County commission creates Gallatin Valley Tourism Business Improvement District

Gallatin County Commissioners have created an expanded tourism business improvement district that will raise funds to be used to help tourism, promotion and marketing within Gallatin County.

On Tuesday, July 23, the Commission adopted a resolution that officially created the Gallatin Valley Tourism Business Improvement District, which includes hotels in Bozeman, Belgrade and Three Forks.

For the last 10 years, the Bozeman Tourism Business Improvement District has been housed by the City of Bozeman.

With that district set to expire in September, the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce asked Gallatin County to create an expanded district that would be more inclusive and representative of all areas served by the district.

The proposed district includes 30 hotels in Bozeman, four hotels in Belgrade and three hotels in Three Forks. None of the hotel owners protested the creation of the expanded district.

The district collects a $2 fee per night from hotel rooms, which will bring in approximately $1.2 million in Bozeman, $200,000 in Belgrade and $13,000 in Three Forks annually.

In the past, the district has assisted:

  • Bringing five major high school tournaments to the area every year for the past decade
  • Increasing the number of direct flights from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport to 17.
  • Supporting more than half of the concerts at Montana State University, including the first outdoor concert at Bobcat Stadium in decades.
  • Raising money to have three Visitor Information Centers in the area.
  • Helping redesign tourism improvement district’s website, www.bozemancvb.com.
  • Supporting many local tournaments for both youth and adults.

Commissioner Don Seifert noted that while the district has been housed with the city, “it has become apparent that a lot of the tourism business happens in the valley” and expanding the district to include Belgrade and Three Forks is “really a logical place for it to be.”

“On behalf of the Gallatin Valley Tourism Business Improvement District, we look forward to expanding our representation of Gallatin County and appreciate the prompt attention from the Commissioners to all employees that assisted our short time frame to create this district,” said Daryl Schliem, president and CEO of the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce. “Thanks to the Commissioners’ support, we will not miss a beat in our marketing of Gallatin County and all it has to offer.”

Media contact:
Whitney Bermes, Gallatin County Communications Coordinator
406-595-8963 (cell)
whitney.bermes@gallatin.mt.gov

 

Progress Report on Flood Portion of Hazard Mitigation Plan

Gallatin County is a participant in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) Program.  This program offers landowners in County jurisdictional areas a discount on their flood insurance premiums dependent on an evaluation and scoring of the County’s floodplain management program.

Gallatin County is currently categorized as a Class 8 community, which provides up to a 10% discount on flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program.  One of the activities that Gallatin County is currently receiving CRS credit for is the maintenance of the Gallatin County Hazard Mitigation Plan (adopted by FEMA on September 18, 2012).

To continue to receive credit for the Hazard Mitigation Plan we are required to prepare an annual progress report on the flood-related portions of the Hazard Mitigation Plan and provide copies of that update to the governing body and the media.

The attached matrix (see link below) outlines recent activities that support the flood-related goals established in the Hazard Mitigation Plan. This annual progress report was adopted by the Gallatin County All Hazards All Disciplines (AHAD) Group on June 20, 2019. Please contact Sean O’Callaghan with any questions.

Sean O’Callaghan, CFM, Floodplain Administrator
Gallatin County Department of Planning & Community Development
(406) 582-3130
sean.ocallaghan@gallatin.mt.gov

Hazard Mitigation Plan Annual Report 2019

 

Fees for copies of birth, death records increasing next month

Starting next month, fees for certified copies of birth and death records in Montana will be increasing.

During the 2019 Legislature, which met earlier this year, lawmakers passed House Bill 126 that increases the fees for a certified copy of a birth certificate from $5 to $8, and a death certificate from $3 to $5.

The fee increase begins July 1.

In Gallatin County, copies of birth certificates and death certificates can be obtained from the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, located at the Gallatin County Courthouse in downtown Bozeman.

Applications can be found online at this link, or in person at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, 311 W. Main St. room 203.

If you have any questions, please contact the Clerk and Recorder’s Office by phone at 406-582-3050, by email at clerkandrecorder@gallatin.mt.gov or stop by in person at the Gallatin County Courthouse.

Gallatin County Commission to consider ballot issue changing county elections to nonpartisan

At their June 18 public meeting, Gallatin County Commissioners will consider asking voters if they want to change county elections from partisan to nonpartisan for Gallatin County offices.

In this year’s Legislature, Montana lawmakers passed House Bill 129, which allows Montana counties to ask voters if they would like to change the types of elections held for county officials from partisan to nonpartisan.

