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MREC on Ronan City Council agenda again

by BERL TISKUS
Reporter | May 16, 2024 12:00 AM

Mission Range Event Center was on the agenda at the Ronan City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 8.

Council members discussed the letter received from the Lake County Commissioners regarding MREC property in west Ronan. Pioneer Days would like to have a long-term lease for at least 10 years to build a rodeo arena on part of the acreage. 

With money in hand, they originally approached the Ronan City Council about buying one third of the MREC property from Lake County and then leasing it to Pioneer Days. 

Lake County Commissioners have said they’d like to keep the property under Lake County’s umbrella and proposed buying Ronan’s one third of MREC from Ronan or trading it for a portion of George’s Conoco, which could be used for a future Ronan firehouse after the EPA finishes cleaning up fuel contamination.  

At the city council meeting, Pioneer Days representatives Mike Bartel and Kim Aipperspach reiterated that they prefer to work with the city of Ronan. 

After much discussion and consultation with Ronan City Attorney Ben Anciaux, council members unanimously passed a motion asking Anciaux to draft a letter to the commissioners offering $82,500 for the county’s share of the MREC LAND. 

The Lake County Commissioners had suggested that one commissioner and one council member sit down and negotiate, so a negotiator will need to be selected.

In other business, the council considered the request to change Llama Lane to Jake Janssen Lane since the land runs parallel to the property where Jake’s Farm in the Dell will be built. 

According to Public Works director Dan Miller, the Illig’s, who live at the end of Llama Lane, have changed their mind about the name change. Miller suggested the road on the other side of Rich and Julie Janssen’s property be renamed Jake Janssen Lane. Since it’s a private road, there does not need to be a motion or council approval so Miller will speak with parties involved to see about this alternative. 

The council unanimously passed a motion for the mayor and clerk to sign paperwork for a Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation grant. 

All comments from council regarding Ronan’s Clean-Up Day last Saturday were positive. Several council people would like to see another clean-up day in the fall.