owners would eventually be annexed into the c...

  • Vote Like You're Signing a Contract

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Nov 23, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - From up and down the valley, folks tell us about the value and virtue of ‘clean water’ and the chemistry of sewage. We’ve funded studies and drilled wells to show what we already knew: Sewage affects water quality and should be regulated. The proposed sewer is a device that will allow folks to improve or profit on property investments and at the same time comply with Missoula County’s restrictive septic regulations. The debate is about cost and methods, not if we want clean water or not. Will this method have best results for mon...

  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Grant Only for Phase 1 - Leaves Other Phases on the Hook

    Frank Dufresne, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 20, 2017

    SEELEY LAKE - Recent information misstated that a “once-in-a-lifetime” grant will pay two-thirds of sewer costs. It won’t. It is only for Phase 1. Later phases 2, 3, and 4 each need to re-apply for any grant money. This should especially concern anyone in Phases 2, 3, and 4. There is no guarantee grant money will be available in amounts large enough to allow construction and reasonable rates. Worse, there are indications to the contrary and a growing chance later phases may be without a sewer but forever ‘on the hook’ paying for Phase 1,...

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