Commissioners will decide Tuesday if they would like to add this question for Gallatin County voters on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Gallatin County has 12 elected positions that this would impact: three County Commissioners, two Justices of the Peace, Sheriff, County Attorney, Treasurer, Clerk and Recorder, Superintendent of Schools, Auditor and Clerk of District Court.

To get this question onto this fall’s ballot, Commissioners must pass an ordinance, which they will consider Tuesday. Read a draft of the ordinance here.

If passed, the ordinance will have a second reading at the Commissioners’ Tuesday, July 9 public meeting. If passed at that meeting, the question will then be placed on November’s ballot.

Citizens are encouraged to submit public comment on this topic by:

  • Attending Tuesday’s public meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. in the third floor Community Room at the Gallatin County Courthouse, 311 W. Main St. in downtown Bozeman.
  • Submitting written public comment by email at commission@gallatin.mt.gov or dropping it off at the Commission Office, located in room 306 at the Gallatin County Courthouse.

Commission meetings are audio streamed live online, televised on cable channel 190, and are recorded.

For any questions, please contact the Gallatin County Commission Office at 582-3000.

Gallatin Local Water Quality District launches online interactive water quality map

The Gallatin Local Water Quality District (GLWQD) has launched an online interactive map where citizens can view water information.

This map, developed by the Gallatin County GIS Department shows water quality results for thousands of locations in Gallatin County. It also shows the locations of monitoring wells, controlled groundwater areas, groundwater elevation contours, geology, and more.

The map can be viewed using the following link: http://gis.gallatin.mt.gov/webmaps/?map=glwqd.

This map is one of several interactive mappers developed and managed by the Gallatin County GIS Department. Other mappers include the Recorded Document Interactive Map, the Environmental Health Interactive Map, and others.

These web-based maps are a great tool for citizens to find information on an area of interest. The main web page for the various mappers can be found here: http://webapps.gallatin.mt.gov/mappers/

If you would like more information about the data used on the new GLWQD map, please call Christine Miller at (406) 582-3148, or email christine.miller@gallatin.mt.gov.

The Gallatin Local Water Quality District is a non-regulatory department of Gallatin County located in Bozeman, Montana. The District is focused on the protection, preservation and improvement of groundwater and surface water. The District strives to accomplish this through water quality monitoring and special investigations, educating residents of all ages in the District, and collecting and disseminating water information to the Gallatin community. To learn more about your water quality, please visit us online at www.glwqd.org.

 

Gallatin County Commission to consider support of Forest Plan revision recommendations

At their May 21 public meeting, Gallatin County Commissioners will consider sending a letter in support of the Gallatin Forest Partnership’s proposal as part of the Custer Gallatin Forest Plan Revision process.

U.S. Forest Service officials are working on revising the Forest Plan, a comprehensive overarching document that guides forest management, use, and protection providing broad direction, standards and guidelines, for the Custer Gallatin National Forest. This effort was launched in 2016.

A draft plan and draft environmental impact statement were released earlier this year and include five forest plan alternatives developed for the approximately 3,039,000 acres of the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

As part of this process, the Forest Service is currently in a 90-day public comment period seeking input on the alternatives. The public comment period runs through June 6.

At their May 21 public meeting, Gallatin County Commissioners will decide on submitting a letter as part of that public comment period that supports recommendations for the Forest Plan made in an agreement by the Gallatin Forest Partnership.

The Gallatin Forest Partnership is a coalition of citizens, landowners, entrepreneurs, recreational interests, business and natural resource professionals that drafted its own recommendations for the Forest Plan.

To see those recommendations proposed by the Gallatin Forest Partnership, click here.

To see the draft letter the Gallatin County Commission will be deciding on sending, click here.

To see more about the Custer Gallatin Forest Plan Revision process, click here.

The Commission will consider the letter at its Tuesday, May 21 public meeting. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the community room of the Gallatin County Courthouse, located at 311 W. Main St. in downtown Bozeman.

Public comment will be taken at the meeting. Written public comment can also be submitted to the Gallatin County Commission prior to the May 21 meeting by emailing commission@gallatin.mt.gov or dropping it off at the Commission Office, located in room 306 of the Gallatin County Courthouse. If you have any questions, please call the Commission Office at 406-582-3000.

2019 Declamation Contest for Gallatin County’s rural schools

The 68th Annual “Patriotic Declamatory Contest For Rural Schools” will be held on Thursday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Gallatin County Courthouse.

Sponsored by the Gallatin County Bar Association and American Legion Post 14, the Declamation Contest is a patriotic essay/oratory competition held exclusively for middle school students in Gallatin County’s rural schools. Participating schools include Anderson, Gallatin Gateway, LaMotte, Monforton, Pass Creek and Springhill.

