Lockwood School District has frozen all spending in face of a possible tax protest that could mean a $900,000 loss to their budget. ExxonMobil is considering protesting their property tax assessment for 2010, and the company contributes over half of the property tax revenues collected by the school district.Superintendent Eileen Johnson issued an announcement curtailing spending, on Thursday, following a long meeting with Exxon officials, representatives of the Montana Department of Revenue (DOR) and school officials.
Fargo and Bismarck North Dakota topped the list of “best performing small cities,” which was recently released by the Milken Institute.
Billings was 30th, down from a rank of 24th last year. Missoula improved, moving up from 69th to 35th. Great Falls ranked 48th this year.
Fargo jumped up nine spots over last year. According to the report Fargo experienced a very mild recession and a quick recovery. Unemployment was less than 4 percent, one of the lowest rates in the nation. Tight labor markets elsewhere resulted in new residents moving to the region.
Integra Telecom is among the dozens of companies, government agencies, labor unions and consumer groups that have filed Interventions with utility commissions in the seven largest states of Qwest’s 14-state service area to express reservations about the proposed CenturyLink merger with Qwest.
While the arena at Metra Park will be ready in time for graduation exercises, it won’t be in time for the Divisional and State Class A Basketball tournaments.
County officials have been pushing hard to complete the rebuilding of the Rimrock Auto Arena in time for the March sport event that brings thousands of visitors to Billings, but on Tuesday the contractor reported that the earliest the arena can be ready is April 15. The entire project of rebuilding in the aftermath of a Father’s Day tornado will not be completed until about May 17.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer received a B on a public policy think tank’s report card for his fiscal decisions regarding the state budget over the past two years.
It’s an improvement for the Democratic governor who received a D in the last report, which was two years ago.
The Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) are proposing a reconstruction of a 2.8- mile segment of Bench Boulevard.
The project extends from the intersection of Lake Elmo Drive and Bench Boulevard north to the intersection of U.S. 87 and Bench Boulevard. Proposed work includes removing the existing street facility and surface amenities, acquiring additional right-of-way, and rebuilding the street.
The awarding of contracts to local contractors was among the topics of the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed new U.S. Federal courthouse in downtown Billings, last Friday. The new building will be located at 2601 2nd Ave. North.
Hosted by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Mortenson Construction, the United States District Court, and NBBJ, it was announced that so far $5.95 million dollars of the $59 million project has been awarded to seven Montana sub-contractors, five of which are from Billings.
On the day that the tornado hit Billings, it brought home the reality of just how limited is access for the Heights. It’s a perilous situation that can quickly turn an emergency into a disaster, if emergency responders are unable to respond. The event lit a fire under the Billings [Northend] Bypass project, which would connect the Heights and Lockwood with a bridge across the Yellowstone River. The Billings Bypass Advisory Committee met on Tuesday to make decisions that will continue to advance the process.
“We need to strike while the iron is hot,” was one comment about the focus of public attention on a project that has been decades on the drawing board. After the Father’s Day Tornado, which seemed to target Main Street at the Heights’ primary point of access, public officials, including the Governor and the US Congressional delegation, were made acutely aware of the need to improve transportation routes in the area.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103