Big Sky Housing Trust launches with informational meeting

EBS STAFF

Approximately 20 community members, including five uniformed firemen and two uniformed law enforcement officers, attended the Big Sky affordable housing information session April 8 at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.

Hosted by Tracy Menuez and Brian Guyer of the HRDC, the meeting also officially launched what many in this small community hope will be a long-term solution to a long-lived Big Sky problem.

On March 23, the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and HRDC announced the formation of the Big Sky Housing Trust to address affordable housing issues in this resort community. The initial project will be developed on a 10-acre parcel of land donated by local businessman Loren Bough.

The approximately 30 planned housing units are meant to provide affordable places to live for year-round, essential Big Sky workers, including teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officials. The units will not be subject to rising rental costs.

Guyer explained some of the strategies the trust could use to preserve that affordability, and said he hoped BSHT could offer the units at a price of $200,000 to $260,000 per unit.

These strategies include deed restrictions, which would keep property taxes down but cause homeowners to make certain concessions about property decisions; capital improvement caps, meaning enhancements such as granite countertops wouldn’t be an investment in the property; and a cap on home appreciation.

“You will walk away with equity – I want to make that abundantly clear – [but] there won’t be a windfall,” Guyer said. “This is an intermediate step between renting and buying a market-rate home.”

Play Ball!

EBS STAFF

The Big Sky Softball League is ramping up for its 14th season, and is calling for you to dust off your bat from last year, clean the sunflower seeds out of your cleats, and get signed up. And get those arms loose. The season gets underway the week of June 6.

Big Sky Community Organization (formerly BSCC) will host an official captains’ meeting on Monday May 2 at 6 p.m. at its office located at 32 Town Center Avenue, Unit 2. Pick up your team signup form, complete and return it by May 20 to the BSCO office personally or by mail: P.O. Box 161404, Big Sky MT 59716.

Team fees will be due by June 1, and all team members will have to sign a waiver before playing. Roster adjustments must be made before July 1.

Major League Baseball has started, the smells of spring are returning. It can only mean one thing: softball at the Big Sky Community Park is right around the corner.

Contact the Big Sky Softball League at bigskysoftball@gmail.com with questions.

Editor of Missoulian, Ravalli Republic resigns

MISSOULA (AP) – The editor of the Missoulian and Ravalli Republic newspapers has resigned after about seven months on the job.

The Missoulian reports publisher Mark Heintzelman announced Matt Bunk’s resignation April 11.
Bunk became editor at the Missoulian and Ravalli Republic in August 2015 after serving as publisher and editor of The Western News in Libby.

Previous editor Sherry Devlin has filed a wrongful discharge lawsuit arguing that Heintzelman demoted her in April 2015, cut her pay and replaced her with a younger, less experienced man.

Bunk also served as president of the Montana Newspaper Association. MNA executive director Jim Rickman said April 12 he expects Bunk will submit his resignation and that first vice president Jacques Rutten will step into the president’s role a couple months early.

Rutten is publisher of the Lewistown News-Argus.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Select Yellowstone roads open to automobiles April 15

Free park entrance April 16-24

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

Beginning Friday, April 15 at 8 a.m., the road segments from West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone will open for the season, allowing park visitors to travel by car to two of the park’s iconic locations.

Each spring, in preparation for the summer season, the Park Service clears snow and ice from 198 miles of main roads in Yellowstone; 124 miles of secondary roads; 125 acres of parking lots inside the park; and 31 miles of the Beartooth Highway outside the park’s Northeast Entrance.

Additional road segments in the park will open during May as road clearing operations progress.

Spring in Yellowstone brings unpredictable weather including cold temperatures, high winds and falling snow. Even cleared sections of roads can be narrow and covered with a layer of snow, ice and debris. Visitors should use extreme caution when driving as road clearing operations can be ongoing throughout the park. In the case of extreme weather conditions, temporary road closures are also possible with little or no advance warning.

From April 16 through April 24, entrance fees to the park will be waived during National Park Week, an annual celebration honoring National Park Service sites and programs nationwide.