To compete, contestants must research a patriotic theme and either write a 600-word essay or prepare a 3- to 5-minute memorized speech to be delivered at the event. Contestants also take a written exam on flag knowledge as part of their score.

This year’s theme is “Ellis Island, Border Walls, and Sanctuary Cities: American immigration policies past, present, and future.”

In existence since 1951, the contest is officiated by local dignitaries and members of the Bar Association and is emceed by retired District Court Judge Mike Salvagni.

Trophies, cash prizes and American flags are awarded to the top finalists. The top two finishers in each category will then present their winning declamations at Law Day on Friday, May 3, at the Gallatin County Law & Justice Center.

For more information, contact the Gallatin County Superintendent of Schools at 406-582-3090

 

Fourth annual Law Enforcement DUI Awards Ceremony

The fourth annual Law Enforcement DUI Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Gallatin County DUI Task Force, will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

The event will honor the top three officers from each law enforcement agency in Gallatin County who made the most DUI arrests in 2018. Officers are given prizes and certificates to thank them for their efforts.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox will be this year’s keynote speaker. The event will also include a guest speaker who will share a personal story of loss due to DUI.

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

The awards ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m. and be held in the community room of the Gallatin County Courthouse, located at 311 W. Main St. in Bozeman.

Media contact:
Kelley Parker-Wathne, DUI Task Force coordinator
Kelley.Parker@gallatin.mt.gov
406-585-1492

Photos from 2018 DUI Awards Ceremony, courtesy of the DUI Task Force

Gallatin Local Water Quality District to conduct Well Awareness Courses

The Gallatin Local Water Quality District will be conducting Well Awareness Courses designed to educate private well owners on best practices for protecting their drinking water. The courses, held in April 2019, are $20 each. Registration and more information is online at www.glwqd.org.

Homeowners will learn how to conduct an assessment of their well’s condition, identify potential contaminant sources, and discuss factors that can affect their water quality.  Proper septic system maintenance and potential impacts on groundwater will be discussed along with how to test your drinking water and what to test for.

Informational packets and well assessment forms will be provided. Once participants have conducted their own well assessment, GLWQD staff will follow up after the course to provide recommendations.

Choose one of the following courses:

  • Intro Course – Belgrade: April 9 at the Central Valley Fire Department Training Center, 95 N. Davis, Belgrade, MT
  • Advanced Course – Belgrade: April 10 at the Central Valley Fire Department Training Center, 95 N. Davis, Belgrade, MT
  • Intro Course – Bozeman: April 24 at the Bozeman Public Library, 626 E. Main St., Bozeman, MT
  • Advanced Course – Bozeman: April 25 at the Gallatin County Courthouse Community Room, 311 W. Main St., Bozeman, MT.  All events are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

If you would like more information about these courses, please call Christine Miller at (406) 582-3148, or email christine.miller@gallatin.mt.gov.

The Gallatin Local Water Quality District is a non-regulatory department of Gallatin County located in Bozeman, Montana. The District is focused on the protection, preservation and improvement of groundwater and surface water. The District strives to accomplish this through water quality monitoring and special investigations, educating residents of all ages in the District, and collecting and disseminating water information to the Gallatin community. To learn more about your water quality or to register for one of these courses please visit us online at www.glwqd.org.

Media contact:
Christine Miller, GLWQD
406-582-3148
Christine.Miller@gallatin.mt.gov

Road reopens in West Yellowstone following federal investigation

Teams from multiple agencies that responded to help with a federal investigation in West Yellowstone were released Friday.

This week, the West Yellowstone Police Department investigated a felony stalking complaint. When the suspect was taken into custody, officers suspected violations under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were present. The ATF was called in and additional steps had to be taken with suspected hazardous materials in a local residence.

Numerous other agencies were called in to assist ATF, West Yellowstone PD and Hebgen Basin Fire District as part of the investigation on the 500 block of Firehole Avenue in West Yellowstone on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29.

During the course of the investigation, Firehole Avenue was closed between Geyser Street and Hayden Street to facilitate parking for the agencies’ vehicles. The street was reopened to the public on Friday morning. There continues to be no threat to public safety at this time.

Agencies that assisted as part of the investigation included the Bozeman Fire Regional Hazmat Team, the Lewis and Clark County Bomb Squad, the 83rd Civil Support Team, Gallatin County Emergency Management, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Yellowstone National Park rangers and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement.

The incident remains under investigation by the ATF.