Cell phones, sewer lines and river trails all got microphone time Monday in City Council Chambers.
So did a traffic calming project for Pattee Creek Drive. At the request of citizens, the Missoula City Council unanimously approved a Special Improvement District to slow drivers on the narrow road.
Theresa McGeary said she's been working to slow down traffic and curb drag racing there since her son was 1 year old, and he's now 7 years old. A flat, long speed bump of sorts will do the trick.
"People like it," McGeary said of the road "cushion."
Another citizen doesn't like people using cell phones while they drive. Texting while driving is illegal in Missoula, but Kim Bagnell, who has driven buses, said motoring while talking on the phone should be, too. She held up what looked like a carrying case for a firearm and warned of the dangers of yakking on the phone behind the wheel.
"I'm going to pursue this if I have to take it to court," Bagnell said.
She wasn't the only citizen to talk about the courts. Rattlesnake Valley resident and sewer plant opponent Will Snodgrass said the recent Montana Supreme Court decision in the last open lawsuit on sewer didn't delve into the substance of the case. The high court ruled against the Rattlesnake Coalition.
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"We gave them a hot potato," Snodgrass said. "They didn't even open the foil."
Snodgrass questions the legality of the plant's expansion and says officials never considered related factors such as air quality. He alleges city and state officials committed fraud and tampered with records along the way, and he called Monday for a special prosecutor to investigate.
The city plans to run sewer pipes into the middle Rattlesnake, and Mayor John Engen said just four people protested the proposed special improvement district by Monday's deadline. He also said many neighbors have asked to be connected to the sewer plant. The council holds a public hearing July 13 on the SID.
A couple of citizens also turned up to ask the city to push for a trail easement that would extend the Kim Williams path along the Clark Fork River. A district judge recently said the City Council appeared to have taken a couple of easements from a property owner without proper justification in the subdivision called Clark Fork Terrace 2.
Lawyer Trent Baker said the community should have access to the river, and if the city can't prevail in court, it should buy the land. He said he could tell reading the order that the judge wasn't impressed with the city, but he said he believes the city can and should justify itself to the courts.
"Just keep fighting this one," Baker said.
At its regular meeting, the council also quickly dismissed any idea of holding a primary election.