County Commissioner’s update: local roads to be reviewed by DOT

By McKenzie Williams


On Wednesday,  March 27, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners met for a regular session in the Lincoln County Courthouse. The meeting was attended by Commissioner Bennett, Commissioner Peck and Clerk and Recorder, Robin Benson, as well as members of the press. Commissioner Letcher and County Administrator Darren Coldwell were absent.  The Meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

At 10:15 a.m. there was a public hearing for a Troy Rural Fire District (TRFD) Annexation regarding resolution 2019-06 to Annex property into the TRFD: the Pope property located in the Lake Creek Hideaway Subdivision. There were no public comments for or against the annexation. A motion was made by Commissioner Bennett to approve Resolution 2019-06 for the Pope property to be annexed into the Troy Rural Fire District and was second by Commissioner Peck. The motion carried.

At 10:30 a.m. Administrative issues were addressed. Robin Benson presented the minutes for March 20 for Commissioners’ approval. The minutes were approved and can be found on the Lincoln County website ( The commissioners then discussed a bankruptcy notification regarding Dalmatian Fire Incorporated which will be discussed in the future for further clarification. Commissioner Bennett then brought up a request from Tracy McNew, asking for a letter of support that will help with a grant to provide funding to the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD). Commissioner Bennet will begin to draft a letter of support. Commissioner Peck also received a request for a letter of support for the Heritage Museum. Commissioner Peck will write a letter of support to assist with the Heritage Museum receiving a grant.

At 10:45 a.m. Dave Hadden, representing Headwaters Montana, began with a  thank you to the commissioners for their letter of support provided last December. Hadden came to formally ask for another letter of support which would be specifically to the governor, to provide continued scientific data collection on the Kootenai River and reservoir. Commissioner Bennett expressed his concerns regarding whether or not the funds would be given to the current working group. Commissioner Peck recommended discussing this in next week’s meeting.

At 11 a.m. a Department head meeting update was held. Dallas Bowe will be scheduling meetings with the Commissioners and department heads for periodic updates. The commissioners then discussed the need to meet with bigger departments more often. They also discussed the idea to create a brochure of information and services with direct phone numbers to be given to the public. Potentially, this information would be printed in the newspapers for community access. Robin Benson commented that this is a great idea and offered her assistance to coordinate the efforts.

At 11:30 a.m. James Freyholts from the Department of Transportation (DOT)—Discussed speed limits and safety concerns.  The county has requested speed limit studies on Pipe Creek Rd. which has not been looked at since 2003. Also discussed were concerns with Kootenai River Road including the number of houses and turn offs, as well as the curves. Freyholts explained that  Montana DOT will not only look at the curves but keep the attention on the entire corridor. U.S. Hwy 2 was also brought up. Specifically, during a three month period of extensive traffic around Kootenai Falls. Commissioner Bennett commented that the site is extremely congested and may need signage with a reduction of speed. There have been several fatal accidents and or injuries and numerous close calls in the area.

Mark Peck stated, “This is a tragedy just waiting to happen.”

All roads in question will be reviewed by MDOT and have proper studies to make the safest route possible.

After lunch, at 1:30 p.m. a planning update occurred. The planning department received a request from Kootenai Surveyors on behalf of their clients, Frank and Sondra Bache, to transfer a 4.98 acre portion of their property to their son Jeffery F, Bache and to retain the remaining a 4.98-acre portion for themselves. A motion to approve the Bache Family Transfer subject to planning staff conditions and recommendations was made by Commissioner Bennett. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Peck and carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 2 p.m. The next Lincoln County Commissioner meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 3 at the Lincoln County Court House.