Wednesday, November 12, 2014 / by Jason Schaefer
Since 2008 the Stimson Mill in Bonner has been closed, and slowly recovering with activity of new business. The city of Bonner has obviously been impacted as a result. Harris Construction plans to build a fabrication plant on the 116 acres west of the Blackfoot River known as the West Log Yard. The rest of the area will be subdivided to create a small industrial park. A similar district was created in 2012 on the other side of the river at the old mill site itself.
The creation of the new district will not raise taxes. However, it changes the way government redistributes what it collects, meaning property tax dollars garnered through new construction can be used for improvements of infrastructure. Timing is the key factor at this point. The construction of the plant has taken all of 2014, so the district won't become official for 30 days. The goal is to have everything finalized by February 1, 2015, enabling a base year of 2014.
According to Harris Construction, they look to hire about a dozen employees initially, with the goal of getting to 20. They'll be collaborating with Missoula Job Service and Missoula College to find skilled workers in stainless steel and nickel alloy welding. Good news for Bonner and the old Stimson Mill site.