Posted: Jul 5, 2012 11:35 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Jul 5, 2012 11:42 AM
DARBY- The cleanup probably won't start now until next year. But Darby leaders are looking at what the future use of an old mill site on the north side of town could be, and how it could help the economy.
The old Champion mill site has been vacant for years, but in recent months International Paper, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality have been discussing how the hazardous waste on the site should be cleaned up.
The latest word is that DEQ could perform an environmental assessment of toxins left over from the former pole manufacturing site before the end of the year. And if International Paper can obtain clear title to the 40-acres the actual cleanup might finally start in 2013.
That has Darby leaders thinking about what could happen next and Darby Mayor Rick Scheele says he favors light industrial use to help the economy.
"The ultimate goal would be to work with IP and have them give us that property, work with us on transferring that property to Darby, whether it be through a lease of whatever. And put in some warehouses out there that would attract some businesses, maybe put in an events center which is something we talked about a few years back," Scheele explained.
He added whatever the town might use the mill site for in the future, it happens to be something that doesn't cost a lot of money for on-going operations.