I-NEW BOARD-We need ALL local residents & business owners. [We also need a volunteer citizen’s review committee to double check all proposed items over $10K.]
II-BUDGET-LET’S SAY WE ONLY HAVE $2.5 MILLION PER YEAR TO WORK WITH.
III-PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS FOR OUR QUALITY OF LIFE [1st $1M/YR of wasted URA$]
a-SIDEWALK REPAIRS-in order of need (not by level of “Courthouse” connections).
b-POT HOLE & STREET REPAIRS (this is allowed BUT-BSB should pay from OUR road fees).
c-FINISH NEW LIGHTING (this is allowed BUT there is another UNAUDITED property tax district (“S.I.D.-lighting”) on your tax bills. IT should pay for balance of new lighting.
d-DECORATE POLES-However, the URA can help on flags (like graduates’ flags this spring) AND we can paint the bottom part of the poles in TECH colors (green & bronze) for a more cohesive look.
e-BRING BACK OUR FESTIVALS!!! Report by MT shows we can do this. We can also “claw back” a $263K overpayment by URA to NAHN on its Phoenix garage. [They claimed $540K completed work, then admitted only $14K done. Keep $7K & GIVE US BACK THE $263K.]
BTW-The $263K is EXACTLY what was needed to save EVEL DAYS…. we can still do this.
f-EXTRA SECURITY-Report says it’s OK to pay extra police time. We can also do private golf cart patrols for a LOT less. [BMBS radio already has volunteers and a plan-let’s help them.]
g-EXTRA CLEANING-our sidewalks & streets (esp. commercial district) need more cleaning.
h-MINI PARKS-so far, cheap & easy. Let’s do a few more.
i-HELP UPTOWN BUSINESSES-In addition to LEGIT grants & loans by URA, we can also help fund and sponsor a “co-op” ad campaign (like Cody, Wilsall & others do). We should also help sponsor “click & mortar” I.T. help so all can have online storefronts.
j-VIRTUAL ALUMNI OFFICE FOR RETIRING BOOMERS-Let’s co-op with Butte High, Butte Central, and the Butte Realtors to set up a website for Butte “Boomers” & post Boomer (say pre-’95 grads) living elsewhere to promote them retiring back home (esp. to our beloved Uptown Victorians!). Let’s ALSO do annual gatherings in LA, SEATTLE, and other cities showing large numbers of Butte alums (after covid vaccine & normalcy, of course.)
h-HOUSES-Legit (smaller) URA grants & loans for fixing old houses as well as businesses.
III-FEDERAL “OPPORTUNITY ZONES”-UPTOWN IS USA’S NICEST, MOST LIVABLE SUCH “ZONE” [2nd $1M/year of wasted
a-Fed tax incentives-basically you can “roll over” any capital gain into “zone”, (then you must spend same to fix up as you do to buy).
b-Then, longer you own the less cap gains tax on resale (I think ZERO after 10 yrs.)
c-We already have 25% in fed & MT historic rehab credits, and I am proposing 50% off all MT taxes for first 5 years after investing $100K+ (new const. or remodel) in “zone”.
d-If WE are doing LEGIT grants & loans from URA, we can really LEVERAGE all these “perks” in our “zone” to lure INVESTMENT by affluent folks who want to bail from big city smog/traffic/covid…but who also want charm, some arts, etc.
e-Over time we can FINALLY grow & repopulate greater Uptown with folks who WANT to be here LONG TERM (over 10 years!)
IV-ARTS & CULTURE-[$500K/yr. in wasted URA $]
a-MLT/FIRE SAFETY-First, we make sure COUNTY pays max possible for $500K fire system THEY have ordered for the Mother Lode Theater. [We can supplement that, plus help with new LED lighting needs.]
b-DISTRICT-We take (proud) “ownership” of OUR UPTOWN ARTS DISTRICT. This includes Mother Lode Series, Butte Symphony, Butte Community Concerts, Orphan Girl Children’s Theater, Butte Silver Bow Arts Foundation (bring back annual “juried” art show for area students & more), Phantom Art Walk, Dance (Dynamic; Mining City;5/6/7;etc.), Covellite Film Festival, BSB Library Seminars & Movies, BSB Archives Events, etc. [The list goes on & on.]
c-MISC.-Like businesses, we must help them all with micro grants and advertising and I.T. help.
d-GRANTS-BSB supposedly hired a PUBLIC “professional grant writer”. We, through URA local control, can CRACK THE WHIP FOR MORE RESULTS HERE, including some “match” or “challenge” monies. [Note-for almost 2 years now, current URA “board” has promised to do just this…only they are too busy shoveling OUR money to THEIR “Courthouse Cronies”]
e-NEW MUSEUM-We have a $100M+ trust controlled solely by whoever is governor. It allows 15% for arts & culture. Helena is using a bed tax increase to pay for a museum there. I’d like to cancel tax & move project here. However, it may be too late. [BTW, your incumbent state rep for 74 not only voted for this, but never even TRIED to bring it here, on OUR dime NOT taxes.]
f-FUNDING-We still have our trust $ (I think). WE can & should pursue a museum of our own to help boost tourism and economy. We can go to Washington & Town Pump & other foundations to do a one time “match” of our money, brick & mortar & endowment only. I know BSB Arts Foundation (and others) tried to get something like this going over the last 16 years with no luck from governors. If Greg Gianforte is elected (and I suspect he will…16 years of other party PLUS ad monies and business pitch) I believe I can persuade him to “pledge” our own monies.[Greg really LOVES Butte, has a $300M charitable trust for MT, and may well kick in, as he did for new Rescue Mission. I am thinking a SW MT “history of all faiths” wing, plus inclusion of some of our many historic churches with volunteer guides on summer weekends.]
g-LEADERSHIP-Always a problem, BUT we still have the incredible Ellen Crain to call upon, plus some others.