On the Agenda: Whitefish Budget Discussion and FVCC Grant Request

By Beacon Staff

Two weeks after City Manager Gary Marks presented a preliminary budget overview for the fiscal year 2008-2009, the city council is ready to provide input and give suggestions in the initial steps toward developing the final budget.

The council will discuss the budget at tonight’s meeting, which will be held at Whitefish City Hall at 7:10 p.m.

Councilors will also discuss a proposal that calls for a levy election that would allow the fire department to develop 24-hour fire and rescue services. At the last council meeting, Marks provided information on the growing call load for the fire department, specifically discussing the heavy load of night calls. The levy proposal would add six additional firefighters and paramedics. There are currently eight, not including the two administrative positions held by the chief and fire marshal.

Because personnel is responding from home now, instead of from the department, Marks said an average response time to a call at night is 10 minutes, as opposed to an average of three minutes during the day. Marks said response times of six minutes or less are necessary for stroke and cardiac arrest victims.

Also to be discussed:

-Zone change on property owned by Granite Ventures, Inc., located on the west side of Wisconsin Avenue
-Zone change for property owned by Swift Creek Cabins, LLC, located on Wisconsin Avenue
-Request from the North Valley Medical Village for a sign variance that would allow deviations in height and area requirements for signage
-Request to schedule a budget meeting on June 30
-Request to schedule public hearings to adjust ambulance charges, building permit fees and plan review fees


Kalispell City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. in the new chambers at 201 First Avenue East to consider several items including:

-Flathead Valley Community College is requesting up to $250,000 through a state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to improve metalworking and machining equipment and classes.
-An amendment to the 2007-2008 budget would change the budget for the Northridge Drive Street Overlay project
-Wayne Grilley is requesting annexation and zoning of one acre along 1531 Willow Glen Drive
-Final approval of a single-lot commercial subdivision within the Spring Prairie Planned Unit Development where new U.S. Forest Service facility was built
-Local business owner Bill Goodman is requesting an amendment to the city municipal code to eliminate any distance requirement between a liquor licensee and a church, synagogue or other place of worship

In an informal work session after the meeting, at which no formal votes are allowed, council will discuss Heritage Way parking and the 2008-2009 Police budget.