TF Council looks for community input, ideas
July 30, 2020
Earlier this month the Thompson Falls City Council met to discuss various plans and projects being taken on to improve the quality of life and infrastructure of the community. With various projects in the works, the council brought up bringing members of the community in to help move things forward. The idea came originally from council member Ruth Cheney. She mentioned that there may be residents within the city limits who have expertise in one or more of the areas involved with the planning of these projects. Many of the council members are reaching the ends of their terms and running again without competition. Were they not to continue running the position would remain vacant. Because of this two-pronged issue, the city is trying to get locals more involved in planning committees.
Committees, including the streets and alleys committee and the recreation and public properties committee, need public involvement and input. According to Mayor Mark Sheets, “in the past there has been real pushback to zoning or in dealing with private property.” The city is looking for constructive input from the community on how to handle many of the various plans in motion, as well as ordinances and situations the town is facing. One such ordinance is the subdivision ordinance. The city is asking around for residents with planning experience to give their advice. “There are some areas that we just don’t have knowledge in,” Mayor Sheets said.
The town is also looking at a camper ordinance, that is currently very unpopular. The ordinance will address how the city will deal with campers as year-round residences in the town. The issues brought up on the matter as reasons for the need for such an ordinance include questions on septic disposal, neighbor property value reduction, the placing of multiple campers within one lot and public safety issues.
The council is looking for residents who want to offer advice and expertise as well as those who may eventually want to participate with the local government in a more official capacity. The idea is that if the city can get more involvement, then these locals may want to run for office.
Interested parties can contact city hall at (406) 827-3557. The city is looking for anyone with experience in land planning, water/sewer, construction or even recreation. They want city residents because though the community as a whole may use the facilities, those who live in the city directly pay taxes on many of the projects, so the city wants those people to be the ones to come in and voice their opinions and help if they can.