Funding Issue Could Delay Billings Bypass


The start of construction of the Billings Bypass, which would connect Lockwood and the Heights across the Yellowstone River, faces delay, in large part because no federal transportation bill has been passed. Projected to begin construction in 2016, the start of the Bypass may not happen until 2019, according to Mike Tooley, Director of the Montana Department of Transportation. The $100 million project would, ideally, be completed by 2021.
“We have challenging times ahead,” said Tooley, pointing out that while the US Senate has passed a six-year transportation bill the US House is more inclined to pass short-term, two-year extensions of existing legislation. The federal government has not passed a long-term federal transportation bill since 2005

Read more: Funding Issue Could Delay Billings Bypass

County Planning Fee Increase for 2016


The City-County Planning Division will have new County Only Fees in place starting on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The Board of County Commissioners approved a 3.5% fee increase for most Planning Division fees on October 14, 2014 for Fiscal Year 2015, and a 3.5% fee increase for most Planning Division fees for Fiscal Year 2016. Fiscal Year 2016 begins on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, and so the Division is carrying out the second phase of this fee increase approval.
Any applications or permits that come in on July 1, 2015 or later must pay the new fees in the County. Please review the fee schedule to become familiar with the changes.
City Fees were increased 7% by the City Council in 2015 to apply to both the 2015 and 2016 Fiscal Years. Therefore, no changes in City Fees are occurring at this time.

Work Plan Lays Out How Transportation Planning Dollars will be Spent


A plan on how the Planning and Community Services Department (City-County Planning) will spend federal transportation dollars in 2016 was presented to, and approved by the three governing bodies of the Metropolitan Planning Organization -- the Yellowstone County Commissioners, the Billings City Council and the Policy Coordinating Committee.

Read more: Work Plan Lays Out How Transportation Planning Dollars will be Spent

MDT Plans Main Street Project


The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) plans to improve the intersection at Airport Road and Main Street in Billings. They are seeking public comment on a traffic study to investigate transportation alternatives to improve operations and safety at the intersection, which is located about two miles northeast of downtown Billings, just north of MetraPark.

Read more: MDT Plans Main Street Project

County Planning Fee Increase for 2016


The City-County Planning Division will have new County Only Fees in place starting on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The Board of County Commissioners approved a 3.5% fee increase for most Planning Division fees on October 14, 2014 for Fiscal Year 2015, and a 3.5% fee increase for most Planning Division fees for Fiscal Year 2016. Fiscal Year 2016 begins on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, and so the Division is carrying out the second phase of this fee increase approval.
Any applications or permits that come in on July 1, 2015 or later must pay the new fees in the County. Please review the fee schedule to become familiar with the changes.
City Fees were increased 7% by the City Council in 2015 to apply to both the 2015 and 2016 Fiscal Years. Therefore, no changes in City Fees are occurring at this time.

RiverStone Health to Expand


RiverStone Health – the city-county health department – is planning a major expansion. An $11 million two-phase project will add 48 exam rooms to their existing 31.
Besides addressing a critical need for additional space, the proposed expansion will help the agency provide health care needs in a more pro-active way, according to RiverStone Health Foundation board chairman, Steve Wahrlich, a Billings businessman. The future of medical clinics is to function more as a wellness center, he said. Teaching young people better lifestyle choices is the direction of health care, today, he said. Adding, that it has to begin with the young.

Read more: RiverStone Health to Expand

EDA Searches for Marketing Director, Seeks Funding for BillingsWorks Director

A search committee is being formed at Big Sky Economic Development (EDA) to fill the position of Jeremy Vannatta, who recently resigned his position as Director of Business Recruitment & Marketing at Big Sky Economic Development to accept a position with Payne West as a marketing director.

For EDA, filling Vannatta’s position is “a near-term challenge,” EDA Director Steve Arveschoug told board members during the joint executive committee meeting of EDA and its sister organization Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on Wednesday. They are closely evaluating the job description and its role in the organization, said Arveschoug. Executive Committee members stressed the importance of having trained staffing to step into key positions if ever necessary.

Read more: EDA Searches for Marketing Director, Seeks Funding for BillingsWorks Director

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