LOCAL NEWS BREIFS

Kootenai Kiwanis’s Koats-4-Kids program opens for the season

Koats-4-Kids is a service project of your local Kiwanis Club. Over the past 16 years, the program has given away over 18,000 coats and winter items in the Troy and Libby area. The program is called Koats-4-Kids and children are their priority, but Kiwanis would like everyone to know that the program is really Koats-4-the-Community, and anyone who needs winter wear can come in and get what they need to stay warm.

This year Koats-4-Kids will open starting at 1 p.m. on October 1. They are located at the Asa Wood building at 700 Idaho in Libby. Their hours will be from 1 until 4 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the fall and winter.

Donations are gladly accepted at the drop boxes located at  Ace Hardware, Pioneer Auto, Managhans Furniture, Rosauers, Aunt T’s, Libby Dollar Store and The Printing Press or at Asa Wood during the program’s open hours.

Kiwanis  would like to thank everyone for their support of the program.

 

Lake Koocanusa fish tissue Selenium results stable

For the past decade, Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks have tracked selenium pollution in Lake Koocanusa.  Efforts have focused on water quality and fish tissue monitoring and developing an accurate selenium water quality standard.

Even at very low water quality concentrations, selenium may move through the food chain and cause developmental harm to fish offspring.

After establishing a baseline in 2008, state officials have conducted sampling efforts every five years. The 2013 results saw increases in fish tissue concentrations. The latest tissue analysis from May 2018 sampling show no increase over the 2013 data.

For all of the ten fish species tested, the muscle selenium concentrations remain below EPA guidance. One of the ten species tested, redside shiner, had egg selenium values above the EPA guidance. This year was the first year that selenium tissue levels were analyzed in redside shiners in the U.S. portion of the reservoir and these results are similar to analyses conducted in the Canadian portion of the reservoir. Currently, studies are being performed in British Columbia to determine the sensitivity of redside shiner to selenium.

Ongoing monitoring efforts are important and will continue, as recent changes in Teck Coal’s selenium treatment plant could influence future fish selenium concentrations. FWP and DEQ will continue monitoring in the U.S. to track concentrations in fish tissues. Additional fish tissue analyses are planned for this month, and a full summary of the data set from 2018 (spring and fall) will be released by January 2019.

Water quality and biological analyses occur annually on Lake Koocanusa that include collaborations between DEQ, FWP, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Teck Coal and many others. The results have been compiled into a report that summarizes the data for Lake Koocanusa, including in the Canadian portion, known as Koocanusa Reservoir.

Please see the Lake Koocanusa website for more information on this project.

Troy City Council Work Meeting

On September 12 Troy City Council held a work meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the city court room.

A  local student named Jaden Holly who is a freshman at Troy High School presented to the City Council about his goal of rebuilding the skatepark located by the soccer fields at Roosevelt Park. The city council suggested that he come up with a plan of action and a design. They suggested looking into possible grants for a solution to find funding needed for the project. A medical cannabis dispensary was discussed with representative Barb Turner present at the meeting. The reason behind the idea is local patients would benefit from getting medication close to home. There are many regulations surrounding a business of this nature, many questions would need answered. Questions were brought up at the meeting, such as what would the business do for the town of Troy and will there be background checks done on employees? A lot of details would be further discussed, Barb highlighted that it would bring jobs to the area. With some research done and more likely on the way the use of medical marijuana is inevitable in today’s society. Mayor Dallas Carr ended this topic stating “this needs to be discussed and we need to listen and hear all on this issue.”

The regular Troy city council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 19th in the city court room.

 

2M Company partners with Rotary on clean water project

The 2M Company, with offices in Kalispell and Missoula, joined in partnership with Rotary on a clean water project for the community of El Progresso, Guatemala, and local Rotarians met with company representatives last month.

“We appreciate The 2M Company’s help. This project is really important,” George Gerard of the Rotary Club of Kootenai Valley said, “It will make such a huge difference in the lives of the people there.”

The 240 residents of El Progresso currently get their drinking water from a seep hole carved into a rock next to a river that is polluted with human and industrial waste. Women from the community make four trips daily carrying water from the seep hole up a steep embankment where they empty their containers into a concrete tank for use by the community.  Although the adults have developed a partial immunity to the contamination, the children have not. “For these kids, drinking water often results in intestinal illnesses, diarrhea and missed school,” Gerard said.

Locals from the Rotary Club of Kootenai Valley have been working on clean water projects which are primarily funded through Rotary’s global grants program, for a number of years, but grants don’t cover all expenses for these large projects so lots of help is needed.

The Rotary Clubs of Western Montana, including our local club, in partnership with Rotary District 5390 and the Rotary Foundation, have written the grant proposal to help alleviate this water crisis by building a deep well and elevated holding tank. The new setup will require a pumping system, and that’s where the 2M Company has helped. The company donated a pumping system for the El Progresso project. Engineers Without Boarders is also a partner on the project donating time and money to help people in need of clean water.

“We’re thankful to be able to improve the lives of the people in El Progresso,” Gerard told The Montanian. “Grants and donations like this one allow us to do this work and we get to save our club’s resources to make a difference in our local community.”

Local Rotarians Mick Shea (left) and George Gerard (right) shake hands with a 2M Company representative as they receive the donation. Photo courtesy of George Gerard., Rotary Club of Kootenai Valley.