As Bozeman City Commisioners have discussed their priorities for the 2015 year, infrastructural improvements to the city has been high on the list in light of the city’s and surrounding area's growth. Bozeman has looked into upgrading their storm water utility system and enacted a few small changes already. In addition, the city has turned its focus on city street maintenance due to higher traffic and delayed projects. Both improvements will come with a significant cost, but the cost will prove necessary so long as new residents continue to buy and add new homes to the greater Bozeman area.
Late January, the city placed new separation technology at the City Shops Complex to remove trash and debris from storm water before its runoff flows into the Bozeman Creek. The City will also look to fund around 1.2 million dollars annually to repair failed infrastructure, add treatment systems and maintain and operate the storm water utility system. Such improvements should help Bozeman keep up with its current growth, as more and more people have started looking for homes and real estate in the Bozeman area.
The city also wants to stay up to speed on its road maintenance. Bozeman wants to upgrade older streets that have been deferred in the past and they also want to complete additional major road projects to improve traffic flow in town. Bozeman's public bus system recently topped its 2 millionth rider, showing the increased need for solid transportation infrastructure. Based only on roads that have already been planned, nearly 60 million would be needed to finish these tasks. An additional 20 million would be needed to reconstruct old or out of date streets.
Although such costs hurt upfront, it’s important for any city to maintain solid infrastructure, especially as it grows. Bozeman has even added the internet to its list of infrastructural improvements, in an effort to stay up to date with the changing times. Keeping a town in high quality will continue attracting the people, jobs and money needed to keep Bozeman’s economy thriving.
As new neighborhoods, homes and condos are being built around Bozeman, the city will need streets to serve these people. Although a storm water utility system may not feel like a top priority for a town, if Bozeman underprepared for the elements, it may end up costing them more than if the correct infrastructure had been put in in the first place.