Parking Committee Needed - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Parking Committee Needed

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BILLINGS -

There's no question, parking in downtown Billings is becoming more and more difficult. Tuesday, the Downtown Billings Association held a town meeting on what would help improve parking.

In order for change to come, the voters have to do their part. The city council agreed the Billings population is now growing enough to warrant a parking committee. As of now, parking restructuring and planning is left in the hands of a board associated with city council.

The Billings city charter does not make a provision for a parking committee, and the reason a committee is now needed, can be clearly seen by looking at Missoula.

"Mayor Toole was very concerned about the vacant store fronts in downtown Missoula and felt that one of the hurdles was parking," says Anne Guest, director of the Missoula Parking Commission. Parking committees have proven a help to many cities across the nation, similar in size to Billings. But to form this committee, requires a vote from Billings residents to change the city charter.

"The charter is a form of language that governs how we manage the city of Billings. It is law. In order to create a parking commission, we must one, first be allowed to change the charter," says Billings Mayor, Tom Hanel. He says the wording on the initiative to change the city charter is complex, but stresses it is important for the voter to understand what is being voted on.
   
"The language may not be real clear, but what the voters need to know, is we must first change the charter," says Mayor Hanel.

The initiative to change the Billings city charter should be mailed out to voters sometime mid-October. Just remember, pay close attention to the wording of the initiative.

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