illings Clinic Classic returns with downtown street party featuring Alter Ego, will raise funds for new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
 Billings Clinic Foundation announced the resumption of the Billings Clinic Classic on Saturday, Aug. 28, with proceeds benefitting Billings Clinic’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
 The Classic returns this year with an engaging and energetic all-outdoor street party, raffle, silent auction and seven golf events. Attendance will, however, remain limited due to COVID concerns.
 After a wildly successful performance at the 2019 Classic, Alter Ego will return as this year’s headline entertainment at the Street Party Celebration on Broadway. From Montreal, Alter Ego is North America’s top party band. The non-stop all-dance repertoire features the best of 70’s disco, 80’s rock, 90’s pop, and the hit songs of the new millennium. With seven lead singers and more than 60 dazzling costume changes, this group puts on a show like no other.
The Classic pre-party will feature Arterial Drive, a local favorite. Arterial Drive is a six-member band from Montana.  The entirety of the 2021 Classic will be held outside on Broadway, between Third Avenue North and Fourth Avenue North.
To support Billings Clinic’s smallest patients and the construction of a new NICU, call Billings Clinic Foundation at 406-657-4670 or go to www.billingsclinicfoundation.com. Funds raised will go toward a $3.5 million capital campaign for the construction of a new NICU at Billings Clinic. 

Commercial

LJR Of Montana Inc/435 Jaque Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $8,177

RPR Properties LLC/Lennick Bros. Roofing & Sheetmetal, 704 N 30th St, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $7,500

Iret-Rocky Meadows LLC/Drytech Co LLC, 2440 Village Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $10,400

Iret-Rocky Meadows LLC/Drytech Co LLC, 2440 Village Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $11,050

Iret-Rocky Meadows LLC/Drytech Co LLC. 2440 Village Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $13,650

Iret-Rocky Meadows LLC/Drytech Co LLC, 2440 Village Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $6,175

Iret-Rocky Meadows LLC/Drytech Co LLC, 2440 Village Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $14,300

Iret-Rocky Meadows LLC/Drytech Co LLC, 2440 Village Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $13,325

Iret-Rocky Meadows LLC/Drytech Co LLC, 2440 Village Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $30,225

Billings Heights VFW Post 677, 618 Winemiller Ln, Com Remodel, $10,000

M&M Partners LLC/Cucancic Construction Inc., 2760 Gabel Rd, Com Remodel, $50,000

Travis Frandsen/Langlas & Assoc. Inc., 1603 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $300,000

JNL Holdings LLC/Faithful Cleaning & Restoration, 526 Moore Ln, Com Remodel, $10,000

School District 2/Perfect 10 Roofing, 2401 Grand Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $23,000    r

Beartooth Holdings/Beartooth Holding & Construction, 525 Henry Chapple St, Com New Store/Strip Center, $1,000,000

State Of Montana/Star Service, Inc., 1500 University Dr, Com Remodel, $475,000

Target Corp T-0171/Engineered Structures Inc, 2601 Central Ave,  Com Remodel, $75,000

Albertsons Companies/ MJT Construction Inc, 3137 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $40,000

DAJ Enterprises, Llc/Cucancic Construction Inc., 3189 King Ave W, Com Remodel, $8,000

Residential

Mark S & Rhett S Moak/Boyce Built LLC , 2714 Selvig Ln, Res New Accessory Structure, $75,000

Copper Ridge West Inc/Infinity Home LLC, 3131 70th St W, Res New Single Family, $245,068

Clement, Roy L & Jackie M/Zuhaus Construction LLC, 4749 Gold Creek Trl, Res New Single Family, $475,000

Preston, Todd A & Patricia J/Myers Custom Homes, 517 Shadow Lawn Ct, Res New Single Family, $1,200,000

Steve & Gail Mack/Martin Built Home LLC, 5361 Amherst Dr, Res New Single Family, $405,000

McCall Homes/McCall Development, 1866 St George Blvd, Res New Single Family, $240,550

McCall Homes/McCall Development, 1769 St George Blvd, Res New Single Family, $132,564

