News / Meeting Coverage


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  • Council meeting to be held at The Barn - key updates and information important to our community

    Seeley Lake Community Council|Feb 9, 2023

    The February meeting of the Seeley Lake Community Council will be held at the Barn (2920 Highway 83) on Monday, Feb. 13. Pizza will be served starting at 5:30, and the meeting will begin at 6:00 pm. Featured speakers/topics are as follows: 1. Missoula Aging Services Kirstin Mason 2. Sally Edwards, candidate for the MEC director position. 3. Seeley Lake Community Foundation - Claire Muller 4. Seeley Lake Sewer Update 5. Seeley Lake Bear Working Group 6. Seeley Lake Trail System 7. USFS updates -Quinn Carver 8. The Lolo Forest revision plan...

  • Sewer district, rural grant, RV dump discussed at Seeley Lake Community Council meeting

    Jean Pocha, Pathfinder Staff|Feb 2, 2023

    The Seeley Lake Community Council met Monday, Jan. 9 at The Barn. The Missoula County Rural Grant Pilot Program for county residents was announced by Sarah Bell, Missoula County Grants and Community Programs. Micro-grants of $100-500 and Impact Grants of $500-4,000 are available. “We want to see what needs are in each rural community in the county,” said Bell. “We know that each community has it’s own personality and unique needs.” The Micro Grant will be open to new applicants on a monthly basis and is designed for projects that can be comple...

  • Solution sought for emergency boat launches on Holland Lake

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley Community Council hosted a discussion on the poor condition of the Holland Lake boat launch and lack of emergency access at its Sept. 20 meeting. Members of the Swan Valley Emergency Services (SVES), Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling and Holland Lake Lodge owner Christian Wohlfeil were on hand for the discussion. Dowling said he received a letter from SVES regarding the unusable condition of the boat launch at the Holland Lake Campground. SVES cannot safely...

  • Proposal sought from engineer, new monitoring wells approved

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 22, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their Sept. 15 meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board followed their committee’s recommendation to seek a proposal from Water & Environmental Technologies (WET) and voted to install up to 14 additional monitoring wells. The Board’s committee heard presentations from two engineering companies, WET and Morrison & Maierle and two manufactures, SepticNET and AquaTech Systems, that responded to the District’s Request for Qualifications. District Manager Bill Decker said he reached out to a third engineering company multipl...

  • Enrollment increases, teacher resigns

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Sep 22, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY – Enrollment numbers are up at Swan Valley Elementary School for the 2022-23 school year, said Principal Aaron Morgenstern at the Sept. 13 Swan Valley School Board meeting. The School Board also received a resignation letter from Chris Mauldin, kindergarten – second grade teacher. Enrollment is at 33 up four from the end of last year. The kindergarten-second grade class has 15 students. There are 11 in the third – fifth grade and seven in the sixth – eighth grade classrooms. The board accepted Mauldin’s resignation. Mauldin’s...

  • County to Condon - You get more than you pay for

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 25, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - Officials from Missoula County presented information on property taxes, how taxes fund road maintenance and answered questions about the quality of maintenance in the area at the Swan Valley Community Council meeting Aug. 16. The Council also discussed the open Council seat and how it will be filled. New Council member Grace Siloti questioned some of the Council’s recent activity and transparency. Missoula County Treasure Tyler Gernant explained that property taxes are the primary source of funding for local governments in M...

  • Board discusses burying power lines

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Aug 25, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY – At their Aug. 18 meeting, the Swan Valley Elementary School Board voted to contact Missoula Electric Cooperative and request a bid for burying the power lines at the school access points. They also approved contracts for certified and classified staff. Chair Jimmy Boyd presented information to the board regarding the process of burying power lines. The lines currently cross both access points to the school. If the lines were down and emergency services needed access to the school, responders would have to wait for the crews f...

  • Helmville discusses community development and re-zoning

    Jean Pocha, Pathfinder|Aug 25, 2022

    HELMVILLE - A community development and zoning follow-up meeting was held Monday, Aug. 15 in Helmville. During the meeting community members discussed possibilities for changing zoning ordinances around the Helmville town area. Amanda Cooley, Powell County Planner, led the meeting of over 30 attendees from Helmville and Ovando. Early this summer, the Helmville community expressed interest in exploring ways that the community could grow and potential re-zoning to allow more families into the...

