Safeway Expansion Approved

By Beacon Staff

Vocal booing turned to boisterous clapping at Whitefish’s city council meeting Monday night when the council unanimously approved a $12-million Safeway expansion proposal.

The unanimous vote comes two weeks after the city council sparked controversy with a 3-3 tie vote on the Safeway expansion. Mayor Andy Feury was not present to provide the tie-breaking vote.

“I believe the process worked how it was supposed to,” said Chad Grover, chairman of Whitefish’s architectural review committee. “Now we can look at the next phase.”

The council decided to move the Safeway proposal to the front of the meeting’s agenda, rather than its original time slot, because so many people showed up specifically for the Safeway issue. The council chambers was standing room only when the meeting began, but after the Safeway vote it cleared out until only about a dozen people were left.

At one point in the Safeway discussion, Deputy Mayor Cris Coughlin said she was concerned about long-term traffic impacts and the crowd booed. A person seated in the back of the room loudly sighed, “Here we go, micromanaging again.”

Only moments later, though, the council gave its unanimous approval vote.