Letter to the Editor:
Lockwood issues have been addressed and acted upon for decades by many dedicated Lockwood residents who have served with pride in community accomplishments through Yellowstone County/Lockwood Districts. The irrigation, school, water/sewer and fire districts of Lockwood all govern existing community infrastructure. The transportation district developed the Johnson Lane, Interstate 90 access. These districts exemplify the most direct form of community government — conducting monthly open, public meetings, providing Lockwood residents the opportunity to become directly involved in community affairs.
There is hope that existing state statue can be used to address the current safety issues of lighting, sidewalks and trails through the creation of a communitywide Rural Special Improvement District. This issue has the support of the Yellowstone County Commissioners, who have been cooperative with recent cost-sharing projects involving street re-surfacing with the sewer project and irrigation canal bridge replacements. Cooperation from the City of Billings enabled the Lockwood Sewer Project to move forward by providing an agreement for treatment of the Lockwood collection system. City agreements are also in place with the Lockwood Fire District. The city landfill is used by several communities, including Lockwood — utilizing a single service for area-wide use, referred to as “regionalization” a cost-effective method of avoiding duplication of services.
To incorporate, it has been estimated that basic services would cost an additional 25 percent to existing property taxes, which are already higher in Lockwood when compared to similar properties within the City of Billings.
Future residential and commercial growth will continue in the Lockwood community because of the infrastructure created with the help of federal, state and county governments, governed by Lockwood citizens.