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Ronan Council signals intention to buy MREC property

by BERL TISKUS
Reporter | April 4, 2024 12:00 AM

Kim Aipperspach and Mike Bartel, representing Ronan Pioneer Days, returned to Ronan City Council March 27 to continue a discussion of the Mission Range Event Center land.

At the March 13 meeting, the council had agreed to purchase the MREC land from Lake County and then lease the ground to Pioneer Days. A meeting with the Lake County Commissioners on March 18 ended with the commissioners asking for a letter of intent from the City of Ronan.

Aipperspach brought a buy/sell agreement to the meeting for Mayor Chris Adler to sign. After volleying the issue back and forth, and consulting Ronan City Attorney Ben Ancieaux, the buy/sell remained unsigned. 

On March 28, Adler and Ronan City Clerk and Treasurer Kaylene Melton prepared a letter of intent to go to the commissioners, along with the unsigned agreement. 

In other business, council members approved The Pheasant’s open container application for a beer garden at the ChainSaw Carvers’s event in June at the Lake County Fairgrounds. It’s a four-day event instead of the usual three days. 

The council raised the price from $35 to $100 for the extra days. 

Council members also gave preliminary approval to the Jake Jannsen subdivision. The Norgaard subdivision has been dropped. 

Dan Miller, Ronan’s director of Public Works, discussed House Bill 355 which was passed by the 2023 Montana legislature and established the State-Local Infrastructure Partnership Act (SLIPA).

Members passed a resolution to use SLIPA funds for the city’s water projects and to fund the cash match that the program requires local governments to contribute. 

The next meeting will be held April 10 at 6 p.m.