Missoula’s Next Boondoggle Targeting Your Pocketbook For Destruction

by Travis Mateer

I’m glad to see the Missoula Redevelopment Agency wasted NO TIME gearing up for Missoula’s next boondoggle with the following RFP (request for proposal) put out on November 9th, just ONE DAY after voters said NO to a fairground bond and a crisis levy. Here’s the next round of madness targeting your pocket book for destruction (emphasis mine):

An effort to transform Brooks Street in Missoula into a multi-modal transportation corridor reached a milestone this month when the Missoula Redevelopment Agency began seeking a firm to bring the project to initial design.

The request for proposals (RFP) was issued on Nov. 9 and will close later this month. MRA and its partner, the Missoula Urban Transportation District, hope to select a qualified consultant to carry the work forward by the end of January.

How else might our undeterred gentrifiers signal their ZERO FUCK attitude toward the beleaguered public? How about send out this RFP without any formal ok from the federal agency one would need a formal ok from (emphasis mine):

We don’t yet have a signed agreement with the Federal Transit Authority, but they told us to go ahead and issue our RFP so we can be in a position to have an identified consultant while we’re getting that agreement in place,” said Annette Marchesseault, who is heading the project for MRA.

The ambitious plan would create a transportation corridor suited for all modes of travel, including a center-running transit lane with 15-minute service.

The emphasis on the word AMBITIOUS is probably unnecessary, since anyone reading that quote understands government ambition is directly correlated to taxpayer ability to pay, but is anyone actually paying attention to our current financial situation? Because the image below makes me think these people have literally lost their minds.

Perhaps I need to stop being so critical all the time and just embrace the hope that progress leads inevitably to better things, like MORE AWESOME multi-modal transit systems!

The comment about this boondoggle coming from Ellen Buchanan should chill your bones worse the sub-zero lows we’ve had recently. From Gomer’s puff-piece (emphasis mine):

“It’s the most ambitious transportation project ever undertaken in the state of Montana, is fair to say. Except when they built the railroad,” said MRA Director Ellen Buchanan.

That’s quite a shot at the taxpayer going into the week of the turkey. I hope those alleged conservatives are paying attention as Montana’s legislative session approaches.

If you’d like to donate to my unofficial SEND TRAVIS TO HELENA fund, you can find the donate button at my about page.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to Missoula’s Next Boondoggle Targeting Your Pocketbook For Destruction

  1. Brad Tschida says:


    What actions do you propose are available to the state legislature to intervene in a matter of this nature? I am racking my brain attempting to come up with some means of involving the state, and I’m not getting too much traction.

  2. TC says:

    One thing the State could do (via the Legislature) is to redefine and narrowly prescribe the definition of blight. As is stands the definition is so vague that Ellen Buchanan can determine that the air above Reserve Street is blighted therefore justifying the expenditure of $5 million on a pedestrian bridge (100 yards away from a controlled crosswalk).
    Another thing the Legislature could do is rework the authority given to MRA/URD. Perhaps shorten sunset lengths, perhaps require limits on % of taxes a MRA can claim from an individual district, perhaps require that these unelected boards do not have the level of autonomy in usage of citizen tax dollars that we see here in Missoula.
    While admittedly hard to quantify, the Legislature should be able to prevent our MRA from sitting on $40 million of taxes (and all subsequent tax increases due to growth for the next 20,30,40 years). This fact is especially galling when the City/County plead poverty and push for increased taxes from homeowners while ignoring the MRA’s piggy bank

  3. CLK says:

    The MRA is the most powerful government body in Missoula and Ellen Buchanon, appointed not elected, is held responsible to know one but the mayor.

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