GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls City Commission voted again to approve the public facilities portion of the Community Development Block Grant Action Plan at their meeting on Tuesday night.
It was voted on at a commission meeting earlier in June, but was sent back to be voted on again at Tuesday night’s meeting because it was not a quorum.
In other words, there were not enough commissioners present at the earlier meeting to make the initial vote valid.
Commissioner Tracy Houck recused herself on the public facilities vote, because of the appearance of conflict of interest.
$28,000 dollars of the allotted funds for public facilities are set to go to the Paris Gibson Museum of Art where she presides as Executive Director.
Commissioner Bill Bronson was out of town during the meeting working on a city related project, so he wasn’t present to vote.
Mayor Bob Kelly and Commissioner Bob Jones approved the public facilities portion while Commissioner Fred Burrow voted to deny it over concerns that the process was carried out injudiciously.
With Commissioner Bronson present at the most recent meeting on Tuesday night, the commission made quorum.
“In order for a resolution to pass, or for any final action to be taken, at least three commissioners have to support it. And, that’s based upon a resolution that a prior commission, back in 1977 had passed, for governing the protocols for votes on various issues,” said Great Falls City Commissioner Bill Bronson.
The public facilities portion of the CDBG Action Plan was approved three to one.
Mayor Bob Kelly acknowledged that there were many lessons to learn from this year’s CDBG budget setting process, and says the city needs to review what took place, and make revisions to avoid a number of pitfalls they encountered this year, most notably the appearance of conflict of interest.
By pushing through the final portion of the CDBG Action Plan, the city has successfully made the deadline needed to receive more than $700,000 dollars in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The funding will go to housing and public services meant to bolster low to moderate income residents in Great Falls.