[MissoulaGov] Committee Update 12-15-10

Bob Jaffe BJaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us
Wed Dec 15 22:27:04 MST 2010

Kind of a slow day at committees today. Nothing too exciting on the agenda. In conservation we set a public hearing to consider an increase in the parks fees. A number of the user fees are going up about 5% and the pricing at Currents will now be the same as Splash. We also discussed the financial status of the pools. The reports we were offered were pretty light on the details so we pretty much stuck to the basics. The bottom line is that if the weather is good, the pools make money. So far they have performed better than budgeted but that includes the fact that they were budgeted to require an annual general fund subsidy of $168,000.
In public safety we reviewed the dark skies lighting ordinance. Almost all existing lighting is grandfathered in so its going to take a long time before Missoula becomes compliant with this standard.
In PAZ we looked at a request to rezone the corner of Addison and Kern from residential to commercial. This is the Territorial Landworks Office and they are requesting the lowest intensity commercial zoning. Staff was recommending approval but the planning board recommended denial. No action was taken by the council as this needs to go to a public hearing. From the comments it sounds like council is likely to approve the request.
We also looked some more at the Russell street zoning. The prevailing opinion developing is that the Southside Riverfront Overlay pretty much covers the main concerns. It may be nice to expand the boundaries of the overlay to cover just south of third street. Roy brought up the point that the area north of the river will also be affected by this project when the Broadway intersection gets redesigned. There is no overlay over there and the underlying zoning allows for just about anything.
In A&F we opened with a presentation on the current status of the Burns Street project of the NMCDC. There are still a number of units available for sale but the organization is now renting some units to help things cash flow while the market is still slow. If anyone is interested in this unique opportunity to enter the world of homeownership with the land stewardship program they should give Jerry at the NMCDC a call at 829-8414
We also approved some revisions to the development agreement for building the parking garage. The state and the bank settled on the bank's taxable value and the number was higher than originally expected. So the amount of tax increment is higher, which means the project bonding capacity is higher. This added about $500,000 to the funding of the project. We also learned that the bonds were going to get an A rating which is also better than expected.
No earth shaking items in Public Works either. We bought a truck from Karl Tyler Chevrolet. We entered into a five year contract with Hi Noon to buy fuel. And we approved a sidewalk encroachment for the Macy's building. The new developer is ready to close on the deal and wanted this taken care of. All the old buildings downtown have various encroachments onto the right of way like awnings and various architectural features. No record could be found that an encroachment permit had ever been filed for this building.

Thanks again for your interest,

Bob Jaffe
Missoula City Council, Ward Three
1225 South 2nd West
Missoula, MT 59801
(406) 880-2052
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