McCall Homes/McCall Development, 1763 St George Blvd, Res New Single Family, $132,564

Infinity Home/Infinity Home LCC, 7044 Shiny Penny Way, Res New Single Family, $241,855

SMTP 002 LLC/Better Building Technologies LLC, 6315 Ridge Stone Dr, Res New Single Family, $325,000

Wagenhals Enterprises Inc/ Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 5501 Morning Star Ln, Res New Single Family,   $270,000

HWT Construction LLC/HWT Construction LLC, 1559 Tania Cir, Res New Single Family, $339,168

Wells Built Inc/Wells Built Inc, 6028 Canyonwoods Dr, Res New Single Family, $499,899

Mark Dawson/CDH, LLC, 2247 Greenbriar Rd, Res New Single Family, $314,927

HD Building Inc/HD Building Inc, 1427 Tania Cir, Res New Single Family, $266,552

Rob Pedigo , 2112 Gleneagles Blvd, Res New Single Family, $321,991

CDH, LLC /CDH, LLC, 4645 Toyon Dr, Res New Single Family, $336,207

Bob Pentecost/Bob Pentecost Construction, 7004 Copper View Way, Res New Single Family, $368,000

* New housing starts pulled back from the fastest pace since July 2006, falling 9.5% from an annualized 1,733,000 units in March to 1,569,000 units in April, with rising construction costs and difficulties in finding talent likely taking a toll, particularly in the single-family market. Yet, residential activity continues to be a strength in the economy overall, and builders remain optimistic about growth over the coming months.

* Indeed, the housing permits data—a proxy of future activity in the sector—are consistent with stronger residential growth moving forward, exceeding 1.7 million units for five straight months and jumping 19.1% since February 2020.

* With that said, existing home sales fell for the third consecutive month, down to 5.85 million units at the annual rate, largely on low inventories of homes for sale. The median sales price for existing homes has jumped 19.1% year-over-year, up to $341,600 in April.        

* Meanwhile, the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI rose to an all-time high, buoyed by growth in new orders and exports that were the fastest on record. The service-sector also expanded at a historic pace, with the U.S. economy bouncing back as more Americans get vaccinated and activity accelerating on the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

* Yet, raw material costs and output prices soared once again at all-time high rates, and IHS Markit survey respondents continued to cite severe supply chain disruptions.

* Manufacturing surveys from the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Banks produced similar findings. While manufacturing activity eased in both districts in May, the underlying data and the outlook remained strong overall, even with supply chain disruptions and soaring prices.

* Across the Atlantic, Eurozone manufacturing activity also expanded solidly in May, with hiring accelerating at the best pace since February 2018, according to preliminary survey results from IHS Markit. Like the U.S., input costs and product prices soared to new records, and the service sector has bounced back as more virus restrictions are lifted.

* Outside the Eurozone, the United Kingdom’s manufacturing sector expanded at rates not seen since January 1992. 

* Initial unemployment claims fell to 444,000 for the week ending May 15, the lowest since the week of March 14, 2020.

New York created the most net new manufacturing jobs in April. Just five states have produced higher employment in the sector since the pandemic began: Utah, Nevada, Alaska, Nebraska and Montana.

Delivering on his promise to hold the line on new state spending and provide Montanans with broad-based tax relief, Governor Greg Gianforte today signed into law a fiscally conservative, pro-jobs budget.

“This budget lays out the roadmap to our Montana comeback, and will help unlock our state’s full, outstanding potential,” Gov. Gianforte said. “After more than a decade of out-of-control spending in Helena, we’re committed to being better stewards of taxpayer money, and our responsible budget brings much-needed fiscal restraint to state government.”

First introduced by the governor on January 7, the budget cuts hardworking Montanans’ taxes by over $60 million per year, and cuts $145 million in spending.

The budget also fulfills many policy priorities outlined in the governor’s Montana Comeback Plan, including investing $1 million per year in trades education and $2.5 million per year in incentives to increase starting teacher pay.

