Butte's Original Mine site undergoes cleanup project


BUTTE, Mont. - Flooding won't be a concern this year at the Montana Folk Festival if all goes according to plan.

The Butte-Silver Bow Public Works Department began work Wednesday on a project aimed at keeping the feet of festival-goers dry.

The festival is held each year at the Original Mine site located on the 600-block of North Main Street in Uptown Butte.

It was the city's first copper mine and serves as a main site for community gatherings.

Matt Moore, of Butte's Metro Operations Department, says the plan is to fill in areas where the water runs down and collects with 12 inches of gravel paved over with blocks.

Moore says the new materials should absorb up to 3 inches of rain -- about three times the amount that fell in a storm last week.

Moore said there have been times when vendors were told to stop selling because it was a safety hazard.

"It can be very bothersome, and it takes away from the experience. So we're trying to make that experience as good as possible," Moore said.

Moore says the project totals $177,550. It is coming from a Superfund agreement to improve storm water conditions in Uptown Butte.

He says it will not affect local taxpayers.

Contractors are scheduled to meet Wednesday night. They aim to complete the work by the start of the festival July 7.