Kalispell council to vote on $115 million budget


Kalispell City Council is due to vote on its final budget for the 2023 financial year on Monday.

Council will consider a final budget totaling just over $115 million. The final budget was $4.3 million more than the preliminary budget released in May.

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 201 First Avenue East.

Most of the increase comes from $3 million in U.S. bailout funds given to the city after the preliminary budget was compiled. An additional amount of approximately $1 million was added to pay increased bond for the IMG storage tank and wells project.

A cash transfer increase of $290,000 was also added to the ambulance fund for the purchase of an ambulance. Officials originally planned to cover the cost with a five-year loan.

Total general fund expenditures are approximately $14.6 million, which is an increase from the previous year at $13.7 million. The budget expenditure is higher mainly due to the increase in public security expenditure and includes the increase in the transfer for the ambulance, notes the budget note to the Council.

As proposed in the draft budget, the cash carry-forward at year-end is expected to decrease from 27% in FY22 to 19.7% in FY23. City policy calls for a final cash balance of 20%.

City Manager Doug Russell, when presenting the draft budget to council, said this year’s budget process reflects the management of inflationary growth. Russell said the reduction in reserves provides a corresponding tax relief.

The city begins its budget review in May, but does not pass the final budget until real estate appraisals arrive from the state in August.

The city’s factory value for FY23 saw a 2% increase over last year.

The budget foresees the use of 145 mills compared to fiscal year 22 at 141 mills. It is all the same 10 thousandths below what the city is authorized to take.

The FY23 total budget of $115 compares to the FY22 total budget of $104 million.


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