city hall

The Belgrade City Council agreed Monday to formalize protocols that will make it easier for the city to support worthy community service projects with mini grants.

The council occasionally is approached by such citizens as aspiring Eagle Scouts for funds to supplement service projects that benefit the community, explained City Manager Ted Barkley. Earlier this spring, for example, the council granted $328 to an Eagle candidate for materials needed to complete the community food pantry now located at the Belgrade Library.

This week, another scout asked the council for a $500 materials donation for picnic tables he plans to build at a city park for his Eagle service project.

At council member Brad Cooper’s suggestion, Barkley said the council agreed it makes sense to establish a small fund in the budget that would make money available when such requests are presented.

“It’s a nice way to get people involved in contributing things that have value in a community sense,” Barkley said. “This will make it easy for (the council) to support this and not worry about where the money is going to come from.”

Barkley said he will add an account as a general fund item in the next proposed city budget.

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Even as Belgrade prepares to place one city-owned residence on the market, it may consider acquiring another for future municipal expansion purposes.

City manager Ted Barkley said a small house on a 9,000 square-foot lot recently went up for sale near City Hall on North Kennedy Street. While the city has no immediate need for more property near the municipal complex, Barkley suggested to the city council at its Monday meeting that it might someday be suitable for a parking lot or new office structure to serve City Hall.

Barkley said he didn’t suggest the possibility in order to solve immediate space shortage problems at City Hall, but rather to reserve the option for future needs if the property can be acquired for a reasonable price.

Meanwhile, the city again plans to place the house it owns at 314 S. Broadway Street on the market – a process that was delayed earlier this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time, Barkley said the city doesn’t expect to profit significantly from the sale, and would likely set a minimum price and accept bids. The city bought the house for $110,000 in 2012 in order to acquire right-of-way necessary for improvements to the intersection of Broadway, Madison and Colorado streets. After making a lot line adjustment to ensure the city will retain ownership of 15 feel of lot frontage on Broadway and about 60 feet of frontage on Madison for future traffic improvements, the city decided last fall to sell the house, which it has managed for several years as a residential rental.