Importantly, the budget makes a historic investment in combating the drug epidemic through the HEART Fund. The program invests $25 million per year, using marijuana tax revenues, a portion of the tobacco tax settlement, and a federal Medicaid match, in community substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.

Commercial

Chapel Court LLP/Jones Construction, Inc, 3940 Rimrock Rd, Com Addition, $25,000

Cornerstone Community Church,  4525 Grand Ave, Com New Other, $20,000

McCall Development /McCall Development, 1703 St George Blvd, Com New Townhome Shell, $520,000

Broadwater Ventures LLC/Neumann Construction, 1110 Broadwater Ave, Com Remodel, $225,000

Larsen Properties LLC , 1045 N 27th St, Com Remodel, $95,000

RPR Properties LLC/Neumann Construction, 1211 Main St, Com Remodel, $20,000

Morledge, Karl/Robert Nelson Const  2702 Minnesota Ave, Com Remodel, $4,000

Andrews, Mary Ann/Big Sky Custom Builders,  404 N 30th St, Change Of Use From A-2 To A-2/B,   Com Remodel – Change In Use, $25,000

Magga LLC/Bighorn Drywall, 5435 Midland Rd, Com Remodel, $15,000

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc, 1585 Governors Blvd, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500  r

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc, 1585 Governors Blvd, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,000

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc, 1585 Governors Blvd, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $6,200

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc, 1585 Governors Blvd,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $12,000

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc  1545 Governors Blvd    Com Fence/Roof/Siding           $15,500

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc  1515 Governors Blvd,, Com Fence/Roof/Siding     $15,500

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc  2750 Nottingham Cir     Com Fence/Roof/Siding     $15,500

Iret Properties/Drytech Co Llc  2736 Nottingham Cir,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding     $5,500

Hall & Company Llc/Dick Anderson Construction, 80 Shiloh Rd, Com New Other, $900,000

Hall & Company Llc/Dick Anderson Construction, 80 Shiloh Rd, Com New Other, $30,000

Hall & Company Llc/Dick Anderson Construction, 80 Shiloh Rd, Com New Other, $30,000

Sisters Of Charity Of Leavenworth/ Saunders Construction Inc., 1233 N 30th St, Com Remodel,                  $200,000

A Better Property Management Fi/A1 Property Improvements, 328 Grand Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $7,100

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 751 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 751 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,850

City Of Billings/C&C Construction Of Northwest Florida LLC, 6th St W, Terry Park, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $78,404

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC,735 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 706 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1572 Nottingham Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 707 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1573 Nottingham Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1573 Nottingham Pl. Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $3,000

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1551 Nottingham Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1574 Guinevere Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

Food Services Of America Inc/Centimark Corp, 1011 S 32nd St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $378,350

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1575 Guinevere Pl   Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1575 Guinevere Pl,   Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,850  

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 665 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1576 Lancelot Pl,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1576 Lancelot Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $3,000

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1550 Lancelot Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

 IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1577 Lancelot Pl,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 1577 Lancelot Pl,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,850

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 641 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 605 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 605 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,525

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 621 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $15,500

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 621 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,525

IRET Properties/Drytech Co LLC, 606 Nottingham Cir, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $8,775

Magnus Land Development LLC/Brown Builders Inc., 6436 Signal Peak Ave, Com New Townhome Shell, $305,827

Kohl’s Illinois Inc, 3900 King Ave W, Com Remodel, $300,000

LKF Investments LLC, 2044 Broadwater Ave, Com Remodel, $1,500

NJ & S Properties Inc/Jones Construction, Inc, 1518 1st Ave, Com Remodel, $140,000

United Properties Inc/Star Service, Inc., 490 N 31st, Com Remodel, $150,000

Residential

NA/Oakland Built Homes Inc, 804 Presidio Ln, Res New Single Family, $184,608

Copper Ridge West Inc/Bob Pentecost Construction, 7033 Copper View Way, Res New Single Family,     $415,000

Kammerzell, Tyler L/Image Builders, 5871 Autumnwood   Dr, Res New Single Family, $324,110

