MISSOULA – Cut costs or find more money. The Missoula City Council and Mayor John Engen are trying to come up with new ways to find sidewalk construction after one project stopped because it could have cost property owners tens of thousands of dollars in assessments.
Engen is committing to not push the project forward in the Slant Streets neighborhood because it is just too expensive right now.
But Engen is interested in finding ways to make it work, either through cutbacks or finding more money.
Engen says it’s important the city balance the acceptable quality of sidewalk with materials, contractors and labor to trim costs.
Multiple residents tell the council the first assessments are out of reach, with one woman saying her life would never be the same if she had to pay tens of thousands of dollars.
“The people who, in the letter, were going to be hit with nearly a $40,000, four-zero-comma-zero-zero-zero, additional costs,” said Missoula resident Katheline Kimbel. “I mean, I understand that’s off the table now, but as we look at re-prioritizing what really needs to be done, I’m still pretty nervous because we are both on social security and have little tiny part-time jobs and this would alter my life forever if it were a crippling bill.”
The city council wants to hear more ideas. You can email your city council member and find more information on the City of Missoula’s website.