Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is responsible for processing noise, event street closure and block party permit applications?

    The Traffic Division does not process event, road closure (parades, races, etc.), or noise permit applications.  To obtain one or any of these items, contact the Helena Police Department processes parade/special event permit applications.  Online forms are available making it easier to apply for Noise PermitsParade or Race Permits, and block parties with or without alcohol. If you need assistance contact the event coordinator by email or call 406-447-8284.

  • Who is responsible for snow and ice on city streets?

    The Public Works Department Street Division (406-447-1566) is responsible for snow and ice control on city streets.  Major arterials and other collector streets are cleared first so that vehicular traffic can continue to move safely and efficiently through the city's street network.  The following operational priorities are adhered to:  (1) designated emergency snow routes, (2) major arterials, (3) selected collector streets and (4) most residential streets.  After priorities one through three are accomplished, special requests will be responded to if the Street Division verifies a need.  To view our snow route map, follow this link:City of Helena Snow Plow Routes Map.

    It is the duty of every property owner, lessee or occupant to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to his or her property to prevent a hazardous situation for pedestrians.  To report snow and ice accumulation on public sidewalks, call the Code Enforcement Officer at 406-447-8458.  If you are unable to clear sidewalks abutting your property because of a disability or advanced age, you may call the Community Service Supervisor at 447-8227 to request assistance.  This is free of charge for qualifying individuals.

  • Who should I call to report a dangerous pothole in the street?

    Please use the General City Concern Form or call the Public Works Department, Street Division at 406-447-1566.

  • The streetlight in front of my house is not working. Who should I call?

    Report any streetlight outages to Northwestern Energy using their on-line service form or by calling 1-888-467-2669. Call Center Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.  Reporting to the city will delay repairs as the city does not have authority to maintain streetlights.  

  • Do I need a permit to hold a parade or close a street for a block party?

    Yes, the Helena Police Department processes parade/special event permit applications.  Online forms are available making it easier to apply for Noise Permits, Parade or Race Permits, and block parties with or without alcohol. If you need assistance contact the event coordinator by email or call 406-447-8284.

     

     

  • My garbage wasn’t picked up. What should I do?

    Call the Public Works Department Solid Waste Division at 406-447-8086 to request a pick-up.

  • Where can I find a particular Helena City Code?

    City Codes may be accessed here or contact the City Clerk’s Office at 406-447-8410.

  • I have a complaint about weeds in my neighborhood. Who should I contact?

    The Weed Control Division code enforcement office has responsibility to see that Helena’s Nuisance Vegetation Ordinance (City Code 7-7-1 through 8) is complied with both on city-owned properties and on private property within the city limits of Helena.  This includes both nuisance and noxious weeds.  To report an issue use the online general concern form, by email, or call 406-447-8458.

  • There is a large, broken branch on one of my boulevard trees. Will the City take care of it?

    Helena’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Urban Forestry Division, is responsible for pruning trees located in the city’s street rights of way (boulevards) and public parks.  City crews will not enter private property to prune trees. To report an issue use the online general concern form, or email, or call 406-447-8426.

  • There’s an abandoned vehicle on my street. How do I get it removed?

    If possible, get the vehicle make, model, year, color and license plate number.  Make a note of the street address and/or the nearest cross streets where the vehicle is located and submit your concern using the online form or call the Helena Police Department at 406-442-3233.  A vehicle is considered abandoned if it has not been moved for 72 hours; the 72 hours begins once police mark the vehicle tire.  If the vehicle has not been moved after 72 hours, a parking citation/warning placard will be placed on the vehicle.  If the vehicle is not moved in five days, the vehicle will be towed.

Emergency Snow Routes

  • Which streets are designated as emergency snow routes within the city?

    The following streets are established and designated as emergency snow routes within the city:

    East-West Streets:

    • Broadway - Park Ave to Colonial Drive
    • Helena Ave - Last Chance to Railroad Ave
    • 6th Ave - Park Ave to Lamborn St
    • 11th Ave - Park Ave to Montana Ave

    North-South Streets:

    • Benton Ave - Custer Ave to Neill Ave
    • California - 11th Ave to Winne St
    • Colonial – Fee St to Broadway
    • Hannaford St – Prospect Ave to 11th Ave
    • Henderson St – Custer to LeGrande
    • Park Ave - Neill Ave to Cruse
    • Rodney - Helena Ave to Broadway
  • How many miles of streets did the prior emergency snow routes cover? How many miles of streets will the new emergency snow routes cover?

    The prior emergency snow routes covered over 50 miles. The new emergency snow routes will cover just over 10 miles.

  • Won’t reducing the number of emergency snow routes lead to snow piling up on streets that used to be emergency snow routes?

    Reducing the number and miles of emergency snow routes will ensure that plows can clear the main routes, without also having to clear non-emergency routes before returning to the main routes. Non-emergency routes will still be plowed as part of the priority plowing plan, but the major routes used by the majority of Helena residents will have first priority during a heavy snow event.

  • Why is the City towing vehicles from the new emergency snow routes?

    Especially in the heavy winter of 2017-2018, it became clear that cars parked along the roadways were making it nearly impossible for plows to clear the emergency snow routes.  This led to narrow roadways and necessitated a new, active towing policy. 

  • Where should I park my vehicle, as soon as more than 2” of snow is predicted to accumulate?

    The best location may be a nearby side street that is not a designated emergency snow route.

  • If my residence is on an emergency snow route, and I drive my vehicle to work before 8:00 am and return to my residence after 5:00 pm, will I still have to move my vehicle?

    No, as long as your vehicle is not parked on an emergency snow route between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, you will not need to move your vehicle unless:

    • You are parked on Benton Avenue between West Lyndale and Bishop Carroll Drive or East Broadway between North California Street and Saddle Drive and East Broadway between North Montana Avenue and North Sanders Street, in which case parking is prohibited between 8 pm and 5 am; or
    • Your trailer, RV, boat, or other stored items are parked within the public right-of-way between November 1 and April 15.
  • Why are trailers, RVs, boats or other stored items not permitted to be parked on public streets between November 1 and April 15, whereas regular vehicles are not subject to the prohibition?

    Plowing next to these stored items over time narrows the roadway more than other vehicles, causing a safety issue for the travelling public. The City ordinance allows the City to tow these stored items from the right-of-way between November 1 and April 15.

  • How are residents being notified of these new requirements?

    How are residents being notified of these new requirements?

    Public outreach will include a direct mailing of the changes to all residents who receive a utility bill, door hangers on residences along the revised snow routes, interviews with the local paper, TV stations, and radio programs. The changes will also be posted on the City website and social media.

  • Why not leave the requirements as they were in past years?

    In past years, major streets became nearly inaccessible due to:

    • The high number of emergency snow routes;
    • Cars parked on emergency snow routes during plowing hours;and
    • Trailers, RVs, and boats being parked on the street for long periods.
  • Is there a map of the new emergency snow routes available?

  • How will I find my car if it has been towed?

    First check in the vicinity, then check the city website at www.helenamt.gov/wheresmycar 

  • Is the city responsible for plowing all streets within the city limits?

    The Montana Department of Transportation provides snow plowing and traction control on State maintained traffic routes through Helena. These include:

    • Euclid Avenue
    • Montana Avenue
    • Prospect Avenue
    • Eleventh Avenue
    • Cedar Street
    • Custer Avenue

    To report a problem on roads maintained by the Montana Department of Transportation, click here.

    Private drives and parking lots are the responsibility of property owners. This includes private streets commonly associated with condo or townhouse associations.