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Kalispell looks at proposals to help low-income residents

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | November 1, 2021 12:00 AM

Two items on the Kalispell City Council agenda for Monday aim to help the most vulnerable members of the local community.

One is a request for an expansion at Samaritan House, a homeless shelter on Second Street West.

Samaritan House is requesting a zone change, from P-1 (Public) to B-3 (Core Area Business) for a 2.42-acre property at 1110 Second S. W. The nonprofit has also requested a conditional-use permit to add new affordable housing units at the site.

The proposal before the council would pave the way for Samaritan House to build single-family and veteran-specific housing units near the current homeless shelter. Approval would make it possible for the nonprofit to relocate some of its administrative offices and build a new kitchen. These changes could also give Samaritan House the opportunity to free up more space for additional beds in the homeless shelter, which is located on the northeast end of the Samaritan House complex.

The proposal received the Planning Board’s endorsement earlier this month during a meeting, when Samaritan House Executive Director Chris Krager went over the plans and the shelter’s policies with the board and members of the public.

IN ADDITION to the Samaritan House proposal, the council also will vote on an agreement to provide water and wastewater assistance to low-income households.

If the city approves the agreement, certain eligible low-income households could receive assistance from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to “reduce arrearages, prevent shutoffs, and reduce monthly rates,” according to the meeting agenda.

Finally, the city will also consider a zone change and conditional-use permit request for Meridian Apartments Phase II.

Meridian Investments, LLC, is seeking a conditional-use permit and zone change from R-4 (Residential) to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) on a 1-acre property located to the east of 41 Meridian Court.

The meeting is open to the public and starts at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 201 First Ave. E.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.