[MissoulaGov] 8.10.16 committees

Bryan von Lossberg BvonLossberg at ci.missoula.mt.us
Fri Aug 12 21:13:32 UTC 2016

We kicked off Wednesday morning with Administration & Finance. First, we approved a three year service agreement with Reliant Behavioral Health to continue providing an employee assistance program (counseling, substance abuse evaluations, etc.). The City has contracted this service with RBH since 2010. Annual contract is $16,577/year. We also set a public hearing for Sept. 12th regarding levies for pooled special sidewalk, curb, gutter and alley approach 2016 bonds. Lastly, we set another public hearing also for Sept. 12th for the $3 million in levies for the Hillview Way project (Special Improvement Dist. 549).

Our final Budget Committee of the Whole meeting spanned the next two hours and then some. This was our final committee session to work through, massage, and vote on open (“tickled”) items.
Each item was debated and most votes were 6-5, 7-4. Results:

  *   added a planner position for half the fiscal year ($35K);
  *   added an animal control specialist for part of the fiscal year ($29K);
  *   added funding to convert one part time operator position in streets maintenance to full time to better balance labor capacity with equipment capacity ($23K);
  *   funding was added to the business manager position in Parks to get that position an earlier start date in FY17 ($25K); coupled with $10K reduction (from $25K to $15K) for conservation lands trailheads projects;
  *   funding added for urban forestry staffing to convert to 10-month positions to full-time ($39K);
  *   two final actions were to cut MEP funding from $100K to $25K and an across-the-board 10% reduction to amounts given to community benefit organizations. These were arguably the two most contentious items and will undoubtedly be revisited on Monday evening.

That budget currently projects around a $3.6% increase, but that will likely change by a tenth or so, pending Monday night’s deliberations.

In Parks & Conservation we confirmed the Mayor’s appointment of Kim Seeberger to the Cemetery Board to complete a vacated term that ends April 30, 2017. We also reviewed the Landscape Parcel Maintenance Matrix with the Urban Forester, Chris Boza.  There are currently 90 of these landscape and pathway parcels throughout the city - and more get added each year. The Art Park that’s started construction is one example. These comprise 2.2 million square feet of landscaping and 44 miles of pathway maintained by the Parks Department. Earlier this year, we adopted a design manual to address design and financial issues with these facilities - and seemingly the most valuable opportunity is to influence these designs such that there’s the greatest use of natives and maintenance is minimized.

In Public Works we adopted a resolution to discontinue special improvement lighting district 51, which covers Apple House Lane off Lincoln Hills Drive in the Rattlesnake. This will give the residents, through their HOA, the opportunity to work directly with NorthWestern Energy to install more efficient lights and make payments. I’m particularly interested in seeing how this works out and look forward to checking in with the homeowners down the road. That lighting district was created in 1990 to support seven 100W high pressure sodium lights on poles. At that time the charge was $19.04 per light per month. We also approved a noise ordinance waiver for street maintenance work on Orange St. underpass (overlay), Reserve St (bridge maintenance), and Paxon St (storm inlet repairs). Plan is four 10-hr shifts at night starting Sunday, the 14th. Notices to nearby residents are being provided.

In Land Use & Planning we had a pre-public hearing for a conditional use request for a preschool at 701 S 6th St. W. This is the Sunflower Montessori location and the public hearing is Monday night (15th). The bulk of the questions from the committee and public comment centered around parking capacity questions and concerns, and safety in the alley given the use by residents, pedestrians, and possibly preschool parents.

Committee of the Whole closed the day. Scott Stearns from Boone Karlberg provided an update about the recent 5-2 (including the Chief Justice) Mountain Water MT Supreme Court decision denying the Carlyle appeal on the necessity ruling. I recommend reading the decision. A motion to take possession is being drafted and will be filed next week. That will kick off the actual transition process that will take several weeks/months. (Derek: keep paying your water bill as normal for now.) Finally, Mark Thane from MCPS gave an update about their many facility projects underway. Mark has been consistently gracious with his time and thorough with his updates. And it’s appreciated. Their website on the bond projects provides a lot of good information:  http://www.mcpsmt.org/domain/3000

Thanks for your interest,

Bryan von Lossberg
Alderman, Missoula City Council - Ward 1
522 Howell St
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 285-1857

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