Friday, June 25, 2021
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City pool will open on Friday, with no restrictions

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | June 9, 2021 6:05 AM

The city of Columbia Falls will open the pool at Pinewood Park on Friday. The city will use the same punch card system it used last year for most swimmers.

Unlike last year, there are no restrictions on occupancy due to coronavirus, city manager Susan Nicosia told the council Monday night. Last year the city had to restrict attendance because of coronavirus concerns.

The city will continue to have a lap swim and will be open on Saturdays and Sundays. Sundays were popular last summer. It will also have swim instructions. For costs, contact the city directly. In other news:

• Council approved a zone change request for 10 acres east of town along U.S. Highway 2 by Twins Peaks LLC. Twin Peaks wants the zoning changed to suburban agricultural five acres. Resident Shirley Folkwein, of the Upper Flathead Neighborhood Association spoke out in opposition, noting the groundwater is high there and, in her view unsuitable for development. She was concerned about development polluting the aquifer. But the city noted there is actually higher density housing right across the road. This zoning would allow for just two homes on the lot. There’s currently standing water on one corner of the lot already.

• The city will soon go out to bid for the 12th Avenue West project for engineering. Once engineering is secured the city can start work on a permit to dig under the BNSF Railway tracks to bring sewer and water to the Cedar Palace Medical Center.

• The city OK’d a tax break for the Cedar Palace Medical Center remodel.

The remodel cost $3.4 million, but also brought more than 70 jobs to Columbia Falls. The break is allowed under state law.

• The city continues to work with BNSF Railway and its engineering firm on creating a quiet zone through the city. The next step is to meet with the railway and the county collectively on crafting the plan and determining the cost. A quiet zone is a special zone where trains don’t blow their whistles as they go through town.