MCDARP, EPA, DEQ, GNDC Dinner & Public Meeting...
Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
The Miles City Depot Acquisition & Restoration Project (MCDARP) Team, the Miles City Historic Commission and Custer County Historical Society will sponsor two open meetings for the City Council, the County Commissioners and members of the community on Wednesday, June 20th.

First, at 5:30 pm, you are invited to attend a No-Host Dinner at the Iron Horse Restaurant and meet MCDARP's partners in managing environmental issues during restoration of the building. We will hold an informal discussion and answer your questions in order to address concerns regarding potential environmental hazards and liability for clean-up, and explain how the MCDARP team will utilize opportunities provided under the EPA's Brownfields Program during the restoration of the building.

Following the dinner, at 7:00 pm, a meeting will be held at City Hall for City Council Members, County Commissioners and the public. Public comment and questions will be welcome at both events.

Jason Seylor, Brownfields Coordinator from Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MT DEQ); Ted Lanzano from the Region 8 office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Denver; and Shelli Isle of the Great Northern Development Council (GNDC) will be on hand to answer your questions and explain the Brownfields Program and funding opportunities which will be used for clean-up of the depot.

GNDC is currently administering two EPA Brownfields Programs in conjunction with the Eastern Montana Brownfields Coalition for which properties in Custer County may qualify:

 $1.5 Million Hazardous Substance & Petroleum Clean Up Revolving Loan Fund
 $750,000 Hazardous Substance & Petroleum Assessment Grant

According to the EPA, "Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. EPA's Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely cleanup, and sustainably reuse brownfields." Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, and encourages economic development in previously blighted areas and helps revitalize communities.

Although the MCDARP team have been partnering with the three organizations on the Depot Project, this meeting also provides an opportunity for local residents and government representatives to gain a greater understanding of environmental liability and how the Brownfields Program might benefit other properties in Custer County.
Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
If you cannot attend either event, please post your questions or concerns here, and we can address them at one of the gatherings.

Or if prefer you can email your questions or give me a call!
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 10 years ago
Sounds as if the project is chugging away! Hurrah!
Posted by Olive (+1812) 10 years ago
Bump to the top
Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
Thanks for bumping us Olive...

We hope that as many people as possible turn out. The community conversation with the environmental agencies on Wednesday is quite possibly the most important event in the life span of the Depot Project.

Why? Because concerns over financial liability and a wish to protect the city/county/community must weigh significantly in a decision to accept the donation of the building and lease the land.

In the three years the MCDARP team have dedicated to this effort, fear of liability for environmental clean-up is the main concern we have heard. For this reason, it is critical that our local representatives hear from you on this AND the community understand how we will partner with the environmental agencies to protect our town.

Come on down -- hope to see you Wednesday!
Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
Please plan to attend one of the two public meetings offered tonight. Representatives of the EPA and MT DEQ will be on hand to address concerns that there might be environmental contamination of the depot property.

If you have concern that the city/county/community would be held financially liable for clean-up of hazards, representatives of the Great Northern Brownfields Coalition will also be on hand to discuss funding options.

See you there!
Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
MCDARP is happy to report that the public meetings held tonight went very well. After listening to brief presentations from Brownfields experts from the EPA and DEQ followed by a lively question and answer period, we reached a concensus with the mayor and the city council members that were present that there will be no liability for environmental issues should the city accept the donation of the historic NP depot from BNSF.

Further information was presented by Shelli Isle, manager of the Eastern Montana Brownfields Coalition regarding funding the clean-up effort (including the pigeon pooh) of the depot.

A very big thank you to Ted Lanzano of the EPA, Jason Seylor of the MT DEQ, and Shelli Isle from GNDC for traveling all the way from Denver, Helena and Wolf Point respectively, to assure the community that this project is achievable!

Great job, everyone!
Posted by Connie Muggli (+92) 10 years ago
As the "voice" of the MCDARP team, I would like to acknowledge all the local folks that contributed "behind the scenes" to make possible the public meetings held to discuss the depot project earlier this week.

First, of course are my colleagues on the MCDARP team - Kathy Doeden and Mike Coryell of the Miles City Area Economic Development Council (MCAEDC). Their counsel, ideas, and hard work inspire me and keep me on track as we work together to accomplish the goal of saving the NP Depot from the wrecking ball and exploring ways to re-purpose the building to the benefit of the community. Thanks to both of you for going the distance for the community as the MCDARP team!

Patrick and Louise and the staff of the Iron Horse Supper Club also deserve big thanks for allowing us to hold an event on such short notice! Chancy for them - nor knowing whether to expect a big turnout to attend the public meeting - or a limited turn out due to folks thinking to avoid the crowd a public meeting might draw. They stepped up as the Depot's closest neighbor and provided fast, wonderful service in a manner that did not interrupt the meeting.

Special thanks go to Sue Harden, administrative assistant for the MCAEDC for assisting in keeping the lines of communication open between MCDARP and MCAEDC; and to Linda at BOSS, Inc, for helping us make copies at the last moment.

We were very pleased that Liz Ching of Senator Baucus office and Penny Zimmerman of Senator Testor's office attended. Thank you for your ongoing support of the projet!

Most of all, thank you to the people of the community and city council that attended, asked great questions and gave their point of view.

MCDARP will keep you posted on "What is next for the Depot" as events unfold. For now, it is back to the negotiating table with BNSF to draft a lease for the land the depot sits on, and to develop a project plan that will assure a successful outcome for the community.