Ravalli Co. treasurer shake-up could create financial problems


Ravalli Co. treasurer shake-up could create financial problems

MISSOULA, Mont. - Financial troubles in the Bitterroot Valley have some residents and government organizations on edge.

In Ravalli County, delays in getting tax revenue out to the cities has caused big problems.

The executive director of the Bitterroot Public Library, Trista Smith, tells us it has caused a funding crisis.

"The timing of this kind of puts us in a difficult situation because that December tax drop is so vital," she says.  

Smith says if it weren't for the community's support with financial donations, the library would have already shut down for lack of funding.

"We're in a pretty good spot to ride this out for a few months at least," says Smith.  "I know the Darby library, it sounds like, has a shorter amount of time that they can swing this and the same with Stevensville."

Ravalli County Commissioner Ron Stoltz says the problem is Ravalli County has gone through four county treasurers in just the past few years.

"We had a few people that went for different opportunities and that left the office with lack of knowledge of how things run," he explains.    

Stoltz tells NBC Montana the loss of treasurers has left the current treasurer with a number of extra duties.

"It left the staff lacking and put more duties on them," says Stoltz.  "It's a complicated position and it takes a lot to learn."  

For Smith, if the complications aren't fixed soon the library may have to shut its doors.

"If we don't get anything in February then we probably will need to have a conversation about the long-term and what exactly were going to do," she explains.  

Stoltz says Ravalli County Commissioners are aware of the problem and have already hired an experienced treasurer and are interviewing people for a couple more positions.

County commissioners have not given us a time frame on when the treasurer's office will be fully staffed again but they assure us they are working to fix the problem.

More Stories