Frozen water service lines a problem in Columbia Falls

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At least 10 residences in Columbia Falls suffered from frozen water service lines in the past week. The lines generally went to older homes, noted public works director Tyler Bradshaw.

The city hasn’t had a main water line freeze, he noted.

The topic o frozen water lines came up at the city council meeting Monday night. The city doesn’t pay to unfreeze water lines, but it does do cost sharing for repairs.

Water lines didn’t freeze as much during the cold snap in February and early March. It came later when snow was cleared from driveways and the weather went from 30s during the day to single digits at night, which allows the water to seep deeper into the ground.

Mayor Don Barnhart noted that the city will have to keep an eye on those service lines that did freeze as they could break.

Frozen water lines were not unique to Columbia falls. In Red Lodge, water mains froze and about 40 homes were without water.

In other city news:

• Council went over more of the municipal code updates, centering on the section that deals with business licenses and liquor licenses. The new code takes out the fee schedules — they’ll be placed in a separate section of code. The code also adds a requirement for a business license if an entity is managing four or more rental properties.

• Council approved a mural project on the cement wall in front of the Hungry Horse News. The mural will be painted by students from Shelby Johnson’s art class later this spring and will be approximately 95 feet long and 4 feet high.

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