[MissoulaGov] Committee update 10-24-07

Jim McGrath jmcgrath at missoulahousing.org
Thu Oct 25 10:45:15 MDT 2007


School numbers reflect family composition. I note this as a complicating
factor. From what I recall from recent demographics is that the elderly
has been moving into town to be closer to services and families have
been moving out of town (for a variety of reasons, including cost).

Infill tends to bring the cost of housing down (in the city) and
increases the available stock.

Families will never be able to move into the city if there is no
available stock.

The school district seems to prefer sprawl and seems to desire closing
inner city schools. They make outlying schools more desirable, which may
be a reason contributing to families moving.



However, if there was no infill, sprawl would be the only alternative
and there would be much more of it. Hence the "bunk"-if there were no
infill, then THAT would be the biggest contributor to sprawl.





________________________________

From: missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com
[mailto:missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com] On Behalf Of Paul Sopko
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:52 AM
To: bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us; missoulagov at cmslists.com
Subject: Re: [MissoulaGov] Committee update 10-24-07



During the discussion there were some comments about encouraging sprawl.
Jon Wilkins said something to the effect that we shouldn't be
complaining about sprawl because those of us that have supported infill
have done more to create sprawl than anything else that has happened.
This infill has caused people to flee the neighborhoods and build in the
outskirts of town. Personally I think this argument is bunk. But I have
heard it repeated a lot. Does anyone know if there is any data that
supports or refutes this position?



How bout' school enrollment numbers? School enrollment has been steadily
declining sincethe 1990's in the urban core while enrollments at schools
in Frenchtown, Florence, Lolo & Hellgate Elementary have been steadily
increasing. Of course, tying this to infill is a stretch so I'd define
it as anecdotal evidence.



I think there is more anecdotal evidence to support Mr. Wilkins claim
(infill in city = higher costs = more expensive = sprawl, infill = high
density = people sprawl to get more space) but hard data is difficult
to come by since the term "sprawl" is thrown around pretty loosely. Bob,
I'm interested why you think Wilkins argument is nonsense. I think both
sides of this debate make good cases in their favor.





Paul Sopko



----- Original Message -----

From: Bob Jaffe <mailto:bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us>

To: missoulagov at cmslists.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 9:53 PM

Subject: [MissoulaGov] Committee update 10-24-07



Greetings,

This morning we started out with conservation. We had a
presentation regarding the pools. Here are a few tidbits. The excavation
is complete for the new 50 meter pool. So no more risk of surprises
underground. All is proceeding as planned.

Combined attendance at Spartan and McCormick pools in 2003 was
33,000.

Combined attendance for Currents and Splash in 07 are 170,000.

'06 was the pool operators dream. We didn't open the pool until
June 21. So the contractor was still paying utilities during the first
few weeks of the season when the weather isn't so good anyway. Then we
had perfect outdoor pool weather all summer.

High temp 101

Days over 90:

June: 3

July: 19

Aug: 8

Sept: 2



Then in 07 it got even hotter.

High temp 107

Days over 90:

June: 18

July: 30

Aug: 14

Num days over 100 = 10



It turns out that when it gets over 99 degrees people don't like
to hang out at an outdoor pool anymore. Especially when it is smoky. But
fortunately we had Currents to hedge our bets because people did go to
the indoor pool on the smoky days.



The swim lessons are extremely popular. The trend these days is
to start teaching kids to swim much earlier. People call for lessons for
their two year old children. The facility is also being rented after
closing by the scuba and kayak groups. Soon pool time will be as
valuable as ice time.



We also discussed allocation of open space bond money for the
section of the Milwaukee trail between Russell and Reserve. Earlier in
the year we contracted with WGM to research and contact land owners
regarding easements for the trail. Phase two is to do appraisals and
actually make deals. Then we will have to actually make the purchases.
We are hoping it can be done for around $150,000.



In A&F we just renewed our contract with Allegiance to manage
our health plan.



In Public Works we had a couple of unscheduled presentations.
Steve Earl from Mountain Line told us about their new service to the
airport. You can get out there 11 times a day. They also made a deal for
long term parking at the parking garage downtown that is a better deal
than what the airport offers.

We also heard about the status of the Arthur/5th/6th project.
The Engineering department in conjunction with the university has
drafted up a new proposal that is similar to the other new proposal the
university was floating last winter. The ball is in MDT's court. They
need to do engineering to see if it is feasible. If so there will be
another public process to get feedback.

We also discussed the expansion of the wastewater treatment
plant at the Wye again. The project looks like it may be making a
comeback this time. In committee last week the council was very cold to
the idea of expanding the service area to accommodate the development.
This is on the corner of Waldo lane and Highway 93. It is just down the
hill from the Wye going towards Evero. There is a ten acre lot where
they want to do some kind of commercial development like a grocery
store. The ground water out there is contaminated with phosphates from
peoples septic systems. It is at the level on this site where they will
not be able to develop without sewer. The sewer main will run down the
street adjacent to the property.

They say that some day (5+ years) there will be a light at Waldo
lane making the connection with the highway safer. As far as other
essential services like water, fire, and police... who knows.

It passed in committee this time. I'm not really sure why we
voted on it since we voted on it last week. It got sent back to
committee on Monday night but I don't think that triggers a re-vote
without a motion to reconsider.



During the discussion there were some comments about encouraging
sprawl. Jon Wilkins said something to the effect that we shouldn't be
complaining about sprawl because those of us that have supported infill
have done more to create sprawl than anything else that has happened.
This infill has caused people to flee the neighborhoods and build in the
outskirts of town. Personally I think this argument is bunk. But I have
heard it repeated a lot. Does anyone know if there is any data that
supports or refutes this position?



Thanks for your interest,



Bob Jaffe

Missoula City Council, Ward 3

bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us

406-728-1052


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