In the November 6, 2018 election, voters will be asked to consider two separate ballot questions related to open space and conservation lands. All county residents will have the opportunity to consider a $15 million county-wide general obligation open space bond, for the purpose of conserving, enjoying, and enhancing open space land, including public access; conserving agricultural lands, fish and wildlife habitat, and rivers, lakes, and streams; protecting scenic views; and making improvements to open space lands. The proposed bond would cost City and County property owners about $18 per year on a median-priced home.
City voters will also have the opportunity to consider an open space and stewardship mill levy, to pay a portion of the costs of managing City open space and conservation lands, that the City manages for public access, recreation and habitat. The proposed 4 mill levy would cost City property owners about $14 per year on a median-priced home and would generate approximately $500,000 per year for stewardship and maintenance of conservation lands.
Since 1980, Missoula voters have voted to approve three general obligation open space bonds to protect open space, agricultural lands, land for recreation and trails, scenic open space, and provide access to rivers, lakes and streams. Voters approved Missoula’s first county-wide open space bond in 2006, and those funds are nearly depleted.
In the City and the County, public funds generated through open space bonds are matched by a wide variety of other funding sources, including generous donations by landowners and other private citizens, state and federal grants, and other funding from partner organizations and agencies. As stated in the City’s open space ordinance, we work hard to protect open space through the least possible outlay of public funds. In other words, citizens of Missoula have received a significant return on their investment of open space bond dollars.
City Council Resolution #8276 in support of placing the bond on the November 2018 ballot
June 25, 2018 Report to City Council: Projects for the 2018 Proposed County Wide General Obligation Bond and Proposed City Wide Conservation and Responsible Stewardship Mill Levy
City Council Resolution #8279 placing the mill levy question on the November ballot
July 16, 2018 Report to City Council: Open Space Lands Conservation & Stewardship Mill Levy