Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Every year, the City Club hosts its State of Missoula event, where county, university, and city leaders provide a brief overview of how each institution is addressing the needs of Missoula residents.

First to speak was County Commission Chair Dave Strohmaier, who spoke first of an over $30 million improvement project of East Broadway through East Missoula onto Highway 200 that is currently in the planning stages.

County Commissioner Strohmaier was First to Speak on the State of Missoula

“This transformational project will add curbs, sidewalks, a new railroad structure, striped pedestrian crossings, and lighting,” began Strohmaier. “All of those elements will work together to make for a beautiful welcoming and attractive place that we can call home and there is no reason that every place in our community should not also have good solid infrastructure.”

Strohmaier couldn’t resist touting his pet project, passenger rail for Montana, as well.

UM President Seth Bodnar Described a Tuition Free Education

University of Montana President Seth Bodnar was next to speak and expressed pride in the many ways the university is serving its students and the community.

“We measure our success by how well we enable every single person who comes through our doors to achieve their full potential,” said President Bodnar. “That's what inclusive prosperity is about. Two years ago, we achieved a decade's long goal of achieving ‘R-1 status’ and our research output has approximately doubled in the past seven years. In addition last year we launched the Grizzly Promise program which promises to any Montanan that comes from a family making $50,000 or less that they can come to our state's flagship university tuition free.”

That statement earned an enthusiastic round of applause for President Bodnar.

Mayor Andrea Davis was Proud of a New Affordable Housing Project

Last to speak was Mayor Andrea Davis, elected just a few months ago to fill the term of the late John Engen. In addition to providing an update on how the city is working together with multiple agencies to address the issue of homelessness, Davis expressed pride in a new housing project that broke ground recently on the old White Pine and Sash property.

“We are master-planning nine acres,” said Mayor Davis. “The city is partnering with Ravara Development LLC, and the first phase is constructing 89 homes for purchase on a Community Land Trust, which means that the land is held in trust and the person only buys the home thereby making the home more affordable. More than half of those will be affordable or income-restricted, and then half of those will be market rate.”

Read More: Missoula Group Provides Update on Reserve Street Homeless Camp

Following the opening remarks, City Club began the ‘Table Talk’ question and answer segment.

The entire program was broadcast live on the MCAT Facebook page.

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With so many changes happening at Southgate Mall, we asked which stores Missoulians would love to see come to the mall, here's what they said:

Gallery Credit: Ashley