Helena Magazine

Letter from the Mayor: A budget update, a thank you to Chief Valenti, and Indian Ford annexation

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

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As your Mayor, it is my privilege to keep you informed about important matters concerning our wonderful city. Today, I am pleased to share some significant updates regarding our municipal budget for the fiscal year 2024, the retirement of our esteemed Fire Chief, and an update on the annexation election for the citizens of the Indian Ford Fire District.

First and foremost, I am happy to announce that the City Council has recently approved the balanced municipal budget for the fiscal year 2024 that I presented. This is a milestone achievement that reflects our dedication to responsible financial management and ensuring the continued well-being and progress of our community. The budget has been carefully crafted to address the needs and aspirations of our citizens while maintaining essential services and infrastructure development.

The approved budget places significant emphasis on public safety, education, recreation, infrastructure, and sustainable development. We remain committed to enhancing the quality of life for all residents, promoting economic growth, and fostering a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. I want to express my gratitude to the City Council for their diligent efforts in passing this budget that aligns with our shared vision for a prosperous and vibrant city.

The Helena Farmers Market wrapped up another great year, and I am excited to announce that new leadership of the board has already begun planning for next year. I am calling all residents that want to volunteer to help make the market the best it can be for next year to reach out to me to get you plugged in.

Last month, I told you about the election to annex the residents of the Jefferson County Indian Ford Fire District into the City. The election was held on September 12th with the residents voting overwhelmingly to annex to become a part of our family. Our commitment to you is as it is with all our citizens; first responder protection you can trust and rely on as well as access to city services. Indian Ford residents will see a reduced property tax rate from (15 mils to 5) and improved ISO Fire rating both resulting in a cost savings to you. Welcome to Helena.

It is my honor to inform you that after a long and illustrious career, Fire Chief, Pete Valenti, will be retiring from their position after over 30 years of outstanding service to our community. The retirement of Chief Valenti marks the end of an era, as he has tirelessly worked to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering commitment and leadership. The search for a new Fire Chief is already complete. We were dedicated to finding an exceptional candidate who possesses the necessary skills, experience, and integrity to lead our fire department effectively. The selection process was thorough and transparent, involving input from various stakeholders and a rigorous review process to ensure the suitability of the chosen candidate.

I encourage you to stay engaged with the city’s news and updates through our official website cityofhelena.org. Your voice and opinions matter, and we welcome your feedback through our online action center.

Thank you for your continued support and trust in our shared mission to build a prosperous, safe, and inclusive city for all. By working together, we can achieve remarkable things and create a brighter future for generations to come.

Together as One,