Timeline for Development of Dornix Park from Minutes of City Council Meetings
[Throughout the approval process the Mayor, Diane Taylor and her husband, Tom Biglen, were members of the Dornix Park Citizens Committee]
April 17, 2006 “Discussion was held with regard to walking paths, picnic areas and other recreational uses for the Stene property east of the Big Timber Transfer Site. Mayor Taylor advised there are Montana State University students looking for projects to help communities with and, she will look into the possibilities.”
May 15, 2006 “Cory Conner came before the Council to discuss the Woman’s Club Playground Project. Cory advised he was asking for a commitment from both the City and the County for a $20,000 donation to the project. The Woman’s Club auction brought in approximately $12,000. The possibility of using some of the Stillwater Mining Company impact monies that were designated in the Impact Plan for recreation was voiced.”
May 23, 2006 Changes in the Stillwater Mine Impact Agreement with the City were submitted to the Hard Rock Mining Board.
June 19, 2006 “A large cadre of supporters was present to update the Council concerning possible development of a city park on the city’s property adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. This property is currently known as the Stene property. For the present time the group is calling the project the Dornix Park Project. Mr. Stene spoke about this being a dream he and his family has had for their former homestead. He went on to say the group was not in attendance to ask for money but, to ask the Council’s blessing and permission to proceed with a feasibility study.” [Mr. Stene later became disenchanted with the direction the group was headed and removed himself from it.]
“Sally Owen-Still introduced herself and presented Council members with an introductory plan for a feasibility study. She explained this would be a model project for recovery and reclamation. Mrs. Owen-Still outlined a variety of possible uses including community events, exercise and sports type activities.” [This terminology already reflects the requirements needed for a pilot project for Yellowstone Business Partnership YBP.]
“Mayor Taylor related she spoke about the Stene Park idea with Jeff Gamble at the MSU For A Day event. She was eventually put in touch with Professor William Pond, who came to look at the site. He expressed his interest in having a part in this development, as he is interested in reinstating land to good use. There are students who would like to engineer the project as a learning tool. This could tie together with service learning classes for high school students as well. Part of the cost can be paid for with grants that are in the works at the present time.” [This Learn and Serve grant is part of Corp. For National and Community Service which includes Senior Corps, AmeriCorps AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps NCCC]
“Tom Biglen stated this is a rare opportunity to recover land that is partially polluted and, at the same time, some of the most pristine property in the area.”
“Councilman Thomas moved that the City support the Dornix Park project. Councilwoman Coffey-Avey seconded the motion.”
August 15, 2006 A Dornix Park account is opened at City Hall to receive contributions for the project.
September 5, 2006 “Mayor Taylor reported on the Dornix Park happenings. The Dornix Park committee is working on a way to facilitate a feasibility study. William Pond, Professor of Landscape Design & Horticulture, Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology at Montana State University, Bozeman, will be assisting with analysis and evaluation along with several of his students. They will look at various aspects of the sight including drainages, vegetation, contamination and the various ways to remediate that contamination.”
“The Montana Office of Public Instruction is administering a federal grant that initiates Service Learning in Schools. If a school is awarded a grant, they receive $9,000 per year for three years. The grant serves to make service learning part of the academic curriculum by training teachers and coordinators how to incorporate service into academics. If Sweet Grass County High School is successful, some of those students would be working with the MSU students on this project as well.”
“Mayor Taylor mentioned she is looking into two grants available for restoration of public lands.”
September 6, 2006 The Committee signs an agreement with Bill Pond and MSU for help with the Feasibility Study.
October 16, 2006 “Sarah Mayer spoke of the Brown Fields Assessment Assistance program, offered through the Environmental Protection Agency, as it regards contamination that may or may not be present at the Stene property. The assessment is part of a feasibility study to determine if this site is suitable for reclamation. Dornix Park Citizen’s Committee asked Council approval for Mayor Taylor to sign the application they filled out for financial assistance in this endeavor.” Motion passed.
