Council to Vote on Budget Tonight, Address City Airport Expansion Concerns

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell City Council meets tonight for a special meeting to vote on the budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Facing a revenue shortfall, city staff has crafted a general fund budget that minimizes job cuts and does not eat into the city’s cash reserves, but does reduce services. For more on the budget up for vote tonight, read about last week’s work session here.

The council will also vote to change the health tax levy voted on Sept. 15 from 5.59 to 5.61 mills for the current fiscal year.

After the formal meeting ends, council will meet for a work session to discuss several issues, including public concerns that the Kalispell City Airport’s expansion will result in high traffic by jets, leading to noise, leaking jet fuel and other hazards for residents of downtown Kalispell. Airport manager Fred Leistiko will address these concerns. No formal votes are allowed at a work session.

Also up for discussion tonight, council will discuss the best way to notify the public about the proposed parks maintenance district fee, which will be on voters’ ballots in November. The fee would essentially provide a separate means of funding the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, which is suffering some of the most drastic cutbacks as a result of Kalispell’s budget crunch. Council will also discuss requests from Flathead County for Kalispell to accept several roadways under city jurisdiction, and sewer service to the Conrad Complex.