City Commission approves Capital Improvements Plan and Bozeman Climate Plan

A look down Main Street in Bozeman at the Bridger Mountain Range.

BOZEMAN- The Bozeman City Commission gave the go-ahead on a five‐year Capital Improvements Plan with $206 million in scheduled projects and $192 million in unscheduled projects along with Bozeman’s 30-year push to carbon neutrality.

The Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) includes the city’s spending for improvements to city roads, parks and facilities from 2022-2026.

An amendment was made by Commissioner Terry Cunningham to fund $10 million for affordable housing in Bozeman. Commissioner Michael Wallner made an amendment to fund $500,000 to bike and pedestrian improvements.

Outlined in the initial CIP are improvements to indoor/outdoor aquatics centers so you can enjoy some new things to do at the pool with the kids.

Necessary water and sewer treatment upgrades are also included for the growing Bozeman area as the water fund and general fund are the largest in the overall plan.

Equipment for Bozeman Fire and Bozeman Police are also listed with new fire engines, emergency tools, and even new stations. Police officers are written down for new body cameras.

The Bozeman Public Library looks to receive a new public carpet area along with an expansion.

There are also needed improvements to several major roadways throughout the city to keep you safe on the road.

Many people provided public comment on the coincidence of both the climate plan and CIP being decided on at the same meeting.

People pointed out the capital improvement plan’s proposal for an estimated $15 million Kagy Boulevard improvement project expanding the major roadway to four lanes. Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) partners with the city on the Kagy design and construction.

“Here’s the good news, there’s at least two more years of design and we’re at least five years away from construction so I think where it’s placed in the capital improvement plan right now is actually a good place for it, I would not recommend taking it out right now,” Jeff Mihelich, the Bozeman City Manager said.

Mihelich said they could have an informational session about the Kagy project and to not take it out of the CIP because MDT could withdraw the funds and use them elsewhere if it isn’t in the plan.

The CIP is not the final say on projects, but it becomes the recommended budget for the city manager to allow the city to start projects and make equipment purchases that are included in the plan.

After more than 17 months of work and meetings, the Bozeman Climate Plan's goal was approved to reduce emissions by 26% by 2025, 100% net clean electricity by 2030, and being a carbon neutral community by 2050.

The current plan changed wording from the last plan to “strongly encourage NorthWestern Energy to meet Bozeman’s goal of 100% net clean electricity by 2030.”

The plan also lays out a roadmap to have electric vehicle equipment such as plug-in stations in Bozeman as the city grows.

More information on the Capital Improvements Plan can be found here.

More information on the Bozeman Climate Plan can be found here

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