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Old Dominion Freight Line breaks ground on freight terminal

Heavy machinery sits in a field at the site where Old Dominion Freight Line recently broke ground on a new $8.3 million freight terminal in the Montana Connections Business Development Park. 

Old Dominion Freight Line recently broke ground on a new $8.3 million, 21,800-square-foot freight terminal on 20 acres in the Montana Connections Business Development Park.

"We're very excited about it," said Karen Byrnes, Butte-Silver Bow community development director. "It does create jobs, it does help the tax base and it is another indication of how our location and our infrastructure is good for logistics and shipping freight and all of those things."

Old Dominion currently operates an approximately 10,000-square-foot freight terminal almost directly across Rick Jones Way from the site of its new 42-dock facility but will move into the new facility when it is complete.

Kristen Rosa, administrator of the county's Tax Increment Financing Industrial District, which captures and reinvests tax money to develop infrastructure and attract businesses, said the project represents a "great investment." 

While the TIFID sometimes offers businesses incentives to locate in Montana Connections, Rosa said Old Dominion did not ask for any. 

The building Old Dominion will now vacate was constructed in 2008 and 2009, Rosa said, and is owned by a private real estate company. Rosa said the county is already seeking new tenants to occupy it.

“We don’t have a lot of vacant space out there, so I don’t see it as a huge negative to also have a facility to assist with marketing," Rosa said. 

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According to documents filed with the county, "It's anticipated the (new) terminal will operate seven days a week." 

An Old Dominion spokesperson confirmed that work on the new building is underway and said that it is one of seven company facilities in the state but declined to comment further. 

The project's estimated $8.3 million cost comes from county records. 

While it's not clear how many new jobs the terminal will create, Rosa noted that "truck-driving jobs are good-paying jobs.”

The company submitted plans for the project in November, and the county issued a permit for construction on April 26. 

Dylan Pipinich, senior planner for Butte-Silver Bow, said the permitting process was straightforward, since the freight terminal is in sync with the intended use of the business park, which is also home to a 67-door, $8 million FedEx transfer center. 

"It's a no-brainer," Byrnes said of the project. "That's exactly what we need to be doing." 

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