County awards more plowing contracts for commuter trails than last year

Missoula County commissioners on Tuesday approved four contracts to plow non-motorized trails this winter, including a first-time contract for the Frenchtown area.

The contracts, valued at roughly $23,000, went to two different firms, including J and M Construction for plowing 6.6 miles of commuter trail in Frenchtown.

That contract is valued at $5,940.

“We didn’t get any bids for Frenchtown last year,” said county planner Garrick Swanson. “This will be the first year we’re plowing that one.”

J and M also won the $5,300 contract to plow 5.9 miles of trails in the Target Range and Mullan Road area, as well as a $4,200 contract to plow 4.3 miles of trails in the Bonner-Turah areas.

Roughly 8.8 miles of trail plowing went to Gecko Fence and Landscape for $8,800, a contract that includes 7.2 miles of the Bitterroot Trail and 1.6 miles on the Highway 12 Trail.

Swanson said the contracts authorize plowing the first six out of 10 storm events after a three-inch snowfall. Four additional plowing events will be authorized after discussion among county officials.

Last year, the county only awarded three contracts for winter plowing.

“We receive a handful of emails and phone calls complimenting us on getting out there in a reasonable amount of time last year,” said Swanson. “We were sure to be reminded if we didn’t.”