Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Kalispell City Council to prioritize infrastructure projects eligible for state aid

Daily Inter Lake | February 20, 2024 12:00 AM

Kalispell City Council is set Tuesday to finalize a priority list of needed infrastructure projects eligible for state dollars as well as consider a request from city staff to seek additional grant money for the U.S. 93 bypass.

The dollars for the infrastructure projects are available via the State Land Infrastructure Partnership Act. Kalispell is eligible for $313,674 and, after reviewing city employees’ list of suggested undertakings, opened it up to residents earlier this month. The Feb. 20 meeting is the final opportunity for residents to weigh in on how best to use the money.

Council will meet Tuesday — due to the Presidents Day holiday — at City Hall, 201 First Ave. E., at 7 p.m. For more information on how to attend or participate, including remotely, visit: www.kalispell.com/agendacenter. 

Following a public hearing, Council is expected to debate the merit of each suggestion and finalize a list for submission to the Department of Commerce, which is due by March 31.

Suggestions provided by city staff include a lead service line inventory and replacement project at $250,000; repairing both the street and drainage of Meridian Court at $453,306; a sewer main sliplining project at $750,000; and repair of Ninth Street East’s drainage, street and slope at $633,950.

ANOTHER POT of money is potentially in the offing if Council goes forward Tuesday with submitting a grant application for $25 million to spend on finishing the southernmost 2 miles of the Kalispell bypass.

The dollars are offered through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, also known as RAISE, discretionary grant program for 2024. 

If secured, the dollars would go toward upgrades on the bypass between Airport Road and U.S. 93. The cost to the municipality, according to city documents, would be in-kind assistance in the preparation for and administration of the grant. Any additional financial costs would be taken on by the Montana Department of Transportation, which is cooperating with the city on the effort. 

City staff are recommending Council move forward with the request. The grant application is due Feb. 28.

Council is also set to approve the purchase of two new patrol cars for the Police Department and approve a letter of support for Community Thrift’s application for a historic preservation grant. 

It also is expected to reject bids for work on the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s equalization basin. The project consists of the construction of a new tank, its supporting pipes and structures, and rehabilitation of the fermenter. While the city received two bids, the lowest was still roughly $4 million more than what was estimated by the city engineer. City staff is recommending putting the projects out to bid again at a later date.

Reporter Carl Foster can be reached at 758-4407 or cfoster@dailyinterlake.com.