Last night’s Dillon City Council meeting started off with Mayor Klakken bringing up a problem with what he described as the Board of Regents wanting to sell Vigilante field for 1.4 million. This property was sold to the city of Dillon in 1940 by the Gilmore and Pittsburg Railroad Company with the intentions of it never being anything other than a park or recreation field. In May of 1999, the City of Dillon sold the property to the Board of Regents and University of MT Western for $1. The Mayor believes they should sell the deed to the High School for what they paid for the property or for a couple dollars more not the 1.4 million. The documents from the original deal and the Mayor’s letter can be found here.
Editor's note: SWMT News talked with Roxanne Engellant and Matt Raffety with the University of Montana Western. They discussed with us how they are not looking at selling Vigilante field. This was a step they had to take with the Board of Regents to get other things moving. They stated Vigilante field will be around for a very long time.
Val Neeley spoke next in public comments. Val is a huge supporter of the parks system in Dillon. She came in to discuss a major problem the parks are facing, which is people not cleaning up after their pets. Val brought forth a list of problems, along with a list of suggestions on what needs to be done. A simple way to solve it would be to have either no pets allowed with heavy fines or people who own pets to clean up after them.
Next up on the agenda was the appointment of the Ward 4 council seat left vacant by Rich Wassell. The two vying for this position were Elaine Spicer and John McGinley. The winning candidate needed five votes from the seating Council Persons. Mr. McGinley was able to garner the five votes needed. Mr. McGinley is your new ward 4 council person.
Next was acceptance by Dowl Engineering recommendation to award the bid to Mungus Company for the Idaho Street water line and street repair. The city cannot accept the bid intel May 11th when they are approved for the environmental assessment, but the mayor wanted the council to approve it today, as the cost can increase if they wait too long.
The Mayor’s stance on freedom of speech, was discussed next. Regarding a certain building in town with paintings on the building.
Mayor Klakken stated, "I am not going to make them paint the building. I am not going to make them take down flags; it is freedom of speech. I am not asking the City Council to get involved in this."
Council person O’Rourke asked if people had the right to park a vehicle on city property with a derogatory sign on them. This was responded to with a yes.
This exchange takes place at the 1 hour 30-minute mark. The rest of the meeting consisted of reports by board members and directors. You can watch the whole meeting on the video below.