November 5, 2006 “Discussion was held regarding pool lining. The City received two estimates for lining and various options that are available. Because the estimates were over $50,000, the City will need tyo advertise a Request for Proposal for the project. Diana will see if Stillwater Mining can have someone talk to the Council about shotcrete and its uses. No action was taken.” [The City ended up getting money from the Ramsey family for the repairs.]
November 2006 Sweet Grass County High School secures a three year Service Learning Grant with Dornix Park as one of its project areas.
December 4, 2006 “SGHS was awarded a Learn and Serve grant from the Department of Public Instruction and feel they can assist in the effort to develop Dornix Park as a means of learning about serving your community. The grant award is $9,000 per year for three years.” [The DPCC used high school students labor and about $5,000 of the grant.]
January 2, 2007 “Councilman Thomas moved to donate $20,000 to the 1,000 Hands Playground project. Motion passed.
March 5, 2007 “Tom Biglen commented the Mission Statement for Dornix Park is for restoration and remediation. The park will be constructed in increments and the group will come back to the city at periodic intervals to relate to the Council what the next direction is and how the plan to fund it. He said they are committed to making the park happen without tax dollars.” “The DPCC presents the results of the Feasibility Study to the Big Timber City Council and receives permission to continue with the development of Dornix Park.” “The group hopes Dornix Park can be an example for other communities.”
Rick Gibby also spoke about the need for pool repair. The costs included in his statement ranged from $20,000 to $75,000 depending upon what was done.
“Beccy Oberly asked the Council to be aware of the odor issues when planning Dornix Park. There are times of the year that Lagoon odors are quite pervasive in that area.”
March 19,2007 “The 1999 Hard Rock Mine Impact Plan Amendment for the East Boulder Mine provides for Stillwater Mine contributing a proportionate share (13.3%) of either a sports complex or improvements to the City Park as a grant. That share is $53,200. Mayor Taylor requested adjustment of the Impact Plan to include the alternative development of a new park. Councilwoman Coffey-Avey moved to authorize the Hard Rock Mining Board to make an adjustment to the 1998 SMC Impact Plan – East Boulder Project. [This was already done May 23, 2006.] Councilman Warwick seconded the motion. Motion carried by unanimous vote of the Council present. Councilman Thomas was absent from the vote. Stillwater Mining Company agrees with this alternative and will petition the Hard Rock Mining Board to grant the adjustment When the adjustment is approved the City will need to request the funds from SMC in letter form.”
“Lisa Wagner thanked the City Council for their generous donation of $20,000 to the 1,000 Hands Playground project.”
April 2, 2007 “Representatives of the Community Outdoor Recreation Association came before the Council seeking financial help for placing sod on the soccer fields they are developing on the west side of Big Timber. The group planted grass seed last fall that was partially blown away by wind. They raised the question of possibly being able to use some of the Stillwater Mining Company park grant as noted in the 1999 Hard Rick Mining Impact Statement – East Boulder Project.
Diana explained the money granted to the City of Big Timber by Stillwater Mining Company in the 1999 Hard Rock Mine Impact was set aside for development or enhancement of park land within the City limits, to compensate for the mine’s impact on the park system. One of the properties CORA needs help with is County property and the other is privately owned. The SMC grant has already been designated for Dornix Park.
May 21, 2007 “John Beaudry presented the City of Big Timber with a check for $53,200, which is the grant amount for Parks and Recreation noted in the 1999 Hard Rock Mine Impact Statement that was amended for use at Dornix Park.”
June 18, 2007 “Sally Owen-Still reported the results of the two charrettes held to garner citizen input for formation of Dornix Park.” “
“CTA Architects submitted a proposal of $44,000 to prepare the Dornix Park Master Plan.” The issue was tabled. [CTA was paid a total of $47,000.] At this meeting, DPCC “requested use of the money SMC donated to the City for Parks and Recreation. Their plan for those dollars is to hire CTA Architects to develop a Master Plan for Dornix Park.”
