Flathead commissioners split on divisive septage facility property

The Flathead County Commissioners rejected a proposal for a waste treatment facility site in Kalispell’s Lower Valley this week in a rare split vote. Commissioner Pam Holmquist supported the land purchase that would’ve paved the way to build the facility, while Commissioners Randy Brodehl and Brad Abell voted against it.

“This is a really difficult decision for all of us,” said Holmquist before casting the lone supportive vote.

The subject property was located at 305 Wiley Dike Road, near residences and marsh lands that some citizens were concerned about because of their wildlife benefits.

“While we support the concept of needing a better solution for the disposal of septic waste in our county,” said Mayre Flowers with Citizens for a Better Flathead, “we feel that this location is the wrong place.”

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Other public commenters agreed with Flowers. Jeanne Heine opposed the proximity of the proposed site to residences, and Jennifer Tipton predicted the project would hurt agriculture nearby as well.  

The property would have cost $1.5 million to purchase, but Brodehl saw it as an unnecessary bailout of the Flathead’s sewage hauling industry.

Septage haulers have told county officials they are

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