Kalispell council mulls dog-park funding

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Alternative funding options for a proposed dog park in Kalispell will be discussed tonight at the Kalispell City Council meeting.

The park under consideration would be a 3.5-acre leash-free area set aside at Begg Park for dogs and their owners.

Council members have expressed concern over using tax-increment financing to fund the park, stating the park would not generate any income to pay back the investment.

Other funding options include appropriating $50,000 from this year’s general fund, drawing from the parks budget or waiting for the 2018 fiscal year to plan for dog-park funding. The staff recommends using $50,000 of this year’s parks budget.

Paws to Play also has offered to contribute $10,000 to help with fencing and drainage costs in order to help the city create the dog park sooner. This would reduce the financial impact on the city to $40,000.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the council will award the bid for construction of a sand shed to a local contractor. The lowest bid came from Outback Construction for $190,000 — $80,000 over the civil engineer’s estimate for the project.

Reasons for the gap, according to city staff, are growth in the construction sector in the last year which has resulted in increased labor costs; an increase in prices of materials such as cement; and additions made to the design of the shed.

The staff recommends awarding the bid to Outback Construction, which would exceed the city’s allocated design and construction funds for the project by nearly $90,000.

The interlocal agreement for the 911 dispatch center will go before the council again for potential amendments. The council previously suggested several amendments to clean up the language and some procedural issues in the agreement. The council also suggested the 911 board change the time for meetings from early afternoon to evenings in order to give members enough time to consider and deliberate on important issues and allow for members of the public to attend.

A long-term funding solution for the 911 center has been a recurring issue to come before council as the four districts struggle to keep the agreement up-to-date in its mission and efforts.

For more information, visit http://www.kalispell.com/mayor_and_city_council.

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

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