Oakland Built Homes Inc/Oakland Built Homes Inc, 3101 70th St W, Res New Single Family, $207,770

Oakland Built Homes Inc/Oakland Built Homes Inc, 3104 Forbes Blvd, Res New Single Family, $199,696

Emineth Custom Homes inc/Emineth Custom Homes, 3761 Donna Ct, Res New Single Family, $373,580

Formation Inc /Helgeson Construction, 4635 Elk Ridge Trl, Res New Single Family, $286,938

Allen, Mark Trailhead Builders Of Montana Llc, 4544 Iron Horse Trl, Res New Single Family, $500,000

Wagenhals Land And Livestock/Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 5523 Morning Star Ln, Res New Single Family,  $270,000

McCall Development/McCall Development, 1703 St George Blvd, Res New Townhome, $43,333

McCall Development/McCall Development, 1703 St George Blvd, Res New Townhome, $43,333

McCall Development/McCall Development, 1703 St George Blvd, Res New Townhome, $43,333

Doschert, Dan, 3727 Colton Blvd, Res New Accessory Structure, $8,000

Donovan, Kelly J/Mac Leffler Construction, 3206 Peregrine Ln, Res New Single Family, $550,000

Kirkpatrick, Stewart & Kelly/ Jorden Construction, 4731 Rim Point Pl, Res New Single Family, $650,000

Newman, Levi, 864 Garnet Ave, Res New Single Family, $282,992

Sider, Nathan Edward & Melissa/Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 930 Vineyard Cir, Res New Single Family, $350,000

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 6119 Norma Jean Ln, Res New Single Family, $300,720

Blain, Bobbi, Myers Custom Homes, 518 Shadow Lawn Ct, Res New Single Family, $1,187,000

Heeg, Timothy T/A-Team Contracting, 690 Tabriz Dr,    Res New Accessory Structure, $150,000

Berg, Roxy G/South Pine Design, 4757 Gold Creek Trl,     Res New Single Family, $344,544

Bruechert Custom Homes/Bruechert Custom Homes LLC, 5210 Grass Mountain Rd, Res New Single Family,   $347,120

William P Underriner Irrevocable/Laughlin Construction Inc, 2610 Westfield Dr, Res New Single Family, $609,796

CDH, LLC/CDh, LLC, 4639 Audubon Way, Res New Single Family,  $378,704

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 6115 Eva Marie Ln, Res New Single Family, $269,472

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 1662 Annas Garden Ln, Res New Single Family, $216,808

Infinity Home/Infinity Home LLC, 5440 Beringer Ln, Res New Single Family $276,616

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 1631 Annas Garden Ln, Res New Single Family, $386,992

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 1632 Annas Garden Ln, Res New Single Family, $220,774

Na/McCall Development, 6105 Johanns Meadow Ln,        Res New Single Family, $310,624

Wagenhals Land And Livestock/Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 1202 Daybreak Dr, Res New Single Family, $300,000

Copper Ridge West Inc/Infinity Home LLC, 3103 Forbes Blvd, Res New Single Family, $217,332

Magnus Land Development LLC/Brown Builders Inc., 6436 Signal Peak Ave, Res New Townhome, $38,228

Billings Clinic has been recognized by Magnet, the gold standard in nursing excellence, for the fourth time. Organizations must reapply for this recognition every four years and Billings Clinic has continuously earned it since 2006 — a testament to its high-quality nursing practice.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program distinguishes health care organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence. It is the highest global honor for professional nursing practice.

 “Magnet is so important to our employees and to Billings Clinic because it really elevates the care that we give to an entirely new level. It holds us to a higher standard and encourages our nurses to seek new knowledge and to be innovative in the care that they deliver. We want to make sure that we’re providing the latest evidence-based care so that our patients get the very best,” said Laurie Smith, Billings Clinic Chief Nursing Officer.

Receiving Magnet recognition for the fourth time since 2006 continues the region’s largest health care organization’s proud inclusion in the global Magnet community – a small, select group of health care organizations and hospitals. Only about 7 percent of hospitals worldwide have achieved Magnet designation. Of those, only 98 have been recognized four times, placing Billings Clinic among the top 1 percent of hospitals globally for nursing.