July 2, 2007 “Sally Owen-Still, representing the Dornix Park Citizen’s Committee, addressed several of the concerns Council members raised at the last meeting.”
“Sally stated funding to help with maintenance of the park will be done through establishment of a Friends of Dornix Park group and fund raising efforts through that group.” [They only raised about $9,000 from donations throughout this entire process.]
“Al Buerkle mentioned the three year Service Learning grant Sweet Grass County High School received is directly tied to this project.”
October 1, 2007 “Tom Biglen, representing the Dornix Park Citizen’s Committee, reported on CTA’s survey of the Dornix Park property.”
“Issues surrounding annexation of several properties on Big Timber’s east end were discussed. Those properties include the area being developed as Dornix Park, and several wholly surrounded properties nearby. No action was taken at this time.” [Remember that the Mayor said that the Impact Funds could only be used within the City limits on April 2, 2007.)
December 3, 2007 “Annexation of the Stene property was discussed. City Attorney Frazier advised the City can annex the property by resolution because the City owns all the property surrounding the proposed annexation site.”
December17,2007 “Councilwoman Coffey-Avey moved to approve RESOLUTION 884-A RESOLUTION OF INTENT TO ANNEX WHOLLY OWNED AND CONTIGUOS CITY LAND. Councilman Warwick seconded the motion. Discussion was held. Councilwoman Coffey-Avey voted aye, Councilman Warwick voted aye, Councilman Thomas voted nay and Councilman Miller voted nay. Mayor Taylor broke the tie by voting aye. Motion carried.”
March 2008 Yellowstone Business Partnership selects Dornix Park as a Pilot Project to test a set of environment standards that will be used for “green” accreditation and to raise their own profile.
April 6, 2008 “The senators (Testor and Baucus) advised that both TSEP and CDBG have Stimulus funding available for these type projects. A representative from Senator Testor’s office was in Big Timber to speak with Mayor Taylor about three appropriations requests she submitted: McLeod Street renovation, wind generation at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and Dornix Park.
June 16, 2008 “Mayor Taylor related Dornix Park Citizen’s Committee received a Stillwater Mining Company grant of $5,000 toward the entry pavilion and a mower for trails in the park.”
“On that same note, the Sweet Grass Conservation District received a $15,000 grant to study the effects of a berm on Dornix Park property.”
July 7, 2008 “Mayor Taylor commented organizations are looking at areas of Dornix Park in relation to effluent treatment. Dornix Park Committee is investigation available grant possibilities. Page suggested there may be Brown Fields dollars to help create wetlands.”
July 21, 2008 “Tom Biglen and Jackie Franklin gave an overview of how Dornix Park came into being, where the park is at to date and plans for the future.”
“DPCC was awarded a $5,000 grant from Stillwater Mining Company to facilitate work on the trail system as well as funding an entrance sign that has since been designed by architect, Sally Gingras. They were also awarded a $15,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to study the effect of an existing berm on the course of the Boulder River channel.” [They are on several recordings of the minutes of City Council meeting denying that the grant was in the end for Dornix Park.]
October 19, 2009 “A group of people, including Sally Owen-Still, Paul Gilbert, Warren Kellogg and Dan Rostad was present to discuss Dornix Park grants. In 2008, DPCC received a $15,000 grant to study the existing berm and how it affects the flow of the Boulder River.”
“Grant funding is to bring an engineering firm in to articulate conceptual design and cost estimate which will prepare DPCC for implementation and final design.”
“There is an allocated amount of money ($35,000,000) that can be authorized in this region through the Corps of Engineers and this group is trying to get in early. In order to get this funding a procedure has to be followed and that is what Paul, Warren and Dan were here to help with.”
November 2, 2009 “Cookie Agnew was in attendance with Tom Biglen and Sally Owen-Still of the Dornix Park Citizen’s Committee to discuss Cookie’s intention to donate a piece of her property to the City.”