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Missoula Valley Water Quality District
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Missoula Valley Water Quality District

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Milltown Area Redevelopment


Milltown Superfund Site Redevelopment Working Group

Convened by the Missoula County Commissioners in 2003, the Milltown Superfund Site Redevelopment Working Group comprises some 20 citizens representing a variety of community and stakeholder interests. The Working Group has counted on excellent technical support from Missoula County, the EPA, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Dept., and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. It began work on developing and implementing a conceptual plan for the redevelopment of the Milltown/Bonner area after the cleanup of the Milltown Reservoir Superfund site. A Conceptual Plan was completed in 2005, and a more detailed Park Design Plan was completed in 2008. 

Funding for initial park development has been obtained through a $2.6 million grant from the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program, and an additional $730,000 appropriation from the 2009 Federal Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill.  Additional funds and land donations have secured ownership of approximately 640 acres of land owned by NorthWestern Corporation, Plum Creek Timber Company, the Nature Conservancy, BN Santa Fe and the Northwest Carpenter’s Union.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has initiated plans to take ownership of lands, hire staff to manage a State Park at the restored confluence and complete designs of recreational access facilities including pedestrian trails, picnic pavilions, parking and toilet facilities and the design of a new pedestrian bridge crossing the Clark Fork River below the former Milltown Dam site.  Hiring of Park management staff and final designs for the park facilities will be initiated in 2010, and construction may begin in 2011.

The Redevelopment Group continues its work to raise funds for the Park development and long term operation and maintenance.  It also co-sponsors events such as the native plant restoration plantings and weed pulls, and the annual Superfun(d) run in Bonner.  The group also is working to develop plans for historic interpretation of the confluence area, including the history of the Milltown and Bonner Dams and their removal, and the restoration of the two rivers.

The Milltown Redevelopment Group meets every other month except during the summer months, at the Lutheran Church in Bonner at 6:30 p.m., usually on the fourth Tuesday of September, November, January, March and May.  Visitors and those interested in helping out are welcome to attend.

The Working Group developed a vision statement, a set of guiding principles and objectives, which were revised in 2007. The Working Group operates under the following vision and guiding principles:


We envision the Milltown/Bonner area as a healthy, participatory, growing community of individuals and families of diverse age, background, and income, who want to make their home here. We are focused on quality education, maintenance of local heritage, conservation of the natural setting, opportunities for recreation and sense of community. Formal and informal community gathering places encourage ongoing research and education, and maintenance of local history and culture.

Guiding Principles

1.      We believe that Milltown Superfund Site remediation and restoration must be state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, and provide a permanent base upon which redevelopment and the community vision can be built.

2.      We believe that redevelopment efforts should:

3.      We recognize that whatever happens here will have long term benefits as well as implications for local citizens, the broader community, and the State of Montana.


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