BUTTE, Mont. -- Business and jobs could be on the rise in Butte, thanks to the addition of a multi-million dollar rail system.

The $8 million project has been four years in the making before finally seeing completion last month.

The additions made to the rail system will allow sites in the Montana Connections Business Development Park to bring in and send out good directly via freight.

This ease-of-access is the industrial park's calling card for bringing in new business, such as Montana Craft Malt and Ergon Asphalt.

"What we've really seen, especially in the last several years, has been a significant interest in companies looking to site at our connections park," said Joe Willauer, the executive director for the Butte Local Development Corporation. "And when you have that direct access to rail, you're able to site bigger companies, create more jobs, and, more than anything, leverage more investment and more tax base into our community."

The uptick in business thanks to the completion of the rail system also means more quality manufacturing jobs will become readily available.

"The sky's the limit," said Kathy Fasso, the general manager for the Port of Montana. "This was what the whole planning was about--to be able to create jobs within the park. And a lot of that's with industries that need the rail service. So, with new companies come additional jobs."

While the completion of the rail system is sure to bring more attention to the industrial park, it's already been a pretty big place of interest.

Daniel Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to the United States, dropped by for a visit in September, and a golden spike ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new rail system was held in early November.


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