 “Magnet recognition is a tremendous honor and reflects our commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to our patients and communities,” said Scott Ellner, DO, Billings Clinic CEO. “To earn Magnet recognition once was a great accomplishment and an incredible source of pride for our nurses.”

Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State, will speak on the “The Value of American Energy to the World” on the final day of the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference – Thursday, May 13, 2021.

The Williston Basin Petroleum Conference will be held May 11-13 at the Bismarck Event Center, in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Other featured presenters will be Harold Hamm, Executive Chairman, Continental Resources, the largest producer of the Bakken, and Bill Berry, CEO of Continental, and Shelly Lambertz – Chief Culture Officer at Continental.

The Williston Basin Petroleum Conference is the largest conference and trade show in the nation focused on the Bakken, Three Forks and Williston Basin. It brings together leading experts on breakthrough technologies, energy markets, potential untapped formations, the regulatory environment, and more.

Over the last 28 years, the WBPC has become a “who’s who” of industry experts and leadership in the Bakken, providing some of the best networking opportunities with key decision-makers in an intimate and exciting setting.

For more information go to www.wbpcnd. com/events/ Williston-basin- petroleum- conerence.com

by Evelyn Pyburn

In the coming decade there is much that is going to change about travel through the Billings I-90 corridor.  Interchanges will change, highways broadened and bridges reconstructed – all are projects in the planning stages, with some already underway.

While much has been heard about the improvements planned to the I-90/ Johnson Lane Interchange as part of the Billings Bypass project, there’s not as much awareness about the other improvements in the Lockwood area and along I-90 through Billings.

The projects emerged from a 2012 study about future needs for Billings’ traffic as it impacts I-90. The projects will accommodate increases in traffic and improve overall operation and safety.

The stretch of I-90 that is involved was built in the 1960s and last paved in 2000.

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) plans to widen from two lanes to three lanes a stretch of I-90 from the Johnson Lane Interchange to the South 27th Street Interchange.

The first phase of widening the Interstate will be on the west end from the Lockwood Interchange to the 27th Street Interchange, which includes the reconstruction of the bridges across the Yellowstone River and the Talen Railroad Spur. Final plans for widening the interstate and building the bridges are to be completed by the end of March and bids may be let sometime this summer. HDR is the engineering firm designing the project.

The plan to add additional two lanes to I-90 avoids having to gain more rights-of-way by expanding into space that is currently the median. 

Following a recent public hearing the Lockwood Steering Committee began a petition to MDT objecting to the fact that the plans for the bridges are without accommodation for pedestrians or bicycles. They are asking MDT and HDR engineers to address the common vision of the community for the future of Billings and Lockwood by including pedestrian/bike access.

Public comment during the hearing also brought up the multi-modal issue and MDT officials and engineers said that the issue had not been overlooked but they had determined not to include the multi-modal access because of increases to the cost and the fact that it would require gaining additional rights-of-way extending the time frame, as well as the cost, and it could have possible flood plain impacts in providing trails to get to the crossings. A special public meeting may be held to further explore this public concern.

Currently construction of the bridges is scheduled to begin in fall 2021 and will be completed in phases. One bridge will remain open while the other is demolished and rebuilt to accommodate both lanes of traffic. The entire project is tentatively scheduled to be completed in 2024. Bridge reconstruction will comprise most of the construction effort and cost, which is projected at $60 million, total.

During construction, two-lane, two-way traffic will be maintained, except during the winter shut down period when the interstate will reopen to four lanes for safety reasons.

It’s been widely heralded that the reconstruction of the Johnson Lane Interchange is to be the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in Montana, but it was announced at a recent public hearing that the preferred alternative being considered for the Lockwood Interchange — where Highway 87 crosses over I-90 – will also be that of a Diverging Diamond. HDR is also the engineering firm designing this project.

