By CULLAN STAACK/Montana State News

The Bozeman City Comission approved the creation of an Olive Street special improvement district of the objections of a pair of homowners.

Kellen Gamradt, a staff and project engineer with the city, says, “The purpose of this SID is to help finance a street reconstruction on East Olive and a portion of South Church Avenue… We received two written protests, representing 3.8 percent of the district, and seven letters of support.”

Gamradt explains in his hearing that the amount of the SID is $140,950, 15 percent of the overall costs of the improvements. The SID revolving fund will finance the project initially, which means a low interest rate for property owners, the elimination of the need for a bond sale, and the fund being paid back over a 20-year period with interest.

Citing an overwhelming amount of support and an insufficient number of written protests, Gamradt and the city commissioners voiced their approval of the project as a necessary infrastructure investment for the city. The motion carried unanimously.

The commission also approved a resolution which focuses on amending the city’s annual budget for water funds, wastewater funds and street maintenance fund appropriations for the end of the fiscal year and includes the purchase of property at 801 North Rouse Ave.

On the topic of the purchase of property for a new parking lot, Craig Woolard, a public works director, says, “We are at a space crisis with the amount of equipment and staff that we have and are trying to stage and house on our existing facility. We really need the space to house our existing fleet of dump trucks, road graders, street sweepers, parks equipment, as well as employees that need to come to that shops complex to park and do their work everyday.”

Regarding the budget amendment resolution, assistant city manager Anna Rosenberry says, “The request tonight is to add those appropriations to the current year’s budget, fiscal year 2017, so that we can enter into the purchase agreement and go ahead and purchase the property, as well as secure the cite and do any demolition that may be needed.”

Even though the budget amendments and property purchase in the city’s shop complex are projected to come in at costs higher than the original appraisal, Mayor Carson Taylor voiced his reserved support for the motion, explaining that negotiating in public usually causes infrastructure costs to increase. The motions for action items two and three carried 4-1, with Commissioner Jeff Krauss being the loan hold out on both issues.

– edited by Jordan Sparr

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