Kalispell Proposes $50.9 Million Budget

The new preliminary budget is roughly $50.9 million, roughly $5.6 million higher than the last budget

By Beacon Staff
City Hall in downtown Kalispell. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The City of Kalispell is proposing a budget increase of roughly $5.6 million for the upcoming fiscal year, citing heightened needs for sewer, water and solid waste as well as redevelopment funding.

The city’s fiscal year 2016 preliminary budget is available to view on the city website, kalispell.com. Councilors will review the budget proposal at work sessions June 8-10.

The new preliminary budget is roughly $50.9 million, roughly $5.6 million higher than the last budget.

City Manager Doug Russell said the larger budget includes an increase of $1.4 million in enterprise funds and about $3.8 million in special revenue funds. The balance is an increase of about $0.4 million in the general fund.

The increase in enterprise funds is related to a $0.8 million increase in sewer and $300,000 in both water and solid waste. The majority of the increase in both the sewer and water departments is capital outlay from impact fees, or projects necessary to accommodate growth, according to Russell.

The increase in solid waste is from the purchase of a truck for $325,000, which will replace a 2003 truck.

The increase in special revenue funds is mainly due to a $2.5 million increase in the Westside TIF fund This increase is redevelopment and loan funding to accommodate possible future projects. Other special revenue funds that increased include the ambulance fund — roughly $200,000 for the purchase of an ambulance; special street maintenance – $200,000 for pavement maintenance; and the community development miscellaneous fund  – $120,000 for the payment of Old School Station lot assessments.

The general fund increase is split between personal services and maintenance and operations, Russell said. The increase in maintenance and operations of the general fund can be mostly attributed to the necessary operating transfer to the ambulance fund increasing $0.21 million, according to Russell.

The council is expected to vote on the budget by August.