Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Building permits, mental health to top Council's next meeting


February 6, 2020

SEELEY LAKE - At the next meeting of the Seeley Lake Community Council, the first agenda item will be a presentation by Missoula County Public Works staff: a discussion of updates to the permitting process, revised building codes and fee increases. Missoula County Public Works Director Shane Stack and Building Department Program Manager Nicole Whyte will be the speakers.

Responding to a number of community members’ complaints about the permitting process (“too bureaucratic,” “you get chased from department to department,” “it adds unnecessarily to construction costs,” etc.) the Council hosted a symposium a year ago to dive more deeply into the permitting problems and come up with solutions.

The composium consisted of a former County Commissioner, County Public Works – Building Department, County Health Department, builders, a retired building inspector and a realtor. The mix was quite successful, and especially the builders brought up example after example how the permitting process could easily be more streamlined.

It became clear that the symposium had the desired effect. Reportedly quite a number of changes were instituted in the last 12 months to make life easier for contractors and their clients. Next week we will hear a summary of those changes.

Without having heard the details, SLCC Chair Klaus von Stutterheim said, “We are pleased that our symposium apparently had the desired effect, and we thank the various County Departments for listening to the community’s suggestions. It also goes to prove yet again that the Community Council is an effective organization with its ears to the ground.”

The next part of the program will deal with mental health. Jama Mauldin, preschool teacher at Seeley Lake Elementary, will speak about the effects of trauma on brain development. She received a grant from the Washington Foundation to become certified.

Jennifer Bosley will follow Mauldin. Bosley is a therapist who supervises several Alta Care programs in schools throughout northwest Montana, including the program at SLE. She will explain how the Alta Care therapist and behavior specialist at SLE help students who might be struggling in the school setting.

Finally, a regular guest at the Council, USFS Seeley Lake District Ranger Quinn Carver will give an update about what’s going on at the Forest Service.

Everybody is invited to participate in the Council’s discussions on agenda items during the meeting, including community members who follow the meeting on Facebook. Like always, towards the end of the meeting there will be an opportunity for public comments on non-agenda items.

The informal part of the meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10 at the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitors Center, 2920 Highway 83, with pizza and water. The formal meeting begins at 6 p.m.

For those of you who are not in Seeley or have to miss the meeting, you will be able to either witness the meeting live or replay it later on the Seeley Lake Community Council’s Facebook page. Visit the page and click on the window that says “Seeley Lake Community Council is live now” to watch during the meeting. To send a question during the meeting, use the chat box on the right side of the screen. Council member Tom Browder will relay it to the speaker.

For further information please contact Klaus von Stutterheim, SLCC Chair, at 406-210-8576 or


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