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Public input sought on downtown Kalispell redevelopment

KALISPELL – Kalispell city planners are continuing to look at revitalizing the downtown area and will host a public hearing for input on how they will finance the plan.

City officials are looking at wide range of options and want to hear what the public would like to see downtown.  Kalispell Senior City Planner Jarod Nygren says there are several options on the table.

“Parking improvements, facade improvements of historic buildings, private property upgrades to help fully utilize buildings — and infrastructure improvements like water mains and WiFi fiber optic for businesses within the core downtown area,” Nygren said.

Part of the Downtown Kalispell Urban Renewal plan looks to create a Tax Incremental Finance District (TIF) to help with financing the changes downtown.

Nygren explained that a TIF works by freezing the tax base for a number of years on properties any increase in value in taxes goes to redevelopment projects within a boundary.

“One major concern for property owners within an urban renewal boundary is that their property taxes would go up but it does not do that,” said Nygren. “Their property taxes would not increase with this plan. But it would give the city a potential funding option within the future to do projects and improvement within the downtown to increase values in that area.”

Nygren says property owners within the boundary have been notified and the planning board will offer a voting recommendation to the Kalispell City Council for their consideration to create a plan to assist with finances based on the response they receive from the public.

-Nicole Miller reporting for MTN News

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