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170-foot water tower to serve north Kalispell

by CARL FOSTER
Daily Inter Lake | November 22, 2023 12:00 AM

A new 1-million gallon, 170-foot-tall water tower and associated well sites that will serve Kalispell are under construction on a knoll along U.S. 93 just north of Rose Crossing.

The approximately $21.1 million infrastructure project was ranked as a top priority in the city’s 2018 Water Facility Plan. Public Works officials say the elevated storage tank is intended to accommodate Kalispell’s population growth and help meet increasing demands of the expanding northern and western edges of the city.

The 2018 plan assessed the risk of Kalispell’s water system running dry or reaching head loss, taking into account population growth, including increased needs for housing and bigger surges of water use during peak hours. Along with the current tank project, the plan recommends the city build additional storage towers in 2041 and 2061.

Landmark Structures is building the tower at a cost of $12.4 million, while S&L Underground is leading associated work on the tank control valve building, a Four Mile Drive well site and a North Main well facility. O’Keefe Drilling is leading the drilling and development of three wells.

The project is being funded by the city’s enterprise funds, which are built into the cost of water, as well as impact fees drawn from new development. The city also tapped into a State Revolving Fund Loan sourced from both state and federal coffers. American Rescue Plan Act funds are going toward establishing the wells that are each 400 feet deep.

According to Public Works Director Susie Turner, a landscaped corridor with a path will eventually be constructed along U.S. 93 to provide a vegetative screen of the necessary security fencing around the 2-acre parcel. 

The project is set to be completed in the summer of 2025, with building efforts taking a hiatus during the winter months.