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Bauer & Clausen Optometry

Robyn Clausen, left, and David Bauer.

Robyn Clausen and David Bauer have operated their eye clinic on Billings West End for nine years, and they’re ready to make a big move.

The couple are moving Bauer & Clausen Optometry March 9 into a newly constructed building at 100 Brookshire Blvd., behind Little Horn State Bank.

The two have operated from their 2,500-square-foot office inside Lamplighter Square for nearly a decade, and the space had become cramped, they said.

“Our current space has been great, but we outgrew it,” Clausen, 37, said.

At about 7,200 square feet, the new building has more exam room space, a more comfortable waiting room and space to grow, the couple said.

Patients “can get in quicker” to see their doctor, Bauer, 40, said.

The move is allowing Bauer and Clausen to hire a new associate optometrist, Dr. Jessica Forsch. They have nine staff members, and they say they may hire more after the move.

The area near the corner of Central Avenue and 28th Street West has become a growing hub for small medical service providers and other professional office space.

The building, which is about 12,000 square feet, is valued at $1.35 million, according to the city of Billings. Bauer and Clausen did not disclose what they paid for their space, which they own, similar to a condo arrangement.

The property was developed by Bill Hanser, and the general contractor was Jones Construction. The project was financed by Yellowstone Bank.

Bauer & Clause Optometry has patients drive from as far as the North Dakota border and Wyoming. The new space, less than a mile from current office, shows that the practice is striving to keep up with the latest technology and best serve patients, Clausen said.

“People see that if you’re investing in your practice, you’re investing in them,” she said.

Bauer & Clausen is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 656-8886.

EPC exec retiring 

Lynn Larson, a top executive of EPC Services Co. in Billings, will retire in April after 14 years.

Larson, 60, began at the company in 2003 as general manager and was later promoted to vice president of operations.

EPC was formed in 2000 to provide project management, design and engineering services for utilities.

An EPC spokeswoman said the company hopes to name her replacement by the end of the month.

IRS eBook available

The Internal Revenue Service has unveiled this year’s eBook, which gives taxpayers an easy-to-read collection of the agency’s documents and forms for tax preparation.

This year’s eBook is the 100th for the IRS, which agency officials called a milestone.

It’s available for download at www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/ebooks .

The deadline to file taxes this year is April 18.

The IRS is also reminding taxpayers who haven’t filed in 2013 that refunds might still be available. In Montana, the IRS estimates about $3.4 million may be available for about 3,600 taxpayers.

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To collect, taxpayers must file by this year’s April 18 deadline.

Techs pump $1B into state

Montana’s high-tech industry generated more than $1 billion in revenue in 2016, the highest amount recorded in an annual study by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Members of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance tallied $1.09 billion in revenue last year, an increase from $867 million the previous year, the group reported last week. It’s the third year the high-tech alliance has commissioned the UM group to conduct the study.

The high-tech sector is growing seven times faster than the statewide economy and expects to add 960 new jobs this year, according to the alliance. Average pay is about $60,000 annually for high-tech workers, about double the Montana average.

Christina Henderson, director of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, said the high-tech jobs boost the rest of the economy.

“They’re buying houses, they’re eating at local restaurants and they’re sending kids to local schools,” she said Thursday.

The chairman of the high-tech alliance is Greg Gianforte, founder of Bozeman-based RightNow Technologies and a Republican candidate for Montana’s lone congressional seat.

Haikus from the valley

The First Amendment

protects free speech. Not a shield

for stupid comments.

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