From three huge construction projects to a possible parking and street makeover Uptown, to a potential overhaul in the way garbage is collected, Butte-Silver Bow could be looking at some big changes in 2015.
Decisions could be reached – or draw closer – on major Superfund cleanup issues, too, and gold mine operations might finally get underway in the Highlands.
They’re not all done deals. Some still have “ifs” attached.
But all by itself, the new $25 million Montanan headquarters building for NorthWestern Energy at Park and Main should give a new charge to city’s business district. If work stays on schedule, it should be completed around this time next year.
“It will be a showcase building right in the heart of downtown and when people come here and see that they’re going to be excited,” said Jim Smitham, executive director of the Butte Local Development Corp. “I can’t help but think it will be a catalyst for additional development.”
The five-story, 110,000-square-foot building will be new digs for about 220 NorthWestern employees. Many of them work now at the century-old general office building located around the block at 40 E. Broadway St., and a study is planned for its possible uses.
Construction also is under way on $30 million in new buildings and upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant off of Centennial Avenue in Butte that, when completed in about two years, should result in a much cleaner Silver Bow Creek.
Dirt work is being done in preparation for another $30 million project – a new treatment plant near Basin Creek Reservoir south of town that should shore up Butte’s supply of drinking water for decades. The big contract for construction should go out in late winter or early spring, with work beginning soon after that.
Chief Executive Matt Vincent figures economic spinoff from the two public works projects alone over the next two years will be at least their combined $60 million cost. And the NorthWestern project will be in full swing for another year.