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Parking garage to be built in Uptown Butte

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Sep 25 2013 05:51:47 PM MDT
Updated On: Sep 25 2013 06:59:05 PM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

Butte-Silver Bow is planning to build a parking garage in Uptown Butte.

There are three sites currently under consideration. The first is on the corner of Park and Main, where the US Bank is now. The second is at Mural Park on Park street, and the third is on Broadway, off of Wyoming, where the current Northwestern Energy building stands.

The parking lot on the corner on Park and Main is the proposed site for the new Northwestern Energy building. Right now, Butte-Silver Bow is looking at three possible locations for a parking garage for those employees, and for people coming to enjoy Uptown Butte.

"Parking is always one of the top issues when we hear what are some of the obstacles to redeveloping the Uptown," said Chief Executive Matt Vincent.

He explained each different site presents its own unique challenges.

"It's not quite as simple as location, location, location," Vincent explained.

Take for instance, the proposed location at Park and Main. Vincent said it's an ideal location, but because there is an existing business, it adds complications.

Mural Park presents a different challenge -- it's currently a large parking lot and bus station, but it's also central to many of Butte's festivals.

"Ultimately, it will come down to what the cost per space is that we can provide at those difference locations," Vincent said.

The third site is on Broadway, off of Wyoming, the current Northwestern Energy building. Vincent said it could be expensive to build there, because it would require a total demolition of the current structure.

Vincent said Butte-Silver Bow is still in the planning stages, and wants to get the citizens' feedback.

"At this point, we are wanting to get feedback from business owners and citizens about what they think of the those options that are on the table," he said.

We asked Vincent how much they think a project like this might cost and how it would be paid for.

The estimated price tag -- $6 million, funded by bonds through the Urban Revitalization Agency, the group spear heading the project.

Operation and maintenance fees will be covered by the cost to park in the garage.

"The sooner we can decide on a location, the sooner we can get into the more comprehensive designing of the structure," Vincent said.

It's important to note that this project is far from final, and the city says they are planning more meetings to get feedback from residents and businesses.