Posted: Oct 23, 2012 7:43 AM by Q2 News
Updated: Oct 23, 2012 7:43 AM
BILLINGS - It was a long, but productive night for Billings City Council Monday as they approved several important topics.
One topic on the agenda included a new $12 million dollar downtown parking garage.
The project includes more than 500 parking spaces and 18,000 square feet of retail space.
The Empire Parking Garage is planned to be built on Montana Avenue near the Northern Hotel, with the demolition of the current parking garage on the corner of Montana Avenue and Broadway.
Sletten Construction of Great Falls was selected as the general contractor among 12 proposals submitted to the council.
The 18,000 square foot design will run an estimated cost of $11.5 million as an additional $62,775 will be needed for relocation electrical wiring running through the alley.
The new garage is expected to be complete within the next two years.
And those who park downtown will also see 400 less parking meters.
City council's parking meter reduction trial was considered a success in understanding the habits of residents and workers parking in the downtown area. 500 meters were bagged but only 100 will be used again as the remaining will be removed.
The city expects to lose $30,000 in revenue, but hopes to reduce those losses with more activity from residents using downtown parking.
Also on the agenda, the council approved the sale of the city-owned Galles Building for $85,000 after denying several proposals in August. The building was sold to the Interfaith Hospitality Network - which is looking to create office space for itself, a coffee shop, a cafe, and two transitional living apartments for its clients.
IHN is a community of 24 Billings religious congregations and over 1,800 volunteers that help families experiencing homelessness.
The plans for the building are still in the works as the case management program is about one year away from funding $750,000. Included in the plans is the creation of 10 to 15 jobs in the building.