MTPR

Flathead County

Montana Artesian Water Company.
Nicky Ouellet

Plans for a water bottling plant outside Kalispell moved one step closer to fruition Tuesday. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued a wastewater discharge permit for the Montana Artesian Water Company. It’s one of two permits the plant needs to open.

Site of the the proposed Montana Artesian Water Company bottling plant near Creston, MT.
Nicky Ouellet

For almost two years, a neighborhood outside of Kalispell has been fighting over whether one neighbor can build a water bottling plant on his private property. Now, some of them are asking Flathead County voters to weigh in, in the form of a county ballot initiative that would change their neighborhood’s zoning regulations and prevent the plant’s development.

Nicky Ouellet

Flathead County Commissioners today took a step towards legalizing and regulating short-term housing rentals outside of incorporated towns. Vacation rentals by owner, or VRBOs, are currently illegal outside of Kalispell, Columbia Falls and Whitefish, but people are doing it anyway.

Commissioner Pam Holmquist voted in favor of a resolution to change county regulations, which passed on a 2-1 vote.

“We're just trying to help the VRBO individuals and the community have a voice in this,” says Holmquist.

Flathead Lake. Flathead County Commissioners are considering a proposal to regulate short-term housing rentals outside of incorporated towns.
William Neuheisel (CC-BY-2)

Flathead County Commissioners are considering a proposal to regulate short-term housing rentals outside of incorporated towns. 

Steve Pleasants rents out part of his home near Whitefish for a few weeks each summer. The extra income helps him pay his property taxes and covers small projects to improve his house. He says that shouldn’t be against the law.

Local government officials said the state is unfairly shifting the cost of housing the state’s prisoners to their taxpayers.  They are asking lawmakers to restore the payments to the actual costs

The root of the problem, said Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry is the sheer number of state inmates.


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