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Street light

NorthWestern Energy plans to replace about 4,320 Billings streetlights with energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lights. The company will report to the Billings City Council Monday evening.

The Billings City Council will hear testimony Monday on a summertime plan to install street lights along Central Avenue between 32nd Street West and Shiloh Road.

Monday’s business meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers in City Hall, 220 N. 27th St.

On Feb. 12, the council approved a Special Improvement Lighting Maintenance District to provide a source for the funding required. Public Works Director Dave Mumford said in a memo that the cost of installing the new lighting will be paid for with road reconstruction project funds. Adjacent property owners will pay for electrical energy and maintenance through an assessment on their property.

The deadline for written protests is 5 p.m. Monday. Under state law, the city council has the authority to create the district if the legal protest does not exceed 50 percent.

The council will also consider approval of a work order for improvements including curb and gutter, sidewalks and trails along the same stretch of Central Avenue. Mumford said work orders are used when most of the project is funded by the city and only a small part of the work is assessed. Work orders, he said, are more equitable for property owners because properties are assessed only for the work required on their property. Some properties have mailboxes, multiple approaches, fences and asphalt driveways, but others do not.

For this project, all properties are being assessed for the curb and gutter, sidewalk or equivalent trail width relative to each property, Mumford said. City funds are being used to reconstruct most of the roadway in the project, which is consistent with how similar streets are being constructed in other neighborhoods.

The budget for the proposed work is about $4.8 million.

Friendship House

The council’s first public hearing Monday is the continuation of a Feb. 26 hearing over a variance requested by the Friendship House of Christian Service that would allow the ministry not to pave access to a parking lot it plans to construct on South 31st Street.

In a memo, Mumford said the request for variance should properly be considered by the Board of Appeals. As a result, staff recommends the city council again continue its hearing Monday, then close it.

Silver Creek Estates

Monday’s final public hearing is on vacating portions of rights of way within Silver Creek Estates to allow for street realignment as part of the planned Silver Creek Estates 2nd Filing, which is between 46th and 48th Streets West just south of Poly Drive. A portion of Silver Creek Trail, Mountain Trail and two rights-of-way strips between some parcels will be vacated and new rights of way will be dedicated.

Consent agenda

Among Monday’s consent agenda are these proposed actions:

  • Approval of a household hazardous waste agreement with Clean Harbors Environmental Services for up to $100,000 over three years. The company is one of three licensed in Montana to do the work.
  • Approval of bid awards, including about $208,000 to CMG Construction to install a northbound auxiliary left-hand turn lane on Molt Road at Masters Boulevard and about $75,000 for an amendment to the professional services contract with Morrison Maierle. The firm is designing improvements to the Fox Pump Station, part of the city’s water distribution system in the Billings Heights.
  • A resolution to rededicate three city strip parks into rights of way along Central Avenue between 36th and 38th Streets West as a prelude to the planned summertime work.

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City Government Reporter

City reporter for The Billings Gazette.