Build City Hall and Parking Structure at Current Location

When the cornerstone is set for this essential project, it will cement Whitefish's historic character

By Gary Stephens

After 10 years of careful planning, community input, and public review it was reassuring to read in the paper from Mayor John Muhlfeld that “the horse has left the barn.”

  • The decision to build the new City Hall and parking structure in its current location is the most logical solution. Rebuilding City Hall in its nearly 100-year location will strengthen the soul of the community. City Hall is a public structure that defines the core of the community and gives Whitefish residents a solid sense of community. No one will ever have to ask, “Where is Whitefish?” Our community is unique in this nation as we have a well-defined downtown loved by our residents and our tourists. To move City Hall outside of downtown would change the character of Whitefish to “anytown USA.”
  • Rebuilding City Hall with the much-needed parking structure will not raise the taxes on your home. The project is being paid for entirely by TIF funds generated by businesses.
  • Tax increment financing (TIF) was created to stimulate economic development. Whitefish’s Urban Renewal Plan, adopted in 1987, identified expanded parking and a new City Hall as essential infrastructure investments, needed to expand the economy.
  • City Hall will not cost $14 million. The actual construction cost of City Hall is between $6 and $7 million. The estimate for the entire project including the three-floor parking structure has been reduced to $13 to $14 million.

The building design built of brick with an arched entryway, echoes the original building. When the cornerstone is set for this essential project, it will cement Whitefish’s historic character, identity, and community strength.

Gary Stephens