County considering road abandonment; contracts for technology, horse racing, snow blower

The Cascade County Commission will consider a contract amendment with CenturyLink that would reduce the county’s annual cost by about $41,424 annually, or $124,272 over the life of the contract.

The action, if approved Tuesday morning, would amend the original contract and provide new Metro Optical Ethernet services to the county’s Disaster and Emergency Services department, as well as increase network capacity to several existing sites, according to the county IT department.

Commissioners will also consider a contract with the Great Falls Turf Club for horse racing.

The two agencies have had a working relationship since 2013 and under the proposed 2019 agreement, the county will pay $62,500 to the turf club to be paid as purses for the production of a five-day race event or $75,000 for a six-day event, according to the staff report.

The details are still being finalized, according to Susan Shannon, director of the Montana Expo Park. The turf club must notify the county no later than March 31 whether they intend to host a five or six-day event, according to the staff report, or it will default to the current five-day event agreement.

Commissioners will also consider awarding a $139,565 bid to Kodiak America LLC of Idaho for one 2018 snow blower. The county received two bids for the equipment and the bid from SWS Equipment of Spokane, Wash. was about $1,000 lower, but didn’t meet all the specifications, according to the county public works department.

Public Works is also asking commissioners to award a $522,281.45 contract to United Materials for the reconstruction of South Manchester Road. It was the only bid submitted and came in under the budget estimates, according to Les Payne, deputy public works director.

County rebuilding roads damaged by June flooding; requests state disaster relief funds

The reconstruction is needed after the June flooding damaged the road. The county approved the two mill emergency levy to match state funding assistance for the road repair.

Commissioners are also being asked to abandon a portion of 32nd Avenue South between the right-of-way of 18th Street South and the right of way of 19th Street South.

County planning staff are recommending denial since the abandonment would be detrimental to the public interest in terms of emergency services access and future access to the neighboring property should those lots be sold.