Street Closure Policy - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Street Closure Policy

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BILLINGS -

The street closure policy for events was a main topic of conversation at the City Council's work session Monday night.

Nearly two dozen people showed up to comment on the possible changes to closing off streets for events. The discussion was brought up because the city has seen an increased number of events, such as runs and parades. Billings public works director David Mumford says more than 80 of them have taken place this year.

"The events make the downtown a great place, and the whole city, at the same time there are some businesses, as you heard," Mumford said. "This does affect us, so we're trying to work on that balance. You know, sometimes these events start to have effects on adjacent property owners, they run into each other as far as number of events and days, we wanted to start a conversation of what kind of guidance and policies the council wants to do."

The discussion for changing street closure policy includes guidelines for which groups could apply to close streets for their events. But if a change were to happen, it would affect annual events currently being planned.

"What we were concerned about was if this is going to take several months to review, our process for the classic has a lead time to get entertainment, plan everything. We plan it months in advance," said Jim Duncan, Billings Clinic Foundation president.

Billings Classic organizers had concerns such as not being able to get the roads closed in front of the Alberta Bair Theater for their annual event.

The City Council says the major events should go on, but also, the policy should be reviewed to make the city better. The discussion prompted city leaders to form an ad hoc committee, which will include one or two council members to improve the policy.

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