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T. Falls council passes winter parking rule

The Thompson Falls City Council took permanent action on Monday to address winter parking on Main Street.

Last winter, the Montana Department of Transportation had approached the council about parking overnight on Man Street and how it affected the state's ability to plow snow. The council then passed an emergency ordinance to prohibit overnight parking.

At this week's regular meeting, the council voted unanimously to pass the first reading of Ordinance #358, adopting regulations for winter parking on Main Street. The ordinance prohibits parking on Main Street from November 15 through March 15 between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The penalty for violating the ordinance will be a fine of $100 and the vehicle will subject to towing at the owner's expense. The second reading of the ordinance will be at the October 9 council meeting. If passed, the ordinance would go into effect in November, 30 days after the second reading.

Also at Monday's council meeting, Mayor Jerry Lacy said that the Thompson Falls Beautification Days Committee had approached the city about taking over the annual cleanup, which is held each April. "I would hate to see it go away. It's goof for students to be involved and to see projects being done around town," Barb Mosher said of the event. Mayor Lacy stated he isn't sure the city has the manpower to run the event. The council tabled any action and Mosher suggested that the event be broken up so it's not one person managing the entire event. She suggested local service organizations get involved in planning and managing the cleanup.

Council member Earlene Powell provided an update from the streets and alleys committee, stating the committee met with Police Chief Chris Nichols after resident Tamra Raiche voiced concerns about traffic on Maiden Lane. Powell stated that the committee would recommend taking no action on the corner of Broad and Maiden. Raiche told the council she had over 800 video clips of traffic concerns at the intersection. The council asked her to provide those for review. "You've made a decision without all the information. I feel slighted," Raiche stated. Council member Raoul Ribeiro advised Raiche that no action was being taken by the council and that they were just hearing from the committee.

Kim McMahon with Pinnacle Research represented NorthWestern Energy at the council meeting and went over easements with the city and the power company. She stated the easements need review as part of the dam's relicensing, for which a draft application has been submitted. McMahon provided images to the council and said the easements would not limit access for the city. The council voted to allow the mayor, city attorney and public works staff to work with NorthWestern Energy on the easements.

The next Thompson Falls City Council meeting is set for Monday, October 9, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.


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