Wednesday, June 07, 2023

City collects signatures supporting Troy broadband

| March 11, 2004 11:00 PM

By Roger Morris, Western News Publisher

Troy residents, and especially business people, are being encouraged to sign a list at city hall seeking congressional assistance to bring broadband to southern Lincoln County.

City councilman Ron Pierce told the council that Zero dB of Spokane, contracted to do the broadband feasibility study by the Kootenai River Development Company, met with city officials to explain the emerging proposal.

³What we would do is tie into Libby,² Pierce said Wednesday night at the council meeting.

Letters to Montana¹s congressional delegation are being prepared seeking help with the overall project.

Thus far, Zero dB has identified the Bonneville Power Administration¹s fiber optic lines at Libby Dam as the most feasible route to bring broadband to Libby and Troy. Company CEO Dana Bisaro is optimistic about the project¹s future.

³We don¹t know who would own it, who would control it,² Pierce said. ³We have to get it to Libby first.²

Locally, it would have to be determined how to distribute the service once a line was brought to Troy, the councilman continued. Pierce said the City of Troy already has experienced linemen, having the only municipally-owned electric company in the state, to handle the broadband distribution within city limits.

³That¹s just our pie-in-the-sky thinking but it would be nice,² Pierce said. ³It¹s down the road a ways.²

He said the city has time to ³put on our thinking caps and sharpen our pencils to see how to get it distributed.²

The city has a signup sheet at city hall for area residents to show support for the idea of brining broadband to Troy.

³We need that for Senator Burns¹ office to show them there is local support especially from the business community,² said city clerk Sandra Johnson.

³There is a little hope here and a lot of ifs,² Pierce concluded.

In other business, the city council decided to approve a business license for Cougar Sports & Upholstery at 427 Spokane Ave. Owners of the new business are John and Terry Kampfe and they will specialize in school sportswear and upholstery.

At the same time, the council delayed a decision on a business license for George¹s Good-to-Go at 207 E. Missoula. Owners George and Constance Graczik are proposing a to-go food service but it¹s only accessible through the alley.

Councilman Jim Hammons suggested the city find out if the Graczik¹s have all the required state permits first. There was also considerable concern for the alley-only access.

³Let¹s hold off on that and ask about that alley access,² said Pierce.

³My feeling is we take it to the next meeting until somebody comes down and explains the alley access,² said Councilwoman Laura Schrader, who as council president was running the meeting in Mayor John Brown¹s absence.

³I agree with that,² Pierce said.

In another matter, city attorney Mark Fennessy noted that an agreement allowing city water mains across private property to access land owned by John Clogston was progressing. Clogston has been attending every council meeting to remind the city leaders he wants water to his property.

Finally, the council was reminded that a ballot item asking voters if they want to review the type of city government will be on the June 8 primary ballot. The review is required every 10 years by state law.

Citizens will vote on whether they want to conduct a local government review for the type of government, said Fennessy. Troy presently has a charter or self-governing type of government that was established when the city purchased the electrical distribution system in 1986.

If city voters decide they want to review the type of government, a commission is formed with members selected in the fall election, Fennessy explained. The city is allowed to levy additional taxes for the review if it is approved in the primary election.

Any recommendations by the commission would have to voted on by city residents before being implemented.