Buena Vista wastewater project set to begin; county looks to second phase

Environmental cleanup and the construction of a wastewater collection system in a west Missoula mobile home park will begin next month after years of planning.

With the wheels now in motion, Missoula County is looking to an engineering report that will launch the project’s second phase – connecting each home in the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park to city services.

“The first thing is to get lift station installed and connect that to the city,” said Sindie Kennedy with the county’s grants program. “The city will not take on the individual collection until sewer is in for each individual lot.”

Located west of Missoula International Airport, Buena Vista 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 – have for years kept Buena Vista high on the priority list for a new treatment system.

But the system stood beyond the reach of the neighborhood’s residents, primarily due to its cost. Phase 1 of the project, set to begin in July, carries a $470,000 price tag and includes the construction of a lift station and connection to city services.

It will also mitigate the lagoon system, remove the waste and fill in the defunct ponds.

“The second phase will probably exceed that (cost),” Kennedy said. “We’ll have some grant writing to do.”

The county is directing additional grants to the $20,000 preliminary engineering report by Great West Engineering ahead of Phase 2. That will connect each mobile home to the new system, officially placing the residents on city services.

“We have to raise the money for that, and the preliminary report is the first thing we do,” said Kennedy. “We did get some word of funding from the Water Resource Development Act for $125,000 and we’re putting that toward Phase 2.

“But phase 2 is probably going to cost more than Phase 1,” she said.