Watershed council tackles Brewery Flats plan

By: 
JENNY GESSAMAN
Reporter

Big Spring Watershed Council Chair Clay Dunlap outlines his plan at the group’s October meeting as Secretary Duane Ferdinand records minutes Monday at the Lewistown Public Library.

Photo by Jenny Gessaman

The future of Brewery Flats’ south end was tackled Monday as the Big Spring Watershed Council outlined a future plan for the area.

Following last month’s master plan request from Lewistown City Manager Holly Phelps, Parks and Recreation Director Jim Daniels and Dave Byerly, Dunlap presented a list of goals for the south end of Brewery Flats.

Created with organizational member Mike Lesnik, the goals included planting native shrubs, developing a new nature trail on the old railroad bed and installing a parking lot at the Turner Center.

The list was created based on the public’s current enjoyment of Brewery Flats, according to Dunlap.

“It’s not bad just the way it is,” he said. “We don’t want to love it to death. We don’t want to do too many things down there, but there are some things that we probably need to do, and some improvements that could be made.”

Dunlap pushed for a consensus on the goals by the end of the meeting, looking to instigate the approval process as soon as possible. He said the next steps involved appearances before the Parks and Recreation Board and the Lewistown City Commission.

The meeting’s 14 attendees posed general questions about public input, permitting and long-term care. The conversation turned to how detailed and long-term the plan should be, and member Al Eggers suggested taking the list they agreed on to the Parks and Recreation Board, as well as to the City Commission, for approval and guidance on next steps.

The group reviewed the plan’s list, agreeing on the new nature trail and additional native plantings. After discussing current use of the Turner Environmental Center, they decided to scrap the idea of a new parking lot at the building.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Fisheries Biologist Clint Smith pointed out good infrastructure decisions depend on user needs, needs Council did not know.

“I think again, it comes back to what the plan for the Turner Center is, and I don’t think this group controls that,” Smith said.

Dunlap had questions on future building plans, but did not think the Council could address the issue.

“How do we prevent development?” he said. “I don’t think we can. The young people have to keep vigilant, and when things come up, you have to go to the City Commission.”

Al Eggers moved to present the plan for a new nature trail and more native plantings to the Parks and Recreation Board and City Commission for approval and help. The motion was seconded, and passed unanimously.

The Council is tentatively set to present the plant at the Nov. 1 Parks and Recreation Board meeting.

 

In other business:

• Chairman Clay Dunlap reported the Big Spring Watershed Council had a balance of $7,258.10.

• Clint Smith talked about wrap-up on the Machler Stream Project, saying everything was going well: Planted trees has survived the summer and the creek’s re-meandering had held its form.

• Roger Lohrer of the Central Montana Resource Council presented on the Musselshell-Judith Rural Water Project and its current progress.

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