Progress detailed on East Helena smelter site

Phil Drake

Within the next five years, development of the former ASARCO East Helena smelter site could bring as many as 350 residential units, five or more light industrial buildings and more parks and open space.

Within 20 years, development could add 500 residential units, 100,000 square feet of commercial space – and more parks and open space.

These numbers were unveiled Tuesday during an annual public update on the East Helena smelter site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Environmental Trust Group (METG), trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust.

Nearly 60 people reportedly attended the meeting in-person and about 50 viewed via Zoom online. Among those listening in were East Helena Mayor Kelly Harris, East Helena City Commissioner Wes Feist, Democratic state Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell and Sen. Jill Cohenour, and Lewis and Clark County commissioners Andy Hunthausen and Tom Rolfe.

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