What do you think is the greatest challenge East Helena is facing in the immediate future?
The proposed water rate hike. Did it go thru? Families are struggling with the housing market, inflation, and rise in energy costs. Is part of this increase have anything to do with all the new developments in and around East Helena? If so, why arent the developers covering the additions?
Additional lanes and stop signs or lights on Valley Drive. Road repairs-potholes.
Spencer Haire ~ High Plains Sheepskin:
I think the current situation with the EHPD is going to be extremely challenging to remedy. The despicable scandal involving the former Police Chief will have a lasting impact on the department’s reputation. It also blew me away to hear that East Helena didn’t have a single employed officer. I think it is very important to have local enforcement that is involved in the community and whose views and values reflect those of us who live here.
Andrea Eckerson ~ East Helena Library:
Rapid growth without the infrastructure to support the new families, traffic, students, and such coming in to the community.
David Hill ~ Creator Prickly Pear Junction Cloud:
I fully realize how important it is to fix the broken EH Police Department. However, East Helena already has some great people working on that issue. So for me, one of the greatest challenges of living in East Helena is navigating Montana Avenue/Valley Drive. Especially on any given school-day at 8:00 a.m. and/or 3 p.m. Valley Drive was constructed at a time when a narrow, two-lane road was adequate. It no longer is. I hope East Helena City Hall will tell us what is planned to fix Montana Avenue/Valley Drive. And when.
There are a host of issues stemming from the current economy and rapid growth in the East Valley, but the biggest burden on families is the lack of affordable housing for families who want to move into the community. Landlords have raised rent astronomically and long time families can’t afford to buy. I’d like to see more affordable housing built.
Chad Duke ~ Duke’s Tree Service:
I think the greatest challenge facing East Helena in the immediate future is getting a decent police chief.
Probably the perception that East Helena is the poor stepchild of Helena. People from Helena feel this way…. too far to drive! Too old, too poor, crummy housing, etc., none of which is true!
Kit Johnson ~ J4 Automotive:
The need for a fully trained and functional Police Department.
Police force and the trust we do not currently have in the office.
Bring back Erickson!
Children need better spaces in town where they can hang out and feel safe—especially with how our community is growing.
Number of new houses being built which will lead to heavy traffic on narrow roads and full classrooms in the schools.
The police department issue.
Mayor Kelly Harris ~ From our interview on November 7, 2021:
First of all thanks for meeting me here. This is another way to reach people and I appreciate the opportunity. I think the biggest challenge facing east Helena is clearly getting our police force back on the ground. And we have no chief. We are required by Montana law to have a chief and we don’t right now, which is a big concern for me. The residents are paying taxes to have a police force.