Kalispell Council Begins Work on 2019 Budget

$11.7 million budget will be voted on later this summer

By Justin Franz
Pedestrians walk past Kalispell City Hall. Beacon File Photo

The Kalispell City Council will vote later this summer on an $11.7 million budget to fund city services and departments during fiscal year 2019.

City Manager Doug Russell said the budget is about $100,000 higher than the previous one and that it was important for city officials to “hold the line” and not increase spending.

The budget was presented to the city council for review earlier this month and a preliminary version will be voted on in late June. The final budget will be voted on in August, after the state issues property evaluations for the city. Russell said officials do not expect any major changes in the city’s valuation.

A number of high-profile projects are included in the 2019 budget. One of the biggest will be the completion of the West Side Interceptor Project, a multi-million-dollar sewage main connecting the north end of the city with the wastewater plant. The new budget also recommends funding for improvements to the wastewater plant in the coming years.

The parks department is also looking at making some improvements during the 2019 fiscal year, including upgrading the pavilion at Lawrence Park; resurfacing local playgrounds; thinning overgrown and clearing pathways of vegetation; improving the playground at Woodland Park; and additional trail work along U.S. Highway 93.

The city is looking to hire a number of new employees across multiple departments as the demand for services increase. Departments that could be expanding include the wastewater department, streets department, and information services.

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