Blog Cabin

Russell Street Bridge to be shut down for paving

(MISSOULA)- Commuters who use the Russell Street Bridge will need to use alternate routes for a couple of days this week. 

The aging bridge over the Clark Fork River in Missoula is set to be replaced over the next couple of years. However, the bridge needs to remain in service and that means it needs some attention for continued use.

Starting Tuesday morning, and lasting in Wednesday, the bridge will be closed to all traffic so crews can repave the bridge. Montana Department of Transportation says the work will help smooth the rough deck of the bridge and give it enough life to last until the bridge is replaced.


Missoula taxes will rise again under Engen's new budget

Engen's budget would hike property taxes 3.8% (MISSOULA)- Missoula residents already complaining about skyrocketing taxes will need to brace themselves for another hit.

The Missoula city council is considering a new budget that includes hundreds of thousands of dollars more in new tax hikes, which Missoula Mayor John Engen says would pay for "organizational excellence", enhanced "economic growth and sustainability" and "infrastructure and assets." 

Engen's budget recommends increases of 3.87%, totaling over $232,000 from property taxes. That works out to an additional $28 per year on a home valued at $250,000. Overall, Engen is recommending over $1.2 million in increases to the city's "baseline budget" paying for everything from street projects to "community service specialists" in the police department. 

Engen says city departments actually pitched over $6-million worth of new budget requests, which would have required an 18% hike in taxes. 

The city council will hold a public hearing July 17th on the budget and included tax increases. 


Tower Pizza last day next week

Tower Pizza Facebook picture(MISSOULA)- Missoula's popular Tower Pizza will close it's doors after the close of business on February 25th. 

The pizzeria, which has been a landmark on South Reserve since the early 1970s had announced it was closing for good earlier this month following the company's recent purchase. The news has generated a rush of business for the restaurant as Missoulians scramble for a final slice of pie. 

Now, Tower's operators have announced on Facebook that "sadly the day is almost here" and the restaurant will close for good on Saturday the 25th. Customers are being invited to "drink and eat until the beer is gone at 2 a.m." 


New junior hockey team approved for Missoula

(MISSOULA)- It hasn't even been 2-weeks since a break down in negotiations halted operations for the Missoula Maulers. But Missoula hockey supporters have moved quickly to get another junior team playing this fall.

The Missoula Area Youth Hockey Association announced over the weekend the MAYHA board of directors had approved plans for the Missoula Bruins to start play in September. The Bruins will play in the North American 3 Hockey League against other NA3HL teams in Montana and Wyoming. 

The Maulers had played in the larger Western States Hockey League. 

MAYHA leaders said they had received several offers from both the WSHL and NA3HL teams after the Maulers announced they wouldn't return next year. But they feel the Bruins, owned by Jason and Liz DiMatteo, are the best fit with Missoula's hockey community. 

MAYHA also expressed thanks to Mauler's owner Michael Burks for his "past contributions" to Glacier Ice Rink and Missoula hockey. 


Missoula arguing against old mill wastewater permit today 

(MISSOULA)- Missoula County attorneys are hoping to convince a District Court judge the state made a mistake when it re-issued a wastewater discharge permit for the old Smurfit Stone mill property, even though the paper mill is long gone.

When the mill sold to M2Green 5-years ago, Montana Department of Environmental Quality transferred, then renewed, the original permit with "minor modifications". The county says  that violated administrative rules.

The county has been worried about that permit still being active, especially with some of the lingering uncertainties over the future of the Frenchtown site.

Attorneys are arguing the case today in Helena.