By Tim Leeds
D.J. Baker of Culligan Water Conditioning Co. dropped off some bottles for the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
Janine Donoven and Tiffany Korb, co-chairs of the chamber Business Association Committee, and Debbie Vandeberg, chamber general manager, received the water bottles from Baker. They're not going to fill them with water, but with money.
The bottles will be used in the Havre Area Renewal Trust (HART) program. The bottles will be displayed in local businesses, with signs donated by Hill County Printing explaining the project. There are currently 10 businesses that have offered to display the bottles.
Customers can donate any spare change or monetary funds into the bottles, which will be collected once a month and deposited into a separate savings account. The money will be used for specific projects chosen by the Business Association Committee.
The current project chosen for the funds is to replace and repair the Christmas ornaments displayed downtown. Donoven said they need to buy 18 new ornaments and repair or refurbish three or four more. She said they are looking into several companies to find the best ornaments at the best buy. The goal for the HART project this year is $12,000.
Donoven said that since the ornaments belong to the community, they wanted their repair to be a community project, much as the original purchase was.
The Christmas ornaments were purchased around 1979-80. Several downtown merchants, including Dick Grownley, Bob Evans, Don Miller, Mike Leeds and Murray Barkus collected money from the community to purchase the holiday pole decorations.
In 1994-95 the chamber and the Montana Power Company entered into a partnership to make power available on the poles so the decorations could be lit. MPC donated the labor and the chamber paid for the materials. Volunteers worked to repair the ornaments and they were lit at Christmas in 1995. The Jaycees put up and take down the ornaments for the community every year.
Businesses interested in displaying the bottles and community members interested in making donations can call the chamber office at 265-4383.