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City council issues letter of support for Hotel Libby project

Daily Inter Lake | February 11, 2022 7:00 AM

City councilors backed an effort Jan. 18 to secure grant dollars for the historic Hotel Libby.

In a unanimous vote, city councilors signed off on a letter endorsing The Friends of Historic Hotel Libby’s future grant requests. The letter comes as the nonprofit kicks off a campaign to fund an estimated $200,000 roofing project for the California Avenue landmark.

At an earlier meeting, Gail Burger of Hotel Libby said her organization planned to go after a state historic preservation grant while simultaneously eyeing several others. At the time, city councilors expressed reservations about the wording of the proposed letter, but generally supported the project and the hotel’s fundraising efforts.

“The letter conveys the intent that the hotel is a very important piece of Libby’s heritage and it would really be fantastic to see it restored,” said City Councilor Kristin Smith on Jan. 3. “As long as I’ve been in this community there has been talk about restoring it.”

Smith was absent from the Jan. 18 meeting, but her remaining colleagues backed the endorsement with little further discussion.

“I just wanted to say: Thank you, council members, and you, madam mayor,” Burger said following the 4-0 vote.

Opening in 1910, the hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The letter issued by City Hall emphasized the community’s attachment to the structure.

“As representatives of our community and its residents we would like to see the restoration project completed so the structure remains a cultural reminder of Libby’s past as well as adding needed accommodations to our community and contributing to the revitalization of one of its primary travel corridors,” the letter reads.