Choteau’s City Council swore in its newest member, Steve Dogiakos, at the regular meeting July 3. Dogiakos will fill the seat recently left by Daniel Lannen, who was appointed mayor on June 5 after Jack Conaster’s resignation.
Matt McCartney was also in the running for the council member seat. Despite not winning the appointment, he amicably volunteered to help the city in other means.
“With Mr. Steve Dogiakos, I’m sure you got a good pick there,” said McCartney. “I just wanted to put it out there that if there are openings on other boards, or if I can help out in any way, please do not hesitate to call me. I’m just looking to help out the community in any way I can.”
The first order of business for the newly updated council was a vote to approve amendments to the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget. A sewer polymer system, which was installed July 2, made for an unexpected expenditure that raised the sewer fund budget by $6,950. In addition to that, there were minor accounting amendments made to a few other accounts.
The general fund for professional services was increased to $5,120, a thousand more than was originally planned for. Under fire protection, money that was originally going to go toward the fire department’s capital improvement fund is now going to purchase new equipment. A change was also made under the street maintenance fund to be in line with state law, which requires a 5 percent gas tax match (which, for Choteau, is $973) to be transferred into a special program.
The council members also renewed contracts to keep their auditing service from Strom & Associates, P.C., for the next three years. City Chief Financial Officer Jodi Rogers encouraged the motion.
“We’ve had the same auditor for three years. They audit the school, also. I will say they’re very good to work with, very helpful. When you do something wrong, they tell you how to fix it. … It’s getting harder to find good auditors in Montana, and I’d like to keep these,” she said.
The council’s vote to approve the Airport Inter-Local Agreement between the city of Choteau, Town Councils of Dutton and Fairfield, and Teton County was tabled until their next meeting to get more information. As of the July 3 meeting, none of the other government entities involved in the contract had approved the agreement, either.
The City Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for July 17 at 7 p.m.