Great Falls City Commissioner and mayoral candidate Joe McKenney posted a video on Facebook over the weekend showing homeless camp next to a large mound of garbage under the Sun River bridge in Great Falls.
The situation was brought to the attention of the Great Falls city commission at their May 2 work session by a local citizen and described as a health, sanitation, and safety issue for the community.
You can view McKenney’s video post here.
I love these types of posts, ESPECIALLY when nobody wants anything to do with it. Classic great falls. All show and no go
Homelessness is a global, societal plague.
It is good that someone pointed out the filth and garbage generated by the homeless to our commissioners and then, action was taken to remove the garbage.
This however, is not a solution to end homelessness, and every city, village, hamlet in the world is wrestling with this problem. As yet, a workable solution has not been found.
Great Falls Rescue Mission has responded to this crisis, by going to the homeless camps, offering help and an opportunity to get cleaned up, get counseling for mental health,
get job counseling/training, medical treatment, dental treatment, nutritious food, and a safe comfortable place to sleep. They have been successful in helping the homeless.
There are homeless who refuse this help because they cannot use drugs or alcohol and stay at the shelter. These are the ones who shelter in the library.
The homeless do generate filth, and garbage, as pictured, but cleaning it up will just send them to another bridge, and another. We are blessed with bridges here. (four to be exact.)
I would like to use this opportunity to ask the city commissioners to do whatever is in their power to stop the homeless from using the library building and library park area as a shelter/hangout. The homeless who live in the garbage heaps pictured, use the GFPL as a daytime shelter. This creates a health risk to our most vulnerable populations, ie., young children, and senior citizens.
Homeless carry a plethora of diseases, and parasites. A few of the most threatening are Hepatitis A B and C, AIDS, TB, Herpes, Covid, pneumonia, parasites like pinworms, hookworms, head lice, body lice, fleas. I have compassion for these people as everyone does, but in the interest of public safety, homeless should not be mingling with the general public.
I realize that the library is a public facility, and is supposed to be open to everyone, but when public safety is jeopardized, by public access, public safety should take precedence and steps taken to prevent this.
We have GF Police Department called frequently to deal with problems involving the homeless. And the GFPD is doing a great job.
I don’t think a library mill levy should be foisted on the Great Falls/Cascade County residents so the library can provide counselors and security guards for the homeless.
WE ARE IN A RECESSION. The last thing we need is another tax burden, and I don’t appreciate the deception that has been exercised by promoters of this levy to tell residents that the average cost of a home in GF is $100,000, so their levy cost would be ‘just’ $4 a month. The average cost of a home in GF is $318,000 according to Realtor.com.
This is not a one time levy, but will be a perpetual levy that will increase as property values increase, and continue into the future. So the library will get $2.7 million the first year, and subsequent increases are incalculable.
Who wants to set up a business where public safety is jeopardized, and citizens are suffering under tax levy after tax levy? Businesses pay taxes too.
I don’t think the levy proponents are in touch with our community, or current economic conditions. WE ARE IN A RECESSION!
We don’t need a library/counseling center. These services are provided by our rescue mission. If the proponents want to help the homeless, go down to the library, pick up a homeless person, take them to your home, provide bathing, grooming, medical care, dental care, consistent counseling, nutritious food, bed, etc. Please don’t expect the general public to take on this burden.
Yes, we are voting on this mill levy. Our news media is promoting it in a 100% favorable light. KRTV did allow an opponent of the levy to speak out, but it was a very limited blurb. I would really like to see KRTV set up a town hall meeting and invite the public to come and hear both sides of this issue. A proponent of the levy, responded by saying we need a good library to attract businesses here. Isn’t that obtuse thinking at its zenith? What business has ever come to a city because of it’s library offerings? And what business minded person would look at the chaos created by our library and use that as a benchmark for moving here?
I love books, and I enjoy getting books from GFPL. The librarians are always friendly, knowledgeable, helpful. We are blessed with the library and I want to see it continue, but not by becoming a fire breathing tax dragon!
Indeed, library usage is down over 50% because of internet taking the place of libraries. So the long range library plan to hire more library workers is not feasible.
We want businesses to come to GF. These heavy tax burdens have not worked in CA, FL, WA, OR, as proven by the migration of residents to states with lower tax rates. We have seen our share of people moving here from other states to reduce their tax burden.
This library levy will cost tax payers $50,000 for the ballot mail out. In addition to this the library is steeped in controversy over getting a certified voting watch dog, and is involving a judge to make a quick ruling on getting this done. I wonder what our final tab on all of this will be? It just keeps mounting. The library is threatening to sue? Another expense. Who in their right mind would look at all this library chaos, and think, “Hey this is great, let’s move here?
I don’t go into the library any more. I order books online and pick them up at the drive in window. I also read books on Amazon, Libby, MontanaLibraryToGo.org. and Etsy.
I hate to see our libraries close, but the Great Falls Tribune succumbed to technology advances and is now online. Technology is here and expanding exponentially.