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Bozeman City Commission voting on largest budget proposal tonight

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 20:33:36-04

The Bozeman city commission is expected to vote on the biggest budget proposal in the city’s history.

That budget would spell out a lot of things with that price tag, from how the city will spend its money to how much it expects to make next year.

City of Bozeman officials have been preparing for this vote for months, including holding a series of open houses across the city to help open the floor to the public. 

The proposal sits at $200 million.

The city manager says there is a reason for it.

 “We’re managing a lot of growth in Bozeman and so this budget is starting to reflect that,” says Andrea Surratt, Bozeman City manager.

So does the city itself.

Surratt says according to the city’s strategic plan, it is easy to see how Bozeman’s growth is a big part of its future.

Big growth needs big money.

“Permits, the number of planners and the number of inspections that we’re doing,” Surratt says. “All of that relates to how we need to provide services to the city.”

As budgets can go, they can be complicated so let’s break it down.

The $200 million proposed budget covers three main focuses: affordable housing, efforts to improve community outreach, and park maintenance.

But important to note, for the general fund, it’s less than usual.

The city manager recommends roughly $5.5 million for it.

That’s less than years past.

And out of that whole amount, $80 million dollars is set specifically aside for the new Bozeman Public Safety Center, split in half to cover both construction and transfer from debt services.

“When you look at the dollars related to total budget minus the debt service and the construction, that’s about $123 million,” Surratt says.

Also on the proposal, affordable housing.

“Affordable housing is at the top of the list,” Surratt says.

The proposal also includes about $9 million, collectively, to help city water needs and about $10 million for work on city streets, all responses to those who use them.

“It’s important,” Surratt says. “We are very much focused on citizen engagement and trying to help our community understand why certain decisions are made. This is an important topic.”