With several potential sites pending environmental review, Missoula County commissioners on Thursday inked a contract with NewFields Cos. to perform services related to a Brownfields grant from the EPA.
Sindie Kennedy, a grants administrator with the county, said the contract amounts to roughly $283,000 over three years. Several large property transactions and redevelopment proposals could qualify for review.
“We have a few sites that are potentials,” said Kennedy. “There’s a potential buyer of Marshall Mountain that’s interested. What happens with these large property transactions is that banks won’t loan money until these assessments are done.”
Under the contract, NewFields will serve as the qualified environmental professional. Among other things, it will provide Phase 1 and 2 assessments of Brownfields sites, community outreach and redevelopment planning.
The county received the EPA grant last October and must put the funding into play, Kennedy said.
“A lot of the work, like Phase 1 assessment and community outreach, can be done without violating the shelter-in-place directive from the governor,” Kennedy said. “The other work would obviously need to be done in the field, and that could possibly be done as well without violating the directive.”
While no single site has risen to the top for assessment, Kennedy said a number of locations could be targeted under the program. That includes Marshall Mountain, which could change owners if a proposed purchase goes through.
Harris Thermal is also on the market and could be eyed for assessment. Other potential properties include property adjacent to Milltown State Park and KettleHouse in Bonner, according to Kennedy.
“We could potentially be doing some assessments in East Missoula around some redevelopment,” Kennedy said. “We can use this for redevelopment, so there’s a lot of potential in it. We’ve got lots of sites that are prospective and could materialize really soon.”