Kalispell Reaches Deal with DEQ Over North Side Development

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell officials have resolved a situation with the state where the Department of Environmental Quality indicated it may stop granting approvals to further developments on the city’s north side until it was clear that the sewage needs of the new growth could be adequately accommodated.

Public Works Director Jim Hansz, Interim City Manager Myrt Webb and Assistant City Engineer Paul Burnham traveled to Helena March 6 to meet with DEQ officials and work out a deal where Kalispell would have a design in place for a new west side sewer line by the time the Grandview Lift Station – which currently handles the sewage from the north side – reaches 80 percent capacity.

When Grandview reaches 90 percent capacity, the city must have a funding plan in place, and at 95 percent capacity construction must be underway on the new sewer line. If Grandview reaches full capacity before the west side sewer line is operational, Kalispell must curtail connections to the city system until it can handle the needs.

In return, DEQ granted Kalispell a “deviation,” where it will continue to sign off on the new development.

“They simply needed for us to come over there and demonstrate that we have a plan,” Hansz said of the meeting. “We needed to sit down eyeball to eyeball with them and explain that we’re not some bush league outfit whose promises we can’t keep.”

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