Saturday, October 16, 2021

Kalispell council rejects bids for new police building

Daily Inter Lake | September 25, 2021 12:00 AM

The Kalispell City Council on Monday unanimously agreed to reject three bids to build a new search facility for the Kalispell Police Department.

All three bids for the new building far exceeded the city’s budget.

The city originally budgeted $278,000 for the project in May 2020. The budget was revised to $349,352 because of “changed market conditions,” according to the meeting agenda.

But even with that adjustment the bids for the project came in well above the budget. Camas Creek bid $567,200; Tradewerks bid $579,914; and BMY bid $933,000. The bids were received on Sept. 9.

The project would have enabled the Kalispell Police Department to build a new 40 x 40-foot climate-controlled garage with a mezzanine for evidence storage and a shed roof storage area for bicycles. The facility would have been located on city property.

Instead, the city currently rents a storage space. Monthly rent to continue using that space is $600 per month.

Kalispell Police Chief Doug Overman said the current storage facility “has an ongoing cost and has some limitations.”

Staff had advised the city should “monitor for a more competitive building market” in the event that none of the bids was approved.

During the meeting, the council also held a public hearing on a budget amendment.

The Community Development Projects special revenue fund ended up with a $44,074 shortage because of an “unanticipated closing cost related to the sale of property at the Old School Station industrial/technological park,” according to the meeting agenda.

There were no public comments during the hearing.

IN OTHER business, City-County Health Officer Joe Russell gave an update to the council about the state of the Covid-19 virus in the city.

Russell made a point to dispel a rumor that erroneously stated local cases have reached an all-time high.

“It’s not as bad as it’s ever been,” he clarified. “November and December last year we had a lot more cases.”

He said many of the “breakthrough” cases the county is currently seeing among people who were immunized against Covid-19 are occurring among long-term care facilities and staff members there.

Russell said all of the recent cases are cases of contracting the Delta variant.

He encouraged Flathead County residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19. “The vaccines are working,” he said.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or