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Tom Zurbuchen

Capturing methane at landfill a prosperous venture for Billings

Capturing methane at landfill a prosperous venture for Billings

Turning methane into natural gas at the Billings landfill will probably remain a profitable proposition for Billings, the Billings City Council learned Monday.

October 06, 2015 6:00 am Related (1)

There's no reason to raise taxes when city has reserves

Regarding city property taxes, option 5 raises taxes $636,400 over last year and is supposed to be the least that can be taxed. The current FY16 budget says it will use $1.2 million of general and public safety reserves, but collects fewer taxes than last year. If taxes were lowered to the l…

September 13, 2015 11:00 am(0)

Tell your Billings City Council members what you think about taxes

By now, everyone should have received their new tax assessment for 2015. I have talked to numerous people throughout Billings and everyone says their new taxable value is up, none report a lower taxable value. The increase is from 9 to 24 percent with the majority falling in the 14 to 17 per…

August 02, 2015 4:00 pm(2)

Billings City Council OKs $317 million budget

By a 9-2 vote, the Billings City Council approved a 2015-16 budget that’s about $145,000 less than the proposed $317,144,586 spending level.

June 09, 2015 6:00 am(2)

Proposed street maintenance fee system unfair

The City has two Street Maintenance Districts, one for downtown and one for all other. The downtown district is operating in the red for about $250,000 each year. Both districts are billed dollars per square foot of land, and downtown pays about seven times the rate as the other. The City th…

April 26, 2015 9:00 am(3)

City Council eyes plan to spend $262 million over next few years

The Billings City Council got a good look Tuesday at how hundreds of millions of tax dollars are going to be spent in the coming years.

February 18, 2015 6:00 am(0)
Billings Ethics Board dismisses four complaints

Billings Ethics Board dismisses four complaints

The city’s Board of Ethics dismissed an ethics complaint against Councilwoman Becky Bird on Thursday and declined to pursue three other complaints.

February 12, 2015 7:45 pm(0)

City presents draft capital spending plan: a cool quarter-billion dollars

Over the next five years, Billings will receive a quarter-billion-dollar upgrade to its infrastructure — $255,086,276, to be exact, spread out over 126 projects. During the plan’s first year alone, the 2015-16 fiscal year, nearly $105 million will be spent on 53 projects.

February 10, 2015 9:30 pm(0)
Councilman questions Ethics Board legality under state law

Councilman questions Ethics Board legality under state law

The Billings City Council approved an initiative Monday instructing its city attorney to research whether the city’s Code of Ethics and Billings’ Ethics Board are legal under state law.

February 10, 2015 6:00 am(0)

Who is the City Council representing?

Recent actions of the Billings City Council leave me wondering who they represent. First they voted to spend tax dollars to lobby the State Legislature for expansion of Medicaid. What Medicaid recipient pays property taxes or lives in non-rent-subsidized housing? The local match for Medicaid…

January 11, 2015 12:00 am(0)

City of Billings takes aggressive stance when it comes to lawsuits

The city of Billings is defending itself in 19 lawsuits filed in District Court, and is the plaintiff in two other cases — one of which involves the Billings Gazette.

December 24, 2014 6:00 am(0)

City needs more officers on the streets

The events on Nov. 5 at Fuddruckers point-out a serious problem within the Billings Police Department. Only nine officers were available for duty for a shift. During the recent public safety levy campaign, we learned the City has 143 officers. That number is verified in the FY15 budget.

November 23, 2014 12:00 am(0)

New sidewalk policy will help eliminate 'trippers'

Billings could soon become a safer place for pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and people in wheelchairs.

November 04, 2014 6:00 am(0)

City must show how all all General and Public Safety funds are spent

If the Public Safety Levy passes, the city will increase personnel in the city attorney's office, which is funded by the General Fund. These positions are a benefit to police and fire.

September 19, 2014 12:00 am(0)
Officials argue public safety levy would cover rising cost of police, fire protection

Officials argue public safety levy would cover rising cost of police, fire protection

City and business leaders began the conversation Tuesday that will lead to a November vote by Billings residents whether to increase their property taxes to pay for additional police, fire and other services that would cover anticipated growth over the next decade.

September 09, 2014 10:30 pm Photos



Excessive COLA's in public safety levy proposal

Everyone knows we need more police officers in Billings. However the new public safety levy has COLA raises in it as well as longevity pay, increased benefits, pay for promotions and for advanced training totaling 4.5 percent.

August 10, 2014 12:00 am(0)

Proposed new road not a threat to Mary Street

I keep seeing yard signs saying Save Mary Street and letters in the a recent Sunday Gazette saying bypass ill-planned, and on Tuesday not a bypass.

April 28, 2014 12:00 am(0)
Garbage fees will rise beginning July 1

Garbage fees will rise beginning July 1

When it came time to hike garbage pickup and landfill fees Monday, the Billings City Council chose an option with a smaller initial increase over one that would have increased the charge $2.01 per month beginning July 1.

April 14, 2014 9:59 pm(0)
Billings City Council approves pedestrian bridge over train tracks

Billings City Council approves pedestrian bridge over train tracks

By the slimmest of margins — 5-4, with 1 abstention and one council member absent — the Billings City Council on Monday approved a construction and maintenance agreement that will lead to the building of a pedestrian bridge connecting Minnesota Avenue to Montana Avenue at North 25th Street.

March 24, 2014 10:09 pm Related (0)

Who represents the city's interests in pay negotiations?

There seems to be a huge problem with the way Billings negotiates union contracts. Every employee's first and foremost concern is for more compensation. This is a fact of life. So who is at the negotiating table?

August 04, 2013 12:00 am(0)

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