Absentee ballots spark more controversy at Troy City Council

By Zandra Johnson


The Troy City Council met on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at 301 E Kootenai Ave.

Matters on the agenda included department head reports and discussion of new business.

The Troy Police Department report noted continued training for local law enforcement and a recently awarded grant for new bulletproof vests.       Plans for upcoming Halloween were also discussed that include extra patrols scheduled for the active holiday.

The Public Works Department report included the installation of new one way signs at Morrison Elementary, and moving the gazebo from the school to the museum, as well as buttoning up for the approaching winter months which includes blowing out sprinkler lines and grass mowing for the final time this year.

The City Council unanimously approved the two year renewal contract for the former Lincoln County Juvenile Detention Center. This contract continues leasing of the property from the City of Troy to Lincoln County. The space is located at Troy City Hall, and the county pays half of the utilities there to keep access to it. It is currently not being used because budget restrictions have removed any option for a juvenile detention center in the county. Currently all juveniles are transferred to Missoula.

Approval was made to open bids for purchase of the city’s backhoe to sell it by the end of October. Doing so would allow a down payment for a new one. There will be a minimum price, and the exact date of bids opening has yet to be determined. The council tabled a decision of possible loans for the purchase of a new backhoe, until examination of further details on two offers were concluded.

For matters not on the agenda, a discrepancy in the ballot to approve or deny the selling of 2nd street in Troy to Town Pump was brought up by multiple people.

Placing the decision on  the November election ballot for voters within Tory’s city limits was approved by city council earlier this year. Details of the price and footage of what would sell, if passed, were approved by the city council.

The part of the ballot that is causing some concern was not approved by the council. Now that the absentee ballots are out, the wording has raised eyebrows. Concerns and confusion have resulted because the ballots read, in part, “Subject to voter approval, the Troy City Council has sold 7,500 square feet of Second Street to Troy Town Pump, Inc.”

Although it states, “subject to voter approval,” it also states “has sold,” in past tense. This one sentence has really thrown a wrench into an already high stakes topic. Debates of ‘to sell,’ or ‘not to sell,’ have been ongoing in the area for months, so the mistake makes a difference.

According to the council, the ballot’s wording by the County Elections Department was not approved by them in it’s final form and its entirety before it was printed and distributed on the absentee ballots.

For now, there isn’t anything that can be done to change the wording, but it is clear, that the City has not already sold anything to Town Pump.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, citizens will have an opportunity to vote on this and other issues that affect us all. If you haven’t registered yet, the deadline to do so is Nov. 6, at 512 California Ave. in Libby.

The next Troy City Council meeting is scheduled for  Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.