Years in the making, wastewater project at Buena Vista set to begin this spring

It was back in 2015 when residents of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park took Missoula County commissioners on a tour of their property and noted its need for a modern wastewater system.

Come this summer, they’ll get their wish.

Commissioners on Thursday approved a budget amendment to add $47,000 from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to help fund the mobile home park’s wastewater improvement project.

“We’re at a point where we’re ready to go to bid,” said Sindie Kennedy with the county’s grants program. “Things are going to start moving along once it’s warm enough to do construction.”

Years in the making, the project stood beyond the reach of the park’s residents, primarily due to its $469,000 price tag. But with funding from a variety of sources now in place, the work is expected to take place this calendar year.

Located west of Missoula International Airport, the property represents a collection of mobile homes that sit above a system of sewage lagoons. The environmental impacts of the unlined lagoons – and questions over public safety – placed Buena Vista high on the priority list for a new treatment system.

Todd Kuxhaus, the project engineer with Territorial Landworks, has said the work will include a new lift station that will pump effluent to the city’s collection system. Once the flows are diverted, any sludge remaining in the lagoons will be removed and disposed of at the landfill.

“The engineers have been working on the design plans for the past six months or so,” said Kennedy. “The bulk of the funding will go toward construction costs.”