A Diverging Diamond Interchange is one in which the two directions of traffic cross over to briefly drive on the opposite side of the road from what is customary, offering many safety benefits. (See video of a diverging diamond interchange here: tinyurl.com/JohnsonLaneDDI)

The Lockwood Interchange project also includes the widening of I-90 to three lanes to the Johnson Lane Interchange.

Also, plans for the Lockwood Interchange include improving safer access at the intersection of Hwy. 87 and Coburn Road, just south of the Interchange. Because of its proximity to the interchange safety features are needed, said engineers. While other options are being explored, the preferred alternative that is emerging would be to convert the Coburn intersection into a three-quarter access. This would allow right turn and left turn lanes from Hwy. 87, onto Coburn Road, but a left turn from Coburn Road onto Hwy. 87 would not be allowed. Left turning traffic onto Hwy. 87 would be required to take a right onto Rosebud and then take a left onto Lockview Lane to its intersection with Hwy. 87, where it would be safer to make a left turn onto Hwy. 87.

Public comment regarding all plans for all projects is encouraged by MDT. This is especially true for the Lockwood Interchange for which plans are in the earliest stages – about 30 percent complete. To see an interactive map for the project areas go to  https:// experience.arcgis.com/ experience/ffc303851 f784e23ab 411f6da b6e70ca

(Another project – First Avenue and Exposition Drive — currently in the design stage will reconfigure and rebuild Highway 87 as it rounds the perimeter of Metra Park to Exposition Drive which leads to the Heights’ Main Street.)

The Johnson Lane Diverging Diamond Interchange is part of the Billings Bypass project that will connect Highway 312 in Billings Heights to Johnson Lane in Lockwood, including a new bridge across the Yellowstone River that is already under construction. The Billings Bypass project, in all of its six phases, is being designed and overseen by DOWL.

Work was completed last year on the first phase of the Bypass, which involved the widening and reconstruction of Five Mile Road in the Heights. Work continues on the new bridge and the Johnson Lane Interchange.

Granite Construction/ LHC will be the construction manager/general contractor to build the interchange with construction anticipated to begin in 2022. Currently MDT is meeting with property owners and stakeholders as permits and right-of-way is acquired.

Another phase of the Billings Bypass project is well underway – the construction of a new bridge across the Yellowstone River which will ultimately provide motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians a connection between Lockwood and the Billings Heights.

As construction of the Billings Bypass Yellowstone River bridge moves forward MDT is providing a live webcam for the public to view real-time construction progress  (the webcam is available at https:// www. mdt.mt.gov/ pubinvolve/ billingsbypass/). Construction of bridge piers from the temporary work bridge is continuing in anticipation of beam placement.

Construction is being completed by Wadsworth Brothers Construction and is planned to be predominantly complete by the end of 2021.

Commercial

Florence LLC/Elevated Home Crafters Inc, 1321 Panners Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $27,295 s

Florence LLC/Elevated Home Crafters Inc, 1321 Panners Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $4,961  s

Florence LLC Elevated Home Crafters Inc, 1321 Panners Pl, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $4,059  s

Glacier Bank/Kirkness Exteriors, 2401 Grand Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $33,000  r

Grifols Plasma Operations/ Ev Construction,  1310 Main St, Com Remodel, $1,700,000

Sisters Of Charity Of Leavenworth/Saunders Construction Inc, 1233 N 30th St, Com Remodel, $372,000

Hink, Gabriel C & Teresa A/Singh Contracting Inc, 1140 1st Ave N, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $19,000

American Lutheran Church/Commercial Roofing Montana  LLC, 5 Lewis Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding,             $88,960

Davis, Gary L & Marilyn & Etal/All Seasons Roofing, 1 Macarthur Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $19,765  

JMS Properties LLC/JMS Properties LLC, 24 Orchard Ln, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $9,700

Centennial Park/Com New Other, 3302 Howard Ave, $66,169

SCL Health/Saunders Construction Inc, 2900 12th Ave N, Com New Other, $1,000

Aware Inc/Jackson Contractor Group Inc, 3242 Hesper Rd, Com Remodel, $200,000

G Rock Building  LLC/Scott Peterson Construction, 2244 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $2,000

