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Preliminary development plans unveiled for Frenchtown's old Smurfit site

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:28:57 PM MDT
Updated On: Mar 06 2013 08:35:49 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Frenchtown Technology and Industrial Center released  preliminary  plans for the old Smurfit mill site west of Missoula.

The entire mill acreage is a potential Superfund site.

Now, county commissioners want quicker reviews of parts of the property not contaminated by industry.

The county urges EPA and DEQ to work with the site's owner using an administrative order of consent. That's a legal alternative to Superfund listing, but still uses EPA oversight.

Technology and Industrial center's Ray Stillwell said county support should give potential tenants more confidence.

Stillwell's preliminary plan calls for 600 acres of the 3,000 acres to be developed as industrial. He sees much of the rest as parkland, overlooks, trails, agriculture and housing.

Missoula County commissioners said they want an effective assessment and cleanup of contaminated areas. But they want the process to proceed as quickly as possible so the site can turn new jobs.

"They've got water, they've got rail and roads," said Commissioner Michele Landquist, "there's no reason this can't be cleaned up and developed in a phased approach."

Stillwell said his company has four potential business opportunities on line.

Click on the video above for Stillwell's full interview with NBC Montana.