Ski club gets conditional OK for new building

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The Kootenai Cross County Ski Club was granted permission Monday to put a building on land it leases from the City of Libby, contingent on the signing of a new lease agreement the City Council tabled that night so changes could be made.

The building, which club officer Ben Scott said would cost the club $56,000 to build, would belong to the city, he said. It would be used to provide shelter and to store equipment the club uses to maintain its roughly 28-acre cross country ski and biathlon course along Flower Creek Road about three miles south of Libby.

“It’s just a big step in the right direction for our club,” Scott said after being granted the conditional permission.

Under the terms of the 20-year lease agreement, the club will pay the city $1 a year for use of the land. A vote on the lease agreement was on the City Council’s agenda Monday night, but the item was tabled so that clauses could be added to acknowledge the club’s ability to collect fees — to offset the $1 million liability insurance policy the lease requires, Scott said — and to ensure public access to the land. The document also required some formatting and spelling corrections to be made.

Following the tabling of the lease agreement, the City Council voted 6-0 to allow the building to be built upon signing of the lease agreement, which is expected to be on the City Council’s July 2 agenda.

Council member Brian Zimmerman thanked Scott for the work the club has put into the facility over the years.

“It’s going to be great for the community,” Zimmerman said.

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