Public Safety Mill Levy to expand court system due to increase i - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Public Safety Mill Levy to expand court system due to increase in crime

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

You won't just see elections for the next Mayor of Billings on the ballot this year. Mill levies are up for voters to decide on as well. The Public Safety Mill Levy is being put on the ballot because the demand on the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office has increased for various reasons. One of those reasons is the amount of crime Billings has seen.

KULR 8 has been reporting on numerous crimes. A few to mention are the shooting at the Lazy K-T motel, the Ekalaka murder-suicide, the stabbing in Billings-- all within this past week. And let's not forget the shooting that occurred just this morning.

"One of the things that we've seen tremendous amount of growth, in terms of requirements on our part, to keep the system moving forward in the legal system is in felony crimes," Scott Twito said.

Scott Twito is the Yellowstone County attorney and said this mill levy will expand the court system. Data from the city of Billings shows crime in the Magic City has only been increasing.

"We also are building a jail expansion because as the largest city in Montana, big regional area-- we have a large jail that needs to keep up with our population growth," Twito said.

2015 was the last reported year on population. It showed there was an increase of thirty thousand residents. Twito said in order to keep up with the rise in population and crime, their office has to hire more help.

"One will be for a regular deputy county attorney to prosecute criminal cases, to deal with our methamphetamine problems and our violence issues,"Twito said. "Another will be to deal with abused and neglected children. They're responsible for filing petitions, making sure those kids are safe and out of those abusive homes. Then I have two legal assistants as part of the package that will serve in those areas. "

This mill levy will raise an additional 2.752 million annually. The impact on a $100,000 home will be $10.80. The impact on a $200,000 home will be $21.60.

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