Resort tax board candidate roundtable April 2

EBS STAFF

Voters in the Big Sky Resort Area District will select two new members to serve four-year terms on the resort tax board of directors, when elections are held Tuesday, May 8.

At Buck’s T-4 Lodge on Monday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m., Big Sky’s Top Shelf Toastmasters will host a candidate roundtable with the four community members running to fill the seats vacated by Heather Budd and Ginna Hermann.

Sarah Blechta, Paul “Buz” Davis, Steve Johnson and Craig Smit will answer questions from the moderators, who belong to the Big Sky chapter of Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization that helps members improve their communication and leadership skills.

Big Sky’s 3-percent resort tax is charged on “luxury” items and services, and during fiscal year 2017 the district collected more than $5.1 million. This money is appropriated annually in June, to fund services and programs in this unincorporated resort community.

Big Sky School District board trustee candidates Matt Jennings and Margo Magnant will also participate in the roundtable. There are two seats open on the school board and Jennings and Magnant were the only candidates to file as of EBS press time on March 28. The filing deadline was March 29.

This event will also be broadcast live on Explore Big Sky’s Facebook page.

NorthWestern Energy to update public on substation proposal

EBS STAFF

NorthWestern Energy will hold a public engagement meeting at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 to update the community on the development of a new mid-mountain electrical substation.

According to NorthWestern energy, the new electrical substation, which was proposed last July, will help meet the community’s growing energy needs and will improve service reliability for current as well as future customers.

As proposed, the new substation would be an open-air structure, however in a letter sent to the community on March 9, NorthWestern Energy said they are also considering the viability of a gas-insulated substation or low-profile substation technology.

After initial scoping meetings ended in August 2017, NorthWestern Energy met with substation operators at Holy Cross Energy in Aspen, Colorado, to learn more about gas-insulated substations and their applicability to Big Sky. They have also assessed low-profile substation technology.

NorthWestern Energy will share the results of their substation-type assessment during the April 11 meeting.

Additionally, the company will discuss the appointment of a team of 11-13 community members tasked with providing specific feedback and recommendations on the site and technology options, under direction of the Burton K. Wheeler Center. This group will consist of current residential property owners, developers, small and large business owners, community group representatives and non-owner members of the workforce.

Recommendations for the advisory team can be made through April 25 by emailing bigskysubstation@gmail.com. For more information about the Big Sky Substation Siting Project, visit bigskysubstation.wixsite.com/bigskysubstation

Application period opens for Rotary student scholarship

ROTARY CLUB OF BIG SKY

The Rotary Club of Big Sky has announced its annual George MacDonald Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 to be awarded to a Big Sky resident attending college or a vocational post-high school program. This scholarship is one of many community projects that the Rotary Club of Big Sky is able to fund as a result of the community’s support during the annual Gold Raffle and Auction held each January.

The criteria for the scholarship will be based on financial need, community service and academic performance. In addition to a completed application, a school transcript must be included. Applicants will also be asked to write a letter to the scholarship committee, explaining college or post-high school education plans, academic and extracurricular history, and a description of community service endeavors.

A committee of three Rotarians will review each application, and a winner will be announced by May 31. The deadline for the application is April 30. All information provided to the review committee will be kept strictly confidential to the members of that committee.

Big Sky residents interested in applying for this scholarship should contact a Rotarian for an application or send an email to bigskyrotary@gmail.com.

Campus radio station celebrates 50 years on-air

KGLT

KGLT FM 91.9, the noncommercial campus radio station at Montana State University in Bozeman, is celebrating their 50th year on-air, and will hold an annual two-week fund drive from Sunday, April 1 to Saturday, April 14.

This annual two-week on-air event keeps the station operating throughout the year, and this year’s pledge goal is $200,000.

Community members that make a pledge of support will receive one of several incentive gifts. In addition to 50th anniversary shirts, hats, mugs and totes, gifts include a mountain bike from Summit Bike and Ski, a Martin acoustic guitar from Music Villa, a season ski pass from Bridger Bowl, and a variety of gift cards for everything from restaurants to yoga studios.

In addition, works from famous artists like the late Freeman Butts, Livingston’s Parks Reece, and Ella Watson of the Holter Museum in Helena will be offered over the airwaves.

“KGLT reaches out to communities across the southwestern portion of our state … to bring us all together into one large community of listeners and volunteers,” said Station Manger Ellen King-Rodgers.

Being an all-music format, the station provides many services to communities who otherwise might not have access to grassroots community information. Locally-produced programming like the Montana Medicine Show providing on-air history vignettes, or Chrysti The Wordsmith offering daily derivations of common words and phrases, are just some of the many shows and services provided.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, KGLT will broadcast the station’s varied history to listeners throughout the area.

To make a donation to KGLT, call the station’s request line at (406) 994-4492 or (800) 254-5458. Pledges can also be made directly through the station’s website, kglt.net.