MTPR

Flathead County

Lower Twin Creek Fire, west of Kalispell.
Montana DNRC

Multiple wildfires discovered yesterday continue burning across Flathead County. High winds took down power lines and caused smoldering debris piles to escape their perimeters. Four of the fires authorities are responding to range in size from 200 to 300 acres.

Montana's Flathead Valley from above.
Nicky Ouellet

Flathead County Commissioners voted unanimously today not to relocate the county’s overcrowded jail to property owned by the Weyerhaeuser Company in Columbia Falls. 

Montana Artesian Water Company obtains DEQ permit for a facility that would produce 1.2 billion bottles of water each year.
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.

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