ANACONDA — It’s been a long time in the making, but Anaconda has reached a deal with the Atlantic-Richfield Co. to clean a century’s worth of smelter contamination from the city.
“It’s huge, it’s been a lot of work. It’s 40 years coming. I wish this would have been approached 30 years ago,” said Anaconda Chief Executive Bill Everett.
The deal will include more than $100 million in cleanup of arsenic and lead contamination from yards and attics in the city over the next five years.
“Our goal is to remove ourselves as a Superfund site. We want to clean it so we’re on an equal level as other communities, so we can develop and go forward,” said Everett.
The agreement also provides Anaconda with about $29 million over the next 25 years.
“Our hope is, if the money’s used correctly, we’ll be able to revitalize this economy and create the community that we all envision,” said Everett.
Meanwhile, in the shadow of the old Anaconda stack, is where the city’s going to decide to invest up to $10 million in revitalization money to build a Best Western Hotel.
“We want to be more of a tourist type attraction. We got a lot of great things to offer, but we don’t have the hotel facilities to accommodate that,” said Everett.