Apr. 26—The Kalispell City Council will have a loaded agenda in front of it at a work session Monday evening.

The council will discuss three separate issues related to downtown development, as well as the possibility of returning to in-person public meetings.

The council does not make formal decisions during work sessions, but it will have the chance to go over proposals such as an expansion at Samaritan House.

The homeless shelter located at 1110 Second St. W. is looking into grant funding to expand its Kalispell facility.

With funding from the Montana Department of Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant, Samaritan House would develop a preliminary architectural report to plan for the addition of four multifamily residential buildings.

According to the work session agenda, this addition would give Samaritan House 14 new units, “modify a portion of the administrative space and improve operational flow of the facility.”

Samaritan House will write and submit the planning grant application requesting $50,000 to the Montana Department of Commerce for the June 1 round of funding. The grant requires Samaritan House to provide $16,700 in matching funds.

The planning project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The council will also review two bids received last week to complete the Kalispell Parkline Trail.

Sandry Construction and LHC, Inc. each submitted bids to carry out the trail project, which will consist of “furnishing materials, labor, and equipment required for removing the existing rail, constructing a multi-use path, building a new road that meets City of Kalispell road standards, installing lights, providing dry utilities (electricity), landscaping, and converting a railroad bridge for pedestrian use.”

Sandry’s base bid comes in at $5,993,677.60, while LHC bid $7,057,266.47.

The city initially set aside $5,050,000 for the project, along with $525,000 in CBDG funds.

KLJ Engineering will perform an evaluation of the proposed bids prior to the council’s May 3 meeting.

A text amendment for Kalispell’s Historic Design Standards is also on the agenda Monday.

The council has been working with the Kalispell Planning Board, the Architectural Review Committee and other downtown stakeholders to establish a set of guidelines for historic buildings in the downtown area.

Historic buildings are defined for the purposes of the text amendment as “buildings that were built at least 50 years ago and maintain a high degree of historic integrity.”

In general, the standards are intended to “establish a unique and identifiable character of downtown that will further support the economic growth of the city’s local businesses and promote the area as a tourism destination and epicenter of the community’s arts, culture, and history.”

A&E Architects was hired as the contractor for establishing the design standards.

Their suggestions are detailed in the agenda, which can be found online at https://bit.ly/32NVkUU.

The guidelines include two sets of standards, one that would apply to all properties within the Downtown Historic District and another that focuses on buildings within the Main Street Historic District.

The first set of general standards aims to encourage “pedestrian-friendly urban site design.”

The Main Street-specific standards would require ARC approval of various building exterior elements, including new buildings, additions, façade improvements, signs 20 square feet or larger, “and other work not considered ordinary repair or maintenance that could affect the façade of the building.”

The most recent discussion of the design standards took place during a public hearing on April 13, at which point the text amendment was unanimously recommended to the council for approval.

Finally, the council will consider the logistics of returning to in-person public meetings on June 7.

The work session starts at 7 p.m. via Zoom videoconference.

To register to attend the work session, go to https://bit.ly/3gCIbWF.

Public comment can also be provided via email to [email protected].

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 758-4459 or by email at [email protected].

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