Concerned students at Whitefish Middle School are signing a petition this week. And it’s not a call for less homework or better food. It’s a plea to stop a tobacco store from opening business in a building kitty corner to their school.
The building that once housed Mrs. Spoonover’s ice cream shop, where Whitefish children could buy ice cream on credit and have a safe place to hang out before music class, is under renovation to become a business called The Cigarette Depot. Apparently, the kids of Whitefish aren’t happy about it.
Building permits must have been obtained as construction has already commenced. According to the City of Whitefish, Better Bean Inc. dba The Cigarette Depot has applied for a business license, but a decision regarding the application has not been made yet. They’ve received several calls expressing concern about the tobacco store going into the building.
The City of Whitefish advises concerned citizens to either attend the next Council Meeting at City Hall on April 4th at 7:10pm to discuss the issue during the public comment period or write a letter. Letters will be put on the agenda only if they are received the Tuesday prior to the meeting which is Tuesday, March 29th. Letters should be mailed to P.O. Box 158, Whitefish MT 59937 or dropped by the office.
The building owned by Connie Silverman, a realtor with Big Mountain Real Estate, has seen its share of controversy in the past. The ice cream, donut and tea cup mural on the side of the building was the subject of a long and costly battle between Judy and Joel Scallen, owners of Mrs. Spoonover’s and the City of Whitefish. Just after winning the battle and posting a “We won!” sign in the window, the Scallen’s were forced to close their doors.
Considering the proposed use for the building now, it would seem that an ice cream mural isn’t such a big deal after all.