For the city of Missoula to assess an individual property owner nearly $40,000 to install sidewalks, curbs and gutters is simply wrong, and it needs to stop. It makes better sense, and would be a great deal fairer, to say that the city is at fault for not having built these common conveniences decades ago.
I may never have occasion to walk down a new Slant Street sidewalk, and the folks probably don't get much use from the walks in my neighborhood. But the city as a whole benefits from improved infrastructure, and every city taxpayer should pay a share of infrastructure costs.
At a time when many people are priced out of home-ownership in Missoula, and where resentment is building at property tax rates, ending this outrageous policy would be a simple step the City Council could take toward affordable housing, and a sound investment in public relations.