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ConocoPhillips is poised to begin moving their mega loads of equipment from Idaho to Montana on February 1. Last week, they received the full fledged endorsement of the Yellowstone County Commissioners in that effort. Commissioners underscored, in a resolution, the importance of the refinery’s continued operation to the local economy, as a supplier of jobs and fuel.
The oil company has been stymied in efforts to move equipment through Idaho and Montana by legal and permitting challenges.
The first round of Billings Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) grant dollars, to help promote Billings as a tourism destination, have been awarded. Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Tourism Business Improvement District officials announced that these TBID grant dollars will help grow the tourism economy at Montana’s Trailhead through increased visitor spending in Billings’ lodging establishments. Other tourism partners such as retail, restaurant, transportation businesses and attractions will also benefit from increased visitation.
Billings’ newest city license plate is now available at county courthouses across the state. Released with the most recent batch of specialty plates in Montana, proceeds of sale of the plate allows fans of the city to support the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and help fund bike trails.
The initial cost of the new plates is $45 which includes a one-time fee of $20 that goes to the state, and the remainder going to EDC.
Supporters of a proposal that the state must produce a small business impact analysis before adopting administrative rules said the issue is about ensuring new rules won’t unnecessarily interfere with enterprise while opponents said it will grow government and that the current system works.
Sen. Edward Walker, R-Billings, told member of the Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee that his bill asks state agencies to consider the impact to business before implementing more rules.
Ranchers in northern Yellowstone County who are protesting their tax assessments are pleased with the decision of the Yellowstone County Tax Appeal Board (YCTAB).
The Montana Department of Revenue is not pleased, and has appealed all the cases to the State Tax Appeal Board (STAB).
The county tax appeal board claims the state’s position “casts a chilling pall over the concept of fair and equitable taxation.”
Yellowstone County Clerk and Recorder Tony Nave surprised those in attendance at the regular weekly meeting of Yellowstone County Commissioners on Tuesday with the announcement that he is going to retire. His resignation becomes effective May 31, 2011.
Nave, a Republican, was only recently re-elected for a fifth term to the position, going unchallenged in the General Election after having defeated Eric Coobs in the Primary.
Nave said that he and his wife, Sandi, want to focus more on enjoying family and life while they can. “It is with a bit of both sadness and joy that I hereby submit my resignation,” he said.
“Having spent the last four and a half years dealing with the deaths of our son both of my parents and my wife’s mom,” said Nave, “Sandi and I have decided to retire while our health is still good enough to allow us to refocus our lives and enjoy our senior years.” I am truly grateful for the opportunities that allowed me to serve Yellowstone County for the past sixteen years,” said Nave, going on to say in a written statement, “Dealing with the complexities of my office has been a challenging and very rewarding experience.”
It has been primarily under Nave’s leadership that the Clerk and Recorders' office became computerized, leading the way in the adaption of new technology and making its records and processes more easily accessible to the public. The office processes hundreds of public documents daily with a staff of eight people.
Yellowstone County Commissioners will appoint a replacement.
Since three of the polling locations in Billings did not have the threshold of use, last November, that the County Commissioners said would be necessary to keep them in use, Bret Rutherford, Interim Election Administrator for Yellowstone County, announced that future federal elections for the precincts served by those locations will default to Metra Park.
The percentage of absentee (mostly mail) ballots cast, compared with total ballots cast, at the Faith Chapel, Faith Evangelical and Riverside polling places was 80.7%; 76.5% and 69.2% , respectively.
Precincts 46, 41C, 52C, 54A, 54C, 55A, 55B, A56, B56, and 57A will henceforth hold elections at MetraPark, said Rutherford.
“Workforce housing” is different from “affordable housing.” Workforce housing is about pushing back the costs imposed by regulations, to lower the cost involved in building a home, explained two local real estate brokers in speaking to an economic development group, last week.
Tom Llewellyn, a local real estate broker and developer, and Lindy Schmitt, also a real estate broker, who serves as chairman of the Workforce Housing Committee of the Billings Association of Realtors, are on a public information campaign to change the way some homes are built in Billings. The duo spoke before the joint meeting of the boards of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), last week.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103