Billings City Council OKs new pool slide, redraws ward boundaries

2013-02-25T21:27:00Z 2014-08-25T16:51:17Z Billings City Council OKs new pool slide, redraws ward boundariesBy ED KEMMICK ekemmick@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The Billings City Council agreed to pay for a new "speed slide" at the Rose Park pool Monday night.

It also redrew council ward boundaries and added a few new reasons why a council member would have to forfeit his or her seat.

Council members voted unanimously to spend $87,650 from the council's own contingency fund to pay for the installation of a 31-foot-tall speed slide at Rose Park.

The Parks Department is already spending $270,000 from the new citywide park district to replace the two aging water slides at the pool. The speed slide is being added to attract more customers willing to pay a premium to use the slides.

The council originally proposed giving the department a $27,650 loan from the contingency fund, with the other $60,000 coming from money saved on other citywide park district projects.

Under the plan adopted Monday, the money won't have to be repaid, and the $60,000 can be spent later on other deferred park maintenance projects.

The redistricting of the five City Council wards was done to better equalize representation for city residents. If the ordinance is approved on second reading, the new wards will be established before City Council candidates begin filing for the fall election in April.

The other ordinance approved adds to the list of circumstances under which a council member would have to forfeit his or her seat.

Those would include the inability to fulfill the duties of office because of "a physical illness or mental disorder," failing to perform duties for three consecutive months without the consent of the council, "open neglect or refusal to discharge duties" or conviction of any offense "involving moral turpitude or a violation of official duties."

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