The March 5 explosion in downtown Bozeman, Mont., that killed a 36-year-old woman and destroyed several buildings has cost the city more than $276,000, the city’s finance director said.
Anna Rosenberry said the city would submit a claim in the next few weeks seeking reimbursement from NorthWestern Energy “so that Bozeman’s general taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for this incident.”
NorthWestern spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch said the claim would be forwarded to an insurance company for a decision.
Rosenberry noted that it was likely other government agencies that helped the city respond would submit their own claims related to the blast, which killed Tara Reistad Bowman, crumbled four buildings and caused significant damage to several nearby businesses.
Rosenberry said the bill for the explosion includes $183,000 in salary and overtime costs for city firefighters, policemen and other employees, as well as $70,000 for the use of more than 200 pieces of equipment such as fire engines, street sweepers and generators. The city also wants $23,000 for operations costs, which include paying for 4.7 million gallons of water used to put out the fire, investigation expenses, food for crews and materials used to board up broken windows at neighboring businesses.
Rosenberry said the city would continue to accumulate costs associated with the explosion because the site still needs to be cleaned up and the sidewalk and traffic lane next to it need to be reopened. She added that the tally did not include costs for use of city facilities or for the cost of disseminating information to the public by phone, Internet and cable TV.
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