Oliver Building Development Ve/Van Arsdale, Duane Construction Inc, 2702 Montana Ave, Com Remodel – Change In Use, $35,000

Smith, Lawrence/Millennium Construction & Consulting Inc, 446 Grand Ave, Demolition Permit Commercial, $17,000

Blanco, David/Askin Construction  LLC, 320 Main St, Demolition Permit Commercial, $12,500

Residential

Stimpson, Clint/V.W.C. Inc., 2320 Meadowwood St, Res New Accessory Structure, $53,000

Infinity Home/Infinity Home LLC, 2419 Bonito Loop, Res New Single Family, $255,764

Infinity Home/Infinity Home LLC, 2410 Bonito Loop, Res New Single Family, $242,671

Ironwood Land LLC/Cougar Construction, 4211 Arrowwood Dr, Res New Single Family, $355,305

Oakland Built Homes Inc/Oakland Built Homes Inc, 808 Presidio Ln, Res New Single Family, $174,422

Oakland Built Homes Inc/Oakland Built Homes Inc, 816 Presidio Ln, Res New Single Family, $174,422

Mountain Range LLC/Formation Inc, 2522 Mountain Range Ct, Res New Single Family, $285,450

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 6121 Farmstead Ave, Res New Single Family,        $247,394

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 6109 Farmstead Ave, Res New Single Family,          $277,970

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 1620 Walter Creek Blvd, Res New Single Family,  $270,252

NA/Had Inc, 2241 Entrada Rd, Res New Single Family, $187,322

Oakland Built Homes Inc/Oakland Built Homes Inc, 3149 70th St W, Res New Single Family,           $186,708

The ATM LLC/ Billings Best Builders LLC, 6310 Absaloka Ln, Res New Two Family, $350,000

NA/InfinityHome  LLC, 2205 Entrada Rd, Res New Single Family, $254,457

InfinityHome/Infinity Home  LLC, 7020 Shiny Penny Way, Res New Single Family, $242,671

InfinityHome /Infinity  Home  LLC, 3128 Forbes Blvd, Res New Single Family, $200,348

Buscher Construction/Buscher Construction Ltd, 3139 Falcon Cir, Res New Single Family, $233,402

Copper Ridge West Inc/Bob Pentecost Construction, 3145 Forbes Blvd, Res New Single Family,   $377,000

Bob Pentecost/Bob Pentecost Construction, 3021 Forbes Blvd, Res New Single Family, $346,900

Habitat For Humanity, Mid Yell/Habitat For Humanity, 1206 S Ping Cir, Res New Single Family,     $200,000

Bruechert Homes/Dirk Arnold Construction, 1361 Tania Cir, $223,130

CDH, LLC/CDH, LLC, 2207 Greenbriar Rd, Res New Single Family, $339,333

HLL  LLC/Montana Quality Contracting  LLC, 2706 Tulane Dr, Res New Single Family, $385,000

Trails West Homes  LLC/Trails West Homes  LLC, 821 Grouse Berry St, Res New Single Family,    $279,888

Trails West Homes LLC/Trails West Homes  LLC, 815 Grouse Berry St, Res New Single Family,  $227,838

NA/Trails West Homes  LLC, 902 Grouse Berry St, Res New Single Family, $247,732

Trails West Homes,  LLC/Trails West Homes  LLC, 905 Grouse Berry St, Res New Single Family, $224,480

Trails West Homes,  LLC/Trails West Homes  LLC, 909 Grouse Berry St, Res New Single Family, $279,888

NA/McCall Development, 1715 St George Blvd, Res New Single Family, $140,698

If the attitude of business people is any indicator about the future of our economy then things aren’t looking so good, according to the most recent survey of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined 7 points to a net negative 23 percent, the lowest level since November 2013.

In a survey of their membership (one must be a business owner in order to be a full-fledged NFIB member)their Optimism Index declined by 9 points.  Four of the 10 Index components declined, two improved, and four were unchanged.

