A five and a half week work plan was laid out at Missoula’s City Council meeting on Wednesday. Chairwoman Emily Bentley said the council is ready to dive head first into the Missoula Mercantile demolition debate. The first meeting will go over the application, draft record of decision from the Historic Preservation Commission and the appeal.

"The following week on June 22, we will have a presentation by Preserve Historic Missoula at HomeBase to hear their arguments. Then we will have a public hearing," Bentley said. "And then we will come back to committee and start establishing preparing findings of facts and make a decision on whether to approve or deny the permit."

Bentley said if the council decides to approve the permit, they will put demolition-related conditions on it if they choose.

"We're doing such a thorough job at establishing our finding of facts based on real evidence, strong evidence and not on speculation, or conjecture, or emotional outbursts," Bentley said. "I definitely see it as an important challenge of leadership and I hope that I don't let people down."

The first public hearing will be on Monday, June 27 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.

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