On The Agenda: Super 1 Sign and City Manager Hiring

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. for an informal work session, at which no votes are allowed, to discuss the request by Super 1 Foods for a sign in Depot Park and to go over desired qualifications and salary offerings for a new city manager.

Super 1 Foods is considering moving into the Tidyman’s building in downtown Kalispell, but are making clear they consider having a sign on Main Street to be very important to their business. Unfortunately, that Tidyman’s property does not actually have any frontage for a sign on Main Street.

Tidyman’s previously owned a strip of land that it donated to Depot Park. Super 1 Foods wants to inquire about buying that land back and erecting a sign between the new war memorial and Market Street in Depot Park, fronting Main Street. The proposed sign would be a 15-tall “monument-style” with 50 square feet of sign area.

In order to put the sign in Depot Park, the city council will have to make clear to the city staff whether this is a viable idea, and then begin dealing with the myriad complications, including the fact that there is no precedent for putting a private sign on city park land; the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce would have to give its consent; certain zoning changes are necessary; and if the city wanted to sell the land to Super 1 Foods, it would have to hold a public auction at which Super 1 is the high bidder.

The council will also devise a hiring procedure plan for the new city manager. Human Resources Director Terry Mitton has recommended raising the salary range for the new city manager from $81,553-$114,175 to $95,000-$125,000. The city hopes to begin advertising the position opening this month and appoint ten citizens to help serve on a selection committee. That committee will reduce the candidate pool to 20 applicants or less in January, and start interviews to reduce the candidate pool to 10 in February.

The council would then select candidates to interview, make a selection and negotiate a contract in March.