By Ashley South
Thirty plus people filled the City Council Chambers for the Wednesday night work meeting. A group of community members gathered outside the open door and windows, to listen to the first two agenda items to be discussed.
From fireworks to music, many people from the public spoke during the public comment period, that pertained to a proposed Noise Ordinance for the City of Troy.
From the gathering and discussions, it was apparent some misinformation about the proposed Troy Noise Ordinance was spreading throughout the community.
“We are not against music; we have not had a noise ordinance before because there has always been common courtesy in our town.” Said Chuck Ekstedt the Mayor of Troy.
“We have turned down the music, and we will continue to turn it down. It’s not like we need recognition, but we feel the need to point out all the support we provide for our new community. For those who spearheaded the noise ordinance petition, what have you done this year to support your community?” Said LaRae Kistler owner of the Silver Spur Restaurant.
“We are not against the music at all, were not saying close down, or everyone stop partying. All we are saying is, yes our houses do shake, yes we do have jobs, yes we have to go to work, it is hard to get to sleep when the music is loud and banging. We just ask after 10:30 p.m. to please turn it down, and everyone try to get along.” Said Kim Tubbs a Troy Community Member.
Examples of other noise ordinances from neighboring cities can be found with a simple google search. Next Wednesday Troy City Council will vote on the proposed Noise Ordinance for Troy.
A noise ordinance does not stop any kind of music, but it would create structure for businesses and residents to play music and or make noise until a specific time of night. Usually set in place to designated quiet hours for neighborhoods.
The noise ordinance can include, the volume of noise, the intensity of the noise, whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual, whether the noise is produced by a commercial or noncommercial activity, the volume and intensity of the background noise, if any, the proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities, the nature and zoning of the area within which the noise emanates, the density of the inhabitation of the area within which the noise emanates, the time of the day or night the noise occurs, the duration of the noise, whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent or constant; and the public benefit derived from the source of the noise.
Other agenda items discussed during the meeting included concerns about the Troy Forth of July Parade, and the floats that are allowed to be a part of the event in the future.
This is not a City Council issue, so the commenter was informed to reach out to the Chamber of Commerce in Troy.
Troy Public School Street Striping and Signage was discussed briefly. The topic included discussion about adding more signage and road paint to direct traffic in the Troy elementary school zone.
“The school signs and paint are not enforceable because they are not written into city law”. Tracy Rebo, the Troy City Clerk.
“Big yellow and white arrows in paint would be helpful to direct school traffic. It would be nice to have this written in the ordinances to make people aware. I am not to worried about the need to enforce it, but it would be nice to have in place if need be.” Said Katie Davis, the Chief of Police in Troy.
Ballot Request for Recreational Marijuana Excise Tax was discussed during the meeting as well.
According to the Montana Department of Revenue, there are two types of taxes placed on marijuana: state and local. Both occur only at the retail level on end-user purchases.
State taxes are set by the Montana Legislature while local-option taxes are optionally enacted by counties. State taxes are set at 4% for medical marijuana and 20% for adult-use sales.
Local-option tax rates are set by the county up to a maximum of 3% on medical, adult-use, or both. These taxes are in addition to the state taxes.
A locality is required to notify the department of the adoption of a local-option marijuana excise tax at least 90 days prior to its effective date.
The department requires the locality to submit a copy of the ballot initiative placed before the electorate. The ballot language must include the applicable tax rate, the marijuana products subject to the tax, and the effective date for the tax.
The City Council is currently working on ballot request for recreational marijuana. The taxes will contribute to county resources.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Contract was discussed and reviewed during the meeting.
The contract needs approval to accept home energy assistance for the Troy community. The new contract will expire in 2029.
Troy has been awarded a good number of assistance for low income families in the community over the years. Many have benefited from this energy assistance program and rely on the help to get through the cold winters and hot summers.
According to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (MTDPHHS), The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) pays part of winter energy bills and may be able to assist with furnace emergencies for eligible people.
The Low-Income Home Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps pay a portion of eligible household’s water bills; helps avoid shutoffs; and helps support household water system reconnections related to non-payment.
The Weatherization Assistance Program helps participants to improve the heating efficiency of their homes and thus reduce their energy consumption.
Citizens can apply for assistance at Troy City Hall or on the MTDPHHS website.
During the Public Comments for matters not on the agenda are as followed.
The need to review the curfew ordinance in Troy, due to the increased vandalism this year.
Another request was to better enforce people to stop parking on the wrong side of the road in Troy, and to get their registration tags up to date.
A sledding hill was mentioned as a good edition to the Troy Roosevelt Park for winter fun, and its possible use for other activities as well.
The new elementary track was mentioned for upgrades.
The Troy Skatepark recently received a letter of retroactivity to start phase one of the new park editions this fall.
The City Council Work Meeting was adjourned and will reconvene Wednesday August 17th at 6:30 p.m.