Schweitzer Fishing for Coal Support via John Engen and Affordable Housing

by jhwygirl

Ever the consummate politician, Governor Schweitzer jumped at the opportunity to generate support for his coal-to-gasification and Otter Creek tract dreams when asked by Mayor Engen to help with affordable housing.

“Put your brains to affordable housing with me,” Engen asked, while touring Brian around town, within sight of the Intermountain Lumber site.

Schweitzer obliged, according to The Missoulian, and and turned to a staffer and asked how the coal tax fund could help.


In another part of the visit, Engen asked the Governor to help stump for some reform with Director Lynch, of the Montana Department of Transportation. Something was mentioned about “red tape”.

Council members have complained about MDOT’s heavy-handed review and approval authority over city projects (dare I say Hill-Beckwith?) and funding methodology. Heavily populated and shopping destination Missoula generates a whole bunch of gas tax revenue, yet doesn’t receive funding proportional to its generation of funds. Engen, surely, was looking for a more equitable solution.

As for cutting through that red tape, I say keep that push on, John – the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

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