Originally published in the 9/8/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.
BILLINGS — Pointing out that Yellowstone County’s 2017-18 budget is only “sustainable” if the proposed Safety Mill Levy passes, County Commissioner Denis Pitman refused to second a motion to pass it. But, then he said he would vote for it, but he wants the public to understand that it may be necessary to develop a more austere budget if “things don’t turn out.”
County Commissioners went forward then, on Tuesday, to unanimously approve the county’s over $94 million budget for the coming year, following two public hearings, this week and last. The budget is a 6.3 percent increase over FY 2017’s budget.
Pitman warned that without the passing of the proposed Safety Mill Levy, they will reach a point between two and five years from now “where we are out of money.” The current budget, said Pitman, places the county in a “reactive” position, and he would rather that they be “pro-active.” He said he would be dedicating himself to getting the Safety Mill Levy passed.
Because of the tight budget, during last week’s hearing, Pitman proposed an amendment which would have set a new county policy to cease contributing funds to private non-profit organizations. And, also because, said Pitman, he has never been comfortable with donating taxpayer money to private organizations. His motion failed for the lack of a second.
The policy would have impacted the county’s PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) fund, which is money the federal government pays to the county in lieu of paying taxes on federal lands in the county. Pitman said he wanted PILT money to be used as a “rainy day” fund, but County Commissioner John Ostlund said that is essentially how it read more
Originally published in the 8/4/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News. BILLINGS — In a unanimous vote, Yellowstone County Commissioners approved a resolution calling for an increase in the Public Safety Mill Levy of 8 mills to be put before … read more
BILLINGS — County officials are mulling over whether they want to change the publication designated as the official publisher of legal notices for Yellowstone County. It’s been about three years since County Commissioners designated the Billings Gazette as their publisher … read more
Originally published in the 5/12/17 print edition of the Yellowstone County News. YELLOWSTONE COUNTY— A change in how the Montana Department of Revenue (DOR) assesses mobile homes means that many mobile home owners will see an increase in their … read more
Originally published in the print edition of Yellowstone County News. BILLINGS — It’s not without its critics. The tax abatement program that Yellowstone County and the City of Billings use to incentivize business growth, expansion and recruitment is often viewed … read more
-Originally printed in the Yellowstone County News print edition on 1/13/17 -by Evelyn Pyburn BILLINGS — Airport Road in Billings, from Main Street in the Heights to the 27th Street roundabout, could soon be known as the Conrad Burns Memorial Highway, … read more
Published originally in the print edition of the Yellowstone County News. LOCKWOOD — A proposed Targeted Economic Development District (TEDD) in Lockwood was finally approved just before Thanksgiving, by Yellowstone County Commissioners, following two years of research, study and … read more
Originally published in the Yellowstone County News print edition by Evelyn Pyburn. LOCKWOOD — Boundaries for the proposed Targeted Economic Development District (TEDD) in Lockwood have been set and the process to create the special tax jurisdiction is nearing … read more
by Evelyn Pyburn-oringally published in the Yellowstone County news print edition. BILLINGS — The numbers show MontanaFair had another very successful year. MetraPark Manager Bill Dutcher reported the fair numbers to Yellowstone County Commissioners on Tuesday. MetraPark depends on fair revenues … read more
by Evelyn Pyburn-Originally published in the print edition of Yellowstone County News. BILLINGS — Building a new addition to the jail will be a spring project. Bids are expected to be let in March, according to members of the … read more
by Evelyn Pyburn-Originally published in the Yellowstone County News 7/29/16 print edition. BILLINGS — Tuesday’s regular County Commissioners’ meeting was the last for Commissioner Bill Kennedy, who is retiring to take a position as head of the MSU Billings Foundation. … read more
Originally published in the print edition of the Yellowstone County News on 5/6/16 BILLINGS — The CHS (Laurel refinery) protested tax case could take as long as another five years to be resolved. In fact, Montana’s Department of Revenue (DOR) … read more
In a press conference today at Montana State University in Billings, Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy was named as the new President and CEO of the MSUB Foundation. Kennedy will step down and retire from the Yellowstone County Commissioners position … read more
Originally published in the Yellowstone County News print edition of 4/1/16. BILLINGS — In a split vote, Yellowstone County Commissioners have approved a highly controversial zone change request – one that will allow a 50-year old family-owned helicopter business in Yellowstone … read more
Originally published in the weekly print edition of the Yellowstone County News. BILLINGS — Following department head discussions on Thursday, Yellowstone County Commissioners on Tuesday, approved placing a Resolution of Intent on the agenda next week calling for a public … read more
by Evelyn Pyburn-originally published in the weekly print edition 2-12-16 of the Yellowstone County News. BILLINGS — Yellowstone County Commissioners have set a hearing for Feb. 23 to gather public comment on a Resolution of Intent to place a request … read more