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East Helena prepares for significant growth, including 300 new homes

Posted at 9:19 AM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 11:19:38-04

EAST HELENA – East Helena is preparing for some significant growth in the upcoming years.

James Schell, East Helena’s mayor, addressed both residential and business sector expansion.

The East Helena School district recently completed the new Prickly Pear Elementary School, and construction of the district’s first high school is underway.

The Montana Environmental Custodial Trust also recently emphasized East Helena land sales, which included a purchase of 254 acres of the lamp field property by Town Pump for mixed use development.

Billings-based Oakland companies purchased 100 acres for a 319 single-family future housing development.

Schell told MTN the expected growth requires finite planning and study to handle the anticipated increase in traffic.

“One aspect of not only the high school, but that Oakland Group subdivision is the improvements to Valley Drive,” he said. “We have some concerns with the growth of traffic and an increase of traffic on Valley Drive, so we are working through a preliminary engineering study and a corridor study with some engineers for analysis and improvements to Valley Drive.”

The city is also working on a restoration plan called, “Green Way Project” with the Prickly Pear Land Trust to connect city trails from East Helena to the airport, allowing open areas to the public for the first time, for fishing, walking trails and picnics.

-Reported by Christine Sullivan/MTN News