It's a new year and that new year means new goals, which includes the City of Bozeman. Now Bozeman City Commissioners are prioritizing their goals for a growing city.
“There are two issues that are interrelated, one is a general concern about growth about the at which pace we are growing, and conversely we have a situation where we don't have enough housing stock,” says Deputy Mayor Terry Cunningham.
Housing affordability continues to be an issue the city is tackling with now the City Commission’s plans to prioritize ways to tackle the issue.
“We're going to do a top to bottom review of our development codes and say where are the cost items that are making Bozeman so costly,” says Cunningham.
The environment is an area the commission is focusing on, by creating more wetland and sensitive land protection as the city grows they hope to leave these areas protected for wildlife. When it comes to growth and a hotter and drier climate the city is tackling the issue of water conservation.
“The limiting factor of growth in our valley is water use,” says Cunningham.
One area where the city looks to grow is in crisis response hoping to take the weight off the police department.
“ [Other cities have] reduced the total number of calls that our police force has to respond to between 5 and 8 percent so in working with the county, working with the sheriff's office, working with our mental health partners if we can create a crisis unit to deal with those types of issues we think there is a better outcome for everyone,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham says that the city is more involved with support services like mental health, suicide prevention, homelessness services.
“It's the city saying we recognize that there are issues with mental health, issues with homelessness, there are issues with addiction and suicide prevention that we want to be a part of the conversation and we want to show up with some funding to help produce some solutions,” says Cunningham.
When it comes to funding for the priorities for the upcoming year Cunningham hopes that this is a collaborative effort.
“The funding that we allocate to it as catalyst funding, leveraging the funding of other organizations not doing it ourselves,” says Cunningham.
Bozeman City Commissioners will meet for their first meeting of the year Tuesday, Jan. 4th at 6 pm.