6 chances to chime in at the Billings City Council meeting

2014-03-24T00:00:00Z 2014-04-02T16:26:04Z 6 chances to chime in at the Billings City Council meetingBy MIKE FERGUSON mferguson@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

After a rigorous work session last Monday that featured 90 minutes of testimony over a $25,000 funding request from Not in Our Town, the Billings City Council will handle a more mundane agenda Monday.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers.

Residents will have at least half a dozen opportunities to speak up during public hearings on everything from a tree removal to business expansion. Those hearings include:

Assessing the homeowner the $700 cost of removing a tree at 1046 Harvard Ave. last summer. The tree showed signs of having Dutch Elm disease.

Granting a five-year tax exemption from city and local school property taxes for a million-dollar expansion in 2012 at Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane. Following the expansion, Big Horn Resort added 14 part-time employees, according to Bruce McCandless, assistant city administrator.

Approving a five-year exemption on another million-dollar building expansion in 2012, this one by True North Steel, 1501 S. 30th St. W. McCandless said the expansion allowed the company to increase its capacity to build steel storage tanks for the petroleum industry. As a result of the expansion, the company added 12 full-time employees, McCandless said.

Considering a third tax exemption. A 2013 expansion by 360 Office Solutions to 3723 Pierce Parkway was worth about $837,000. McCandless said the company plans to add 30-38 full-time employees over the next two years as a result of the expansion.

In addition to holding the public hearings, the city council is scheduled to consider 13 items as part of the consent agenda. Among them are a consultant agreement with the engineering firm Sanderson Stewart to provide an access plan for the Highway 3 corridor in Billings and Yellowstone County, between North 27th Street and the Apache Trail intersection, a length of about five miles. The cost is not to exceed $68,000.

The council is also scheduled to consider awarding an $86,025 contract to Kimley-Horn and Associates to help the city prepare a downtown parking strategic plan.

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