Increase in utility rates proposed

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†The city of Whitefish wants to raise rates for water, sewer and garbage services and will hold a public hearing tonight before making a decision.

Proposed is a 5.7 percent rate increase for water and sewer that will amount to roughly $4.25 monthly for a typical family. A 3 percent garbage collection increase will cost about 25 cents per month for a typical household. If approved, the rate increases retroactively take effect Oct. 1.

A second public hearing deals with an application from Whitefish Credit Union, on behalf of Lookout Ridge Investors, for a two-year extension of the Lookout Ridge preliminary plat.

A third public hearing will consider a resolution of intent to adopt the updated downtown master plan as an amendment of the Whitefish growth policy.

The council will vote on a resolution to authorize the process for establishing a steering committee to develop an amended master plan for Mountain Trail Park. Since the master plan was last revised in 2003 to accommodate the conversion of the outdoor ice rink to the indoor Stumptown Ice Den, many changes have occurred at the site, according to Parks and Recreation Director Karl Cozadís staff report.

Programs for children and adults have expanded for hockey, figure skating and curling, creating a potential need for expansion, Cozad said.

Another big change is the Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundationís plan to use the historic Saddle Club building for a ski museum and hall of fame.

Public Works Director John Wilson is seeking authorization to proceed with bidding an estimated $2.4 million street reconstruction project for East Second Street. The rebuild includes construction of a bike path and would run from early March 2014 through the end of next September.

At a work session that runs from 5 to 7 p.m. at Whitefish City Hall, the council will talk with Glacier Twins representatives about lease revenue from a cell tower at Memorial Field.

A second topic for discussion at the work session is a business improvement district or other assessment district for parking structure operations and maintenance costs.

The regular meeting begins at 7:10 p.m., also at City Hall.

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