This week in government

Baseball returns for a potentially final phase of decision-making at the Missoula City Council this week.

The council has a public hearing set for deciding if a plan to make tax-funded improvements to a proposed 3,500-seat professional baseball stadium next to McCormick Park fits with the city's urban renewal plan. Baseball stadium critics contend the city must first amend its plan and consider alternate uses for the now-vacant log yard where the new park would go. Stadium supporters say the city has already followed proper procedures in allowing the private Play Ball Missoula organization to put a stadium there, and this amendment is an unnecessary formality.

The council also may decide to accept donation of that log yard from Champion International Corp., a crucial part of the stadium project. While Play Ball Missoula intends to build the stadium and pay most of its estimated $8 million cost from private funds, it also wants the city to own it and the land to preserve its nonprofit status.

A third component of the baseball issue is a technical change to an unused portion of Cregg Lane so it can be used as a public roadway to the stadium. The meeting dealing with all these issues begins at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 435 Ryman St.

On Tuesday, the Missoula Board of Adjustment meets for public hearings on a front-yard setback variance for the King family and a rear- and side-setback variance for Mountain States Leasing. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall.

On Wednesday, the Missoula County commissioners meet in Courthouse Annex Room 201 at 1:30 p.m. for a sale of tax deed property, further discussion of the fate of the Clearwater/Shortline Railroad right-of-way near Lolo, and hearings on family transfers to the George Jones, Miller and Buresh families.

Wednesday evening, the Missoula County Board of Adjustment meets to consider a golf course and housing complex proposal on Bandman Flats near East Missoula. The meeting takes place in Courthouse Room 201. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, the commissioners have an open question-and-answer session for the public to meet candidates for a new Department of Public Works director. The position takes over much of the duties now held by the elected County Surveyor. The session runs from 2 to 4 p.m. in City Hall.

The Neighborhood Council Community Forum meets Thursday at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

And on Thursday, the U.S. 93 Citizen's Advisory Committee meets to discuss changes on the highway improvements between Lolo and Hamilton. The committee will also discuss feedback on its position paper, options to a roundabout proposal, the Missoula Focus Group and reports on enhancement requests. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Victor Senior Center, 242 Fifth Ave., Victor.

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