I am the board president of the South Billings Urban Renewal Association, proud of accomplishments that we have achieved since this district was created and excited about future projects we have planned and hope to see in the future.

Many items have been sidelined over the past several months due to unforeseen issues. These have played out publicly and have caused our board and the city council to be scrutinized and maligned unfairly. Newspaper articles misstated details on more than one occasion and in more than one publication.

The city council sitting now and the current board were not in place when the mistake was made that was found recently.

Our board has the responsibility of recommending ways to direct our tax dollars to benefit our district. We are proud of our new streets and projects we have been able to help fund, that have beautified our area of Billings.

We have a qualified, energetic, insightful consultant who needs to be given credit for the accomplishments of our tax increment financing district. The former board charged him with "making things happen" for our area and he has done an excellent job. He promoted our area to many businesses and we appreciate that.

This has been overlooked by the reporting and also the council.

Everyone should read the report by Moulton Bellingham, no wrong doing on this board or consultant.

I feel our board could have benefited by better support from the city council.

Going forward we hope that will be different.

Carolyn Rukstad


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