MISSOULA — Monday evening marked the first public hearing for Missoula’s 2021 fiscal year budget.
Mayor John Engen presented the budget analysis, which included big investments in Missoula’s affordable housing, a study on systemic racism, and a community center project at Lowell School, just to name a few of the notable items.
With the council’s approval, they will also fund $2.1 million in new requests.
Some of the highlights to the proposed budget are expanded police training, new police cameras and helmets, and a mobile crisis response team.
During public comment, a number of callers addressed the police budget, some echoing the national movement to “defund the police,” and others advocating for an increased police budget.
Decisions on the budget are not yet set in stone, and members of the public are encouraged to weigh in on which departments deserve more or less funding.
You can find the proposed 2021 fiscal year budget proposal here. Hearings on the city's budget will continue through the rest of August.