| June 21, 2019 4:00 AM
The Libby City Council unanimously voted to approve a letter to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock in support of the Montana - British Columbia memorandum of understanding regarding water quality at their regular meeting, Monday in Libby. The letter adds a voice of support from Libby, agreeing that locals should be able to “observe and participate in rules that will guide the establishment of a selenium standard at the border.”
Dave Hadden, director of Headwaters Montana, said the issue of selenium coming down from Canada in the water has been kind of quiet but now it is becoming more substantial. Adding, British Columbia is not actively monitoring their own water or water that is coming down into Montana.
The council members’ approval also gave support to $6 million in federal appropriations requested for water quality research on Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River in order to “monitor and document” water quality in the transboundary Kootenai.
City council members voted to approve a declaration of institutional control on Real Property for Operational Unit 1 on Riverfront Park.
Libby Mayor Brent Teske said the declaration is a preliminary step toward delisting the area. Once the city approves this, they will work with the EPA and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
The Libby City Council approved a street closure and an open container exemption request from Kootenai Country Montana for the International Chainsaw Carving Championship. The event will go from September 12 to 15 on Mineral Avenue.
Troy Douthit, an organizer for the event, said the reason for the contest being located on Mineral is for people to see what Libby has, and to draw them to the shops and restaurants.
“Anybody who owns a business on Mineral will tell you [that] one of the most difficult things to do is getting people down there,” he said.
The Montana Office of Tourism rated the chainsaw event as one of the four finalists for the best event of the year, he said. Everything continues to grow and build.
Closures on Mineral will vary throughout the event dates. On September 15 an additional closure will include the entire block west of 2nd Street for a live auction.