  • Board continues assisted living facility discussion

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 18, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Hospital District Board continued their discussion regarding an assisted living facility in Seeley Lake at their Aug. 9 meeting. They also discussed the proper way to raise concerns regarding Partnership Health Center’s policies, procedures, treatment or staff. Trustee Terryl Bartlett said that she had reconnected with BeeHive Homes owner Ty Harding following his presentation at their April meeting. She felt, based on his presentation, the board could either move forward or end the discussion due to lack of fea...

  • Fairgrounds Revitalization Bond placed on General Election Ballot

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 11, 2022

    MISSOULA — Missoula County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously July 28 to place a Missoula County Fairgrounds Revitalization Bond on the November 2022 General Election ballot after hearing testimony from fairgrounds supporters at a public hearing July 28. The ballot measure will give Missoula County voters the opportunity to support long-planned improvements to the fairgrounds, including construction of a new Agriculture & Livestock Arena and a third sheet of NHL-sized ice. The proposed bond is for $19 million. This translates to $14.88 an...

  • Crisis Intervention Levy placed on November Election Ballot

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 11, 2022

    MISSOULA—Missoula County Commissioners on Thursday voted unanimously to place a Crisis Intervention Levy on the November general election ballot. The proposed levy is for $5.5 million. This translates to about $54 annually for a home with an assessed value of $200,000 or $135 annually for a home with an assessed value of $500,000. The Missoula County Crisis Intervention Service Levy will help sustain crucial programs, including: • The Mobile Support Team sends EMTs and clinicians trained to assist people in crisis, helping to divert hun...

  • Board approves bids for Station 2

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 11, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Fire Board approved bids to address the water issues at Station 2 at their special meeting Aug. 5. They also reaffirmed the Board Chair’s powers and duties beyond Montana Code Annotated 7-33-2105. At the July 19 meeting, Fire Chief Dave Lane said since the District purchased Station 2, there has been an ongoing issue with moisture getting into the building. The moisture gets into the vapor barrier, in the crawl space and in the attic. The board received three bids to address the water issues at Station 2 which Boa...

  • Board passes assessment

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 4, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their July 28 hearing and regular meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board passed the annual assessment method and discussed drilling additional monitoring wells. The Board received just one written protest. The landowner was opposed to the assessment in part because they owned two lots and would have to pay twice even though they only have one residence. They also felt that their land was not necessary to be in the District in the first place as it is not near the lake or the contaminated groundwater monitoring well. M...

  • Swan Council closes lid on garbage container proposal

    Colleen Kesterson, Pathfinder|Jul 28, 2022

    The Swan Valley Council Board members voted unanimously to “cease and desist” with any further discussion of a garbage container site in the Swan Valley at their July 19 meeting. In addition to the container discussion, the nearly 40 people in attendance heard remarks from House District 92 Democratic Candidate Gary Stein. Representatives from the DNRC at Goat Creek, the Swan Valley Volunteer Fire Department and Swan Valley Connections discussed their response to fire in the valley and what residents can do to aid in the efforts to respond to i...

  • Request to abandon rightaway on Cottonwood Lane denied

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Jul 28, 2022

    MISSOULA – The Missoula County Board of County Commissioners voted July 21 to deny the request to abandon Cottonwood Lane as a roadway. Prior to the vote, the petitioner’s representative Carrie Sokolski advised the Commissioners of the petitioner’s intent to withdraw the request due to learning of alternate solutions. In April 2022, business owner Richard “Ted” Steiner filed a petition along with all adjacent landowners requesting a portion of Cottonwood Lane in Seeley Lake be abandoned. The section proposed for abandonment is the easterly port...

  • Board rehires K-2 teacher

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 28, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY – At a special meeting July 19, the Swan Valley School Board voted unanimously to rehire Chris Mauldin as the kindergarten – second grade teacher for the 2022-2023 school year. Principal Aaron Morgenstern said this decision was based on the Office of Public Instruction’s (OPI) willingness to extend his provisional license for one more year. In an interview after the meeting, Morgenstern said Mauldin received an email from OPI that said, unlike in 2021, they were not going to extend any expiring provisional licenses for 2022-2023 due...

