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Helena mayor Collins highlights pandemic response, other accomplishments in State of the City

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Posted at 9:26 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 16:22:24-05

HELENA — Helena’s mayor says he’s proud of how city staff responded to an unprecedented year.

On Monday, Mayor Wilmot Collins gave his annual State of the City address, highlighting accomplishments over the last year and priorities for the next year.

Collins spoke during a city commission meeting where several commissioners were taking part through Zoom – underscoring how much COVID-19 changed city operations.

“Of all the accomplishments of the City in 2020, adjusting to a pandemic was by far the greatest achievement, and we had marginal interruption to service delivery,” he said.

He also thanked city employees for meeting most of their goals during a year where the city manager and other top administrative positions were open for extended periods.

Collins highlighted a wide variety of achievements from all of Helena’s city departments. They included:

· The launch of a land trust to support affordable housing development
· An update to the city’s animal control ordinance
· Adopting a new Open Lands Management Plan
· Moving Helena Municipal Court into a newly built courtroom in a new location
· Redesigning snow removal services
· The Helena Police Department’s handling of protests and rallies on a variety of issues

He also pointed to goals for the next year, including the adoption of a new Strategic Outcomes Plan from the commission, continuing work on the delayed Rodney Street Project, starting a series of new recreation improvements and continuing the discussion on police reform and updating HPD policies and procedures.

Collins thanked the volunteers who serve on the Helena Citizens’ Council and various city advisory boards. He said the city will continue working with partners in government and beyond.

Collins is going into the fourth year of his term as mayor. He called on the Helena community to continue tackling tough issues like affordable housing and public safety, saying the city can serve as a model for other communities.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the state of affairs of our city of Helena is strong,” he said.

You can find the full text of Collins’ address on the city website.