Six apply for city judge position; hire expected later this month

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The Columbia Falls public safety committee began the process of going over applications for city judge in an executive session Monday night.

The city has six applicants for the post, city manager Susan Nicosia said. The job is open as current judge Susan “Tina” Gordon will retire after 30 years on the bench at the end of the month.

Nicosia said the finalists will be made public. The hope is to have a person selected by the city council’s next meeting on Dec. 18.

An applicant did not have to be a lawyer to be a city judge, in fact, the minimum requirements were a high school diploma, according to the city’s job description.

The council Monday had an otherwise light agenda.

• Council heard from Nicosia that she recently met with Montana Department of Transportation officials on encroachment easements and other road matters.

The hope is to have a permit in hand by early next summer so new monuments on Nucleus Avenue can be erected. New wayfinding signs in the city will also go up after crews are done reconstruction U.S. Highway 2 through the city. That project should wrap up in May.

• The city will start the process of making text amendments to its zoning regulations.

One change that may be coming is aligning the description of suburban-agriculture zoning on five and 10-acre parcels with the county’s zoning reg descriptions.

Another could further regulate accessory dwelling units on properties — the units are becoming increasingly popular as vacation rental properties.

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