Survey: Bozemanites want green transportation

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By SAMANTHA SUNDLY/Montana State News

The Bozeman City Commission heard a special presentation by Jeff Key on the updated city Transportation Master Plan (TMP) on Monday. The new plan was initiated in November 2015, surveying community members on their priorities for the city’s road and bikeways in order to recommend transportation improvements in Bozeman.

Survey results revealed an overwhelming community priority, with 73.3 percent of participants providing a “strongly agree” rating to the sixth TMP goal of environmental sustainability.

Surveys were released Dec. 7, 2015 on a Bozeman Online City Hall forum, eliciting 393 responses on citizen’s priorities for improving Bozeman transportation. The survey questions focused specifically on Bozeman citizens’ agreement or disagreement with the TMP’s seven transportation goals.

According to the Bozeman Transportation Master Plan website, these goals include:

maintaining existing transportation; improving efficiency, performance and connectivity of a balanced transportation system; supporting and promoting coordinated land use and transportation planning efforts; providing a safe and secure transportation system; supporting economic vitality of the community; protecting and enhancing environmental sustainability, providing opportunities for active lifestyles, and conserving natural and cultural resources, and promoting a financially sustainable transportation plan that is actively used to guide the transportation decision making process. More

Tiny houses eyed as solution for homeless

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By BAY STEPHENS/Montana State News

The tiny home movement has been gathering momentum in recent years and now those wrestling with homelessness in Bozeman might ride the wave with the endorsement of The Community Affordable Housing Advisory Board (CAHAB).

“Our mission is to build self-governing community of residence living in single-living community homes,” said Connie Campbell-Pearson, a deacon with St. James Episcopal Church, in a recent presentation to CAHAB. She is heading up the project with the support of her church and, likely, the city at her back.

Half of the homeless population in Bozeman, Campbell-Pearson said, are transitionally homeless, for which the Warming Center works well in providing a safe and warm place to sleep while individuals sort things out. The other half are chronically homeless, living on the streets for one to two years with a risk of death. More

Commission gets look at final transportation plan

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By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

A finalized version of a transportation plan that is set to address the city’s rapid expansion until at least 2035 was presented at the Bozeman City Commission meeting Monday.

The Bozeman Transportation Master Plan, or TMP, is a planning process that was initiated 16 months ago. It is meant to assist city planning partners, as well as the Bozeman community in general, in guiding transportation infrastructure and implementation. It includes all travel and transportation modes, and will guide decisions until at least the year 2035.

Essentially, the TMP is the growth plan for all of Bozeman’s streets, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, walking paths, and other such transportation routes.

After a long period of planning, Public Works Director Craig Woolard said, “We’re down to what I would consider the final stretch of the process where we start to make recommendations for Bozeman’s transportation improvements over the next several decades.” More

Warming Center sees rise in homeless numbers

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By EMMA HAMBURG/Montana State News

In the fall of 2010, the issue of homelessness drew the attention of the community after two homeless people died as a result of cold temperatures.  One found shelter in a U-Haul moving truck and the other camping just outside of city limits.  Both deaths could have been prevented by a safe, warm place to sleep.

Reaction to the deaths was swift.

The local non-profit HRDC (Human Resource Development Council) along with the Greater Gallatin Homeless Action Coalition found a space at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds and opened for the first season of the Warming Center.

The Warming Center provides seasonal shelter, October – March, and is open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. for people who are homeless.  The Center is administered by HRDC and is 100 percent funded by community and foundation support. More

Teen rises above homelessness, addiction

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By VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

Priding herself on six months of sobriety from all hard drug use, Ashley Grey Allsop is considered by her peers a success story, to say the least. If you’ve interacted with her, you may know her as the friendly face at McDonalds, or the helpful frequenter of the Warming Center.

I struggled to find an appropriate place and time in which to interview Allsop amidst all the bustle of the seasonal shelter, which is all too busy despite its outdated facilities. We attempted to step aside into one of the quieter but still in-use areas of the Warming Center.

I assumed Allsop would request some privacy before delving into my questions, but she unashamedly began, without asking the two other volunteers in that area to leave the room. Needless to say, we all got wrapped in her story relatively quickly, and soon, I wasn’t the only one asking questions. More

Activists push for sanctuary city status

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By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

A large group of Bozeman citizens spoke out Monday at the city commissioners meeting with an ordinance proposing to make Bozeman a sanctuary city which, if adopted, could result in a lack of federal funding for the city.

The group made an unscheduled presentation at the commissioners’ meeting involving several testimonies from immigrants or children of immigrants who argued in favor of immigration. One gentleman spoke, saying “[my parents] as well as other immigrants have enriched this country and living in Bozeman for the last 21 years, I have felt like this city is a sanctuary.”

In their written resolution to make Bozeman a sanctuary city, the group stated: “the city of Bozeman has long been a community made up of diverse individuals and identities […] and the city of Bozeman respects all persons regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation or immigration status.” More

Workforce housing efforts considered in Big Sky

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By MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

A brand new housing opportunity for the workforce in Big Sky may just be the answer to the employee-housing crisis.

The new proposal, Penny for Housing, conquers employee-housing head on. This new bill outlines three major options Big Sky could go with in order to succeed, according to the Chamber of Commerce in Big Sky.

The first, allocating a sum of money every year from the 3 percent resort tax to pay for the new housing, is already in the works.

Second, a single lump sum of the funds goes directly to the new housing project.

Third, raising the resort tax to 4 percent and allowing 1 percent to go towards employee housing every year.

As information on this proposal arises, there are some who wish to stop it right away. Businesses already having to pay with the 3 percent resort tax are against the tax increase of 1 percent. More

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