Columbia Falls would like to see a street light at Third Avenue East and U.S. Highway 2 sooner rather than later, but getting any help from the state could prove challenging.
With the Highline Apartment complex going in, Mayor Don Barnhart said the intersection definitely needs a streetlight, as it will see a lot more traffic once all the apartments are built.
In short, it’s a safety issue.
But there’s some challenges, noted city manager Susan Nicosia. For one, the closest power source is about 700 feet away. In preliminary discussions with the Montana Department of Transportation, the state said it didn’t have the funds to put in a light at this time.
Nicosia noted that Highway 2 in that area actually needs three lights.
The city needs to convince adjacent landowners to join a street lighting district in that area, because even if the lights are put in, someone has to pay the power bill and maintenance. That funding is typically paid for by the district, not the city.
Barnhart promised to keep the pressure on. He noted he lobbied for eight years to get a light at 12th Avenue and Highway 2.
“I’m going to keep beating on this,” he said.
In other news:
• The county has approached the city with a new shared funding agreement for 911 services. Council took no action on the matter, but will take a closer look at its next meeting.
• Council did second and first readings of several changes to its municipal code. City staff has been revising the code now for the past year, bringing it in line with state codes and striking out language that dates back to the early 1900s in some cases. When complete, the city plans on posting the code on its new website in a searchable format.
The new site should be up and running in about three months or so.