Silver Gate association brings road petition to county's attention

By: 
Jasmine Hall

The Southwest Silver Gate Homeowners Association, with the support of Silver Gate residents, presented commissioners during their regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting with a petition to extend Monument Avenue. 

 Silver Gate resident Peter Allen told commissioners Monument Avenue is a gravel road spanning about a half mile, and extends from the main highway to the Bannock Trail. Allen said it provides the only access to Bannock Trail for the around 50-summer residents who live in the southwest area of Silver Gate. 

SSGHA member Carol Ferguson added that the southern portion of the road, including a single-lane bridge, proses a problem for residents because it is the only escape for Bannock residents in the event of an emergency, such as a wildfire. 

Although Ferguson, who resides in a cabin in the southwest area of Silver Gate, is not a Bannock Trail resident, she said Monument Avenue is the only road connecting the area to the U.S. Highway 12. She added it should be considered a county road, and should be extended in the best interest of the residents and its visitors.

“There was considerable support given from the emergency people — the fire and ambulance people of Cooke City-Silver Gate Area,” Ferguson said at the Tuesday meeting, “Because that would be the only way a lot of emergency vehicles could get back there.”

 Commissioners asked the Silver Gate group to resubmit the 2015 petition, and said any inefficiencies in the petition will be addressed to get the extension process going. 

“I agree with you that it needs to be done and it should have been done a long time ago,” Commissioner Marty Malone told the residents, adding there are certain procedures that need to be completed first. 

“How about you give us a week,” Commissioner Clint Tinsley said. “… We’ll make sure legal has it, and we’ll get back with you guys on the process, and if there’s anything missing we’ll let you know.”

In other businesses the County Commission:

• Heard a proposal from Right on John Innovations LLC to install wind turbines on city-county property near the Livingston Airport. John Patrick Dinneny III, managing member of the company, said the county’s start-up costs for the project would be around $250,000 to cover the manufacturing of around 55 wind turbine units. He added that the turbines’ expense would be offset by county’s power savings in the future.

The commission requested Dinneny present his findings on the units’ efficiency, as well as submit a proposed written contract. The commission decided to wait on a decision since Dinneny said he expected to meet with the City Commission next month.

• Heard a status report on Silver Gate Park, to which improvements had been made over the last year. Silver Gate Park Committee members reported everything was well at the park, including the installation of playground equipment, and explained the National Park Service has “come through with their promises” with the installation of a vault toilet and two bear-proof trash containers. Silver Gate Committee member Lance Coppock requested commissioner’s help and direction in future projects, including the building of a park shelter, vault toilet pumping procedures, additional playground equipment additions and a garage storage agreement.

• Signed an agreement with Hardrive Construction for chip-sealing on Dry Creek Road.

• Decided to allow staff to work on giving the IT department access to accounts such as Verizon. County IT Manager Erica Hoffman said her department struggled with troubleshooting internet issues with a recent internet crash at the City-County Complex last week, since the department  was not authorized on the county’s Verizon account.

• Approved an easement with Northwestern Energy for two parcels north of the Livingston Ditch, in the area of Ninth and 10th streets. Parks Frady, the county’s Public Works director, said the easement area was a steep slope that was unsuitable for structures. 

• Signed a $31,615 Department of Public Health and Human Services’ Women, Infants, and Children program task order. The order required no match from the county.

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Jasmine Hall may be reached at jhall@livent.net.