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After nearly two years of writing and rewriting, Bozeman has a roadmap of goals beyond divvying out spending for the year.

On Monday night, the Bozeman City Commission approved the strategic plan that outlines priority projects for city dollars and staff time through 2023. Mayor Cyndy Andrus said she thinks the plan’s a vision of what Bozeman wants to be.

“My hope is that even long after I’m gone, we continue to have a strategic plan for this community,” Andrus said. “And that this one is malleable enough to change with the community.”

Andrus said they’ll annually review the document as staff check off some goals and discover others.

Commissioner Jeff Krauss was the sole vote against it. He repeated support for people’s hard work but said the final result included too much and conflated wants with needs.

There are seven chapters outlined in the 10-page document. Here’s a snapshot.

1. An engaged community

City officials say they need to improve how they get information to people who aren’t typically crafting policy — especially as population growth means big decisions are coming out of city hall.

Leaders say they’ll make a city-wide communication policy and outreach plan. They also hope to “dramatically increase transparency and create access to all city documents.”

The effort includes connecting with agencies beyond the city’s edges through regular meetings between Bozeman, Gallatin County commissioners and the city of Belgrade.

2. An innovative economy

In a city where the service industry continues to grow with its popularity, this chapter aims to keep Bozeman business diverse by supporting retention and growth in local business. Part of that is ensuring the city invests in infrastructure and identifies sites for new developments.

3. A safe, welcoming community

This chapter says Bozeman will create a Criminal Justice Facility Plan, which has been on the city’s priority list for at least a decade. City and Gallatin officials continue to preach that the area’s Law and Justice Center needs repair. In this plan, Bozeman officials left the door open to either team up with the county or go in on the effort alone.

The city will aim to adopt a new staffing plan for Bozeman police and up the fire department’s accreditations.

It also seeks to develop a social service network between Bozeman and Gallatin County to “fund a comprehensive strategy” to address mental health needs and respond to homelessness and housing challenges.

Another bullet-point on the list includes reviewing the feasibility of city vendors and suppliers establishing and enforcing a gender pay equality policy.

4. A well-planned city

Bozeman needs to hold onto its sense of place as city leaders shoot for a “livable, affordable, more connected city,” according to this section. That includes updating the city’s growth policy and others around infill, redevelopment and public infrastructure.

This chapter also lays out an effort to respond to parking needs in areas like the city’s downtown, midtown and university district. For some places that could mean parking garages while others could see new rules with on-street parking.

The city also hopes to develop an affordable housing plan, which falls high on the to-do-soon list.

5. A creative, learning culture

This piece includes an idea to partner with existing organizations for a bike and trail map that showcases public art throughout Bozeman.

6. A sustainable environment

City leaders say they need to update the city’s climate action plan. They also seek to develop a regional watershed approach to manage water quantity and quality, apply for state funding for a study to monitor air quality, and create solar energy policies.

7. A high performance organization

This sets the goal to improve collaboration between city departments and create subgroups on communications, community interactions and long-range planning.

It also includes creating an onboarding program for new employees.

More details of how the city starts to complete this list will unfold as Bozeman leaders start to outline the the city’s budget for the next fiscal year.

Go to for more details.

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Katheryn Houghton can be reached at or at 406-582-2628. Follow her on Twitter @K_Hought.

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