The NFIB Uncertainty Index decreased 2 points to 80. The net percent of owners expecting better business conditions has fallen 55 points over the past four months. Sales expectations for the next three months declined 2 points to a net negative 6 percent. Earnings trends over the past three months declined 2 points to a net negative 16 percent reporting higher earnings compared to the prior period.

NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends Data with Quarterly surveys since 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986.

The declines are dramatically different from the results of surveys over the past four years when scores at times pushed record highs, except when the COVID virus business restrictions occurred. Even then the optimism jumped back up after the initial plunge.

In its commentary about survey results, NFIB stated, “January came in with a whimper as consumer spending tailed off sharply at the end of 2020, leaving spending 2.5% below levels at the start of the year. GDP did no better, ending up 3.5% below 2019 peak. Still, that represents a remarkable recovery from the plunge in GDP in 2020 Q2. Twenty million workers became unemployed, 10 million were “recovered,” and the other 10 million remain unemployed coming into 2021. Initial claims for unemployment benefits are falling, indicating workers are finding a job (or giving up). NFIB firms reported solid hiring.”

Small firms are trying to figure out how to operate in the “now,” adjusting operations to stay open, and seize upon any opportunities to grow. Hiring is good for those in less restricted industries and where consumer spending is strong. However, the “future” is not so rosy for many small firms, with expectations for business conditions and real sales in the tank. Important activities like capital spending remain depressed.

LABOR MARKETS

Job growth continued in January. Firms increased employment by 0.36 workers per firm on average over the past few months, up from 0.30 in December, a very strong 2-month performance. But the hiring is uneven geographically and by industry. Thirty-three percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill. Twenty-eight percent have openings for skilled workers (up 1 point) and 12 percent have openings for unskilled labor (up 1 point).

CAPITAL SPENDING

Fifty-five percent reported capital outlays in the last six months, up 3 points from December. Of those making expenditures, 41 percent reported spending on new equipment (up 3 points), 27 percent acquired vehicles (up 7 points), and 15 percent improved or expanded facilities (up 4 points). Five percent acquired new buildings or land for expansion (unchanged), and 12 percent spent money for new fixtures and furniture (up 4 points). The increase is welcome, but leaves capital spending historically low, damaging growth prospects and future productivity gains. Twenty-two percent plan capital outlays in the next few months, unchanged from December, but low. This is consistent with the dismal view of future economic activity and sales levels held by small business owners. New capital is not needed if more production and sales don’t occur.

SALES AND INVENTORIES

A net negative 7 percent of all owners reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, down 5 points from December. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes decreased 2 points to a net negative 6 percent. The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases rose 2 points to a net negative 4 percent. Consumer spending did fade at the end of 2020.

COMPENSATION AND EARNINGS

Seasonally adjusted, a net 25 percent reported raising compensation (up 4 points) and a net 17 percent plan to do so in the coming months, up 3 points. Seven percent cited labor costs as their top business problem (up 1) and 21 percent said that labor quality was their top business problem.

. Among owners reporting lower profits, 43 percent blamed weaker sales, 17 percent cited the usual seasonal change, 6 percent cited a higher cost of materials, 6 percent cited labor costs, and 5 percent cited lower prices. For owners reporting higher profits, 60 percent credited sales volumes, 17 percent cited usual seasonal change, and 8 percent cited higher prices.

CREDIT MARKETS

Two percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied (down 1 point). Twenty-four percent reported all credit needs met (down 2 points) and 61 percent said they were not interested in a loan (up 1 point). A net 1 percent reported their last loan was harder to get than in previous attempts (down 2 points). One percent reported that financing was their top business problem (unchanged).

INFLATION

The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased 1 point to a net 17 percent, seasonally adjusted. Unadjusted, 11 percent (up 1 point) reported lower average selling prices and 27 percent (up 5 points) reported higher average prices. Price hikes were most frequent in wholesale (40 percent higher, 6 percent lower) and retail (27 percent higher, 10 percent lower)