Emergency Responder Dedicated Levy
City Council is asking the citizens of Kalispell to decide on an emergency responder mill levy to further fund Police, Fire, and Ambulance services. The mail ballot will be sent to Kalispell registered voters by the Flathead County Election Department February 28, with a return deadline of March 19, 2024.
The City of Kalispell has recognized the challenges of providing the community with a level of emergency response as compared to industry benchmarks. A third-party consultant, The Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) evaluated the operational and staffing conditions within our Law Enforcement and Fire/Ambulance (EMS) Departments and identified a need for further staffing and equipment to provide the recommended level of service to the community. The City Council reviewed the reports and the city fiscal forecast, and approved bringing this ballot levy forward to allow the residents the opportunity to vote on the service levels they would like to receive.
PURPOSE OF FUNDING
The Emergency Responder Levy would fund Kalispell Law Enforcement with 11 additional employees, and the Fire/EMS (Ambulance) department with a third fire station and 27 additional employees and related capital equipment to support these operations. This would provide 1-2 additional officers on every shift, an additional fire engine staffed during all hours, and an additional ambulance staffed during all hours. This additional response capacity will help improve the levels of service provided to the community as identified in the CPSM reports.
The proposed ballot calls for the voters to authorize the City of Kalispell to levy up to sixty and nine tenths (60.9) additional mills per year (approximately $4,626,170.00 in the first year, based on FY2024 mill value). The impact of levying sixty and nine tenths (60.9) additional mills in the current year on a home valued at $100,000, would be approximately $82.22 in additional property taxes per year, equaling $6.85 per month, or $0.23 per day. Use this interactive map to view the estimated cost of the levy for your property. Funding would be dedicated to the sole purpose of funding our Emergency Response, as outlined in the ballot language.
The Flathead County Election Department will send a ballot to all Kalispell city limit registered voters on February 28, 2024. Ballots must be returned by March 19, 2024, at 8 p.m. If mailing, 66 cents postage is required, and the ballot must be RECEIVED by the Elections Department by March 19. A postmark cannot be accepted so if you mail your ballot make sure there is enough time for it to reach the election office. Ballots can also be taken to the Election Office at 290B N. Main Street in Kalispell Monday - Friday, March 4 through March 18 from 8 am to 5 pm or on Tuesday, March 19, between 7 am and 8 pm. Ballots cannot be accepted at City Hall or any other city facility.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (Version 2, Updated 2-8-24)
Educational materials have been paid for by the City of Kalispell, Contact: City Manager Doug Russell, PO Box 1997, Kalispell, MT 59903.