Airport lease may be best course

Print Article

The city of Kalispell has been between the proverbial rock and a hard spot for decades with its municipal airport. The airport is expensive to operate, and commercial and residential development has grown around it. It’s been a political hot potato for city leaders. Some would like to see the facility upgraded, but many Kalispell residents would simply like to see it gone.

The City Council seems to have found a way out of its predicament by turning over control to an independent group of users. An initial 20-year lease hands over the administrative power, financial liability and some $166,000 in the city’s airport enterprise fund.

The council will have the discretion to extend the lease for two 10-year periods, leaving the operational decisions and money matters out of the city’s hands until 2057. In turn, the user group — those who have a vested interest in maintaining the airport — is expected to make a number of improvements over the next two decades to keep the airport operating efficiently and safely. There will be a measure of trust to put in this independent group of users, to be sure, but this “pay to play” lease decision seems like a best-case scenario for the city.

Health care takes a hit

Health care is controversial in many ways, but it shouldn’t be a political football.

As a society we have opted to spend money on protecting the least fortunate among us. Providing health care is a key component of that.

Yet time after time, politicians and bureaucrats end up cutting or withholding health-care benefits to make a political point.

The recent special session of the Montana Legislature seems to have done just that with a series of budget cuts.

The Flathead City-County Health Department is concerned that at-risk children and families will be the victims, thanks to a 13 percent reduction in Targeted Case Management for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs funding. The program provides home visits for low-income and high-risk children and families to improve their access to health care and parenting services.

This may not be the final hit for heath services either. Federal budget changes could remove other essential parts of the safety net as well.

Balancing the budget is an important part of any legislator’s job, but we encourage those in power to also balance carefully the need for fiscal restraint against the needs of the truly needy.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

C-Falls resort tax worthy of consideration

December 16, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Last month we reported that Columbia Falls is considering a resort tax as a way to pay for expanded emergency services and reduce property taxes in the city. It would be prudent for city residents to...

Comments

Read More

Evergreen couple exemplifies spirit of giving

December 13, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Last year the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce established the Brent Hall award to honor community members who exemplify “a spirit of giving, community and business leadership, volunteerism and advocacy...

Comments

Read More

Effort to secure bypass funding deserves praise

December 09, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Among the top stories of the week was the good news that Kalispell is getting a $12.75 million federal grant to convert roughly 2 miles of the southern half of the U.S. 93 bypass into a four-lane hig...

Comments

Read More

Finding balance in tourism and quality of life

December 02, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Flathead Valley locals tend to love this time of year — after Labor Day and before ski season — when the sidewalks are a little less crowded and it’s easier to get a table at popular restaurants. Thi...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2018 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X