  • Board approves trailer purchase, addresses open meeting questions

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 28, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their July 19 meeting, the Seeley Lake Fire Board approved the purchase of a new enclosed trailer. They also approved Fire Chief Dave Lane to seek bids to mitigate and fix water issues at Station 2 north of Seeley Lake. In other business, Board Chair Scott Kennedy addressed correspondence regarding concern that Open Meeting Law was violated at the May meeting. As requested at the June meeting, Lane presented the board with additional quotes to replace the enclosed trailer that collapsed from snow damage. The insurance t...

  • Vocal group wants Container Site investigation to stop

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY – Members of the public at a June 21 Swan Valley Community Council meeting asked the council to vote to stop further investigation of a Condon Container Site. The Council and Missoula County Commissioners Dave Strohmaier and Juanita Vero offered that although the group of approximately 30 Swan Valley residents present were adamantly in opposition to the proposal, that was not a large enough group to be considered representative of the 704 residents effected by any decision. The current proposal estimates a cost of a container s...

  • Commissioners approve land use fee increase  

    Haley Yarborough, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2022

    MISSOULA- The Missoula Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously on June 23 to approve the Missoula County Community and Planning Services (CAPS) resolution to increase land use fees effective July 1. Missoula County Community and Planning Services (CAPS) assesses fees to applicants to cover the review of new construction and development applications related to subdivision, floodplain, zoning and more. The County adopted the proposal in response to the inflationary increases to the current cost of County project review, along with zoning...

  • Chief raise approved, public comments, questions addressed

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 30, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their June 21 meeting, the Seeley Lake Fire Board approved a four percent raise for Chief Dave Lane with a vote of 3-1. Chair Scott Kennedy and Trustees Rita Rossi and Connie Clark voted for, Trustee Jon Kimble voted against and Vice-Chair Gary Lewis was absent. This was following a closed executive session to discuss Lane’s performance and pay scale. In other business, Lane provided several updates, the board reviewed new policies and Rossi and Kennedy addressed previous public questions and concerns during the public com...

  • Proposed land use fee increase, affordable housing plans discussed

    Haley Yarborough, Pathfinder|Jun 23, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - At their June 13 meeting, the Seeley Lake Community Council reviewed Missoula County Community and Planning Services (CAPS) plans to raise land use fees and listened to a presentation from Trust Montana about their ideas to bring affordable housing to Seeley Lake. CAPS assesses fees to applicants to cover the review of new construction and development applications related to subdivision, floodplain, zoning and more. Without these fees, local taxpayers would cover the cost. According to Karen Hughes, the Assistant Director of...

  • Board opts to use reserve to reduce tax burden

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 23, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their June 16 meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board adopted next year’s budget and selected the equal assessment method to spread the assessment among landowners in the District. The Board adopted their fiscal year 2023 budget of $116,805. Of that, the District will use $84,397.98 from their reserves, money collected last year but not spent, and only assess landowners for $32,407. This will result in a significant break on landowner’s tax bill. The Board also voted to use the equal assessment method of spreading the tax...

  • Helmville town meeting discusses growth potential and barriers

    Jean Pocha, Pathfinder|Jun 23, 2022

    HELMVILLE – Powell County Planner Amanda Cooley with Bo Walker, Montana State University extension agent, and Chad Lanes, Tri-County Sanitarian, held a meeting at the Helmville Community Hall June 16 to collect community input regarding barriers to growth and ways to encourage growth in Helmville. In addition, there was discussion to explore zoning and land use options for aiding growth. More than 50 residents attended the meeting. Cooley called the meeting after having many inquiries from Helmville residents on these topics. Zoning c...

  • Raises and bonuses approved

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 23, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley School Board voted for raises and bonuses for its staff at their June 13 board meeting. The Board considered three options for the certified and classified staff salary schedules including no change (which has a 1.5% raise already built in), 4% raise and 5.5% raise to the base pay. The Board opted for giving the 4% raise in the base pay for all staff citing the desire to leave a little room in the budget for other things that might come up. Year-end staff bonuses were then discussed. Business Manager/District...

  • Commissioners approve building permit fee increases

    Susan Monahan, Pathfinder|Jun 16, 2022

    MISSOULA – Missoula County Commissioners voted unanimously June 9 to approve a resolution to increase building permit fees effective Sept. 1. Along with increasing fees, the building department will use the International Code Council (ICC) Building valuation to value building projects, increase fees annually as necessary based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) Mountain Area, adopt definitions as presented for finished and unfinished basements, eliminate the Footing and Foundation Waiver, eliminate the Agricultural Exemption and set the s...

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