BUTTE – Butte’s Zoning Board will recommend the approval the donation of 12.3 acres of land off of Continental Drive to the Our Lady of the Rockies group that hopes to one day put an aerial tram on this land to take people to the statue on the East Ridge.
“A lot of people recognize this is a good project for Butte, I certainly agree with that. We can’t do it until we have the property until it’s set up and we can move forward,” said Our Lady of Rockies board member Tim Dick.
The board unanimously approved the land deal, which is located between Skyline Park and the Columbia Garden Estates subdivision. Some residents from the area expressed concerns, that if the tram facility is built, how it would affect people that area and more public meetings should be held.
“People should have their input, a meeting should be arranged between the groups of people involved,” said Frank Murphy who lives in the area.
“Noise is a major bone of contention with those residents who presently reside in the area,” said resident Bob Lienemann.
Tom Jonart, who lives in the Columbia Garden Estate subdivision added, “Do they have the funding to even start this? To me this seems like we’re putting the cart before the horse.”
The board’s decision is only one small step on a very long journey, but supporters of the tram say it’s about time Butte takes that journey.
“Sadly, it’s been 33 years ago when a lot of good Butte volunteers put that Lady of the Rockies up on the hill and shame on us in Butte that 33 years later we still don’t have good access to the lady and this tram will provide that,” said Ray Ueland of the Rockies group.
The board’s recommendation will have to go before the council of commissioners for approval.
Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News