Senators: Kalispell to get resources to help clean up, redevelop contaminated properties

Baucus, Tester announce major grant funding aimed at restoration of 60 city blocks

(POLSON, Mont.) – Kalispell will receive resources from a federal grant to help clean up and redevelop several contaminated properties, Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced today.

The grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allow Kalispell residents and officials to develop a strategy for restoring an area of approximately 60 city blocks in the Kalispell Core Revitalization Area.

“This is a smart investment for the families and businesses of Kalispell,” Baucus said.  “As the community continues to grow, these dollars will go a long way toward improving both the health of its residents and of its economy.”

“We know that northwest Montana is the hardest-hit part of our state with unemployment,” said Tester, who was in Kalispell this week.  “And when we talk about cleaning up these sites in the heart of Kalispell, we’re talking about opening up new job opportunities in Kalispell.  These resources are another tool for economic growth for folks and businesses in the community.”

Kalispell City Manager Jane Howington says the grant is good news for the community.

“This project will provide the planning associated with the start of a revitalization effort in the heart of Kalispell,” Howington said.  “The goal of this initiative is to aid in improving this diverse area which encompasses both residential and commercial properties and will benefit the entire community.”

The Revitalization Area includes at least 17 contaminated sites, including abandoned railroad tracks and the former Manion Equipment site which stands vacant because of petroleum contamination.

Kalispell will receive $175,000 in funding for the project from a EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning grant.  Brownfields are properties where the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances or contaminants can complicate the properties’ expansion, redevelopment, or reuse.

The grant funding can also be used to support community-based partnership efforts dealing with public health and environmental challenges.