BUTTE, MT - If you were to place a bet on which area is more dangerous, Uptown Butte or the Flats, what would you bet on?

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Like you, I would probably place my bet on Uptown Butte being more dangerous. And you'd be right, though it's not for the reason you'd expect. I live in Uptown, and I truly think it gets a bad reputation. Every single person I've ran into has been nothing short of polite, going as far as to smile, wave, and ask me how my day is going. In fact, when I was moving in to my Uptown flat, I was in the street with my rented Uhaul truck wide open while I ran up and down the steps bringing stuff in. Did anyone take anything? Nope: a few different people here and there stopped me, but only to ask if I needed any help moving stuff in. So this stigma that "Uptown Butte is dangerous because of crime," isn't anymore true than anywhere else here in Montana.

But there is one new finding that is causing concern about Uptown safety. According to this report by Montana Standard, Butte's Uptown area is more dangerous: not because of crime, but because it was found that the soil in Uptown contains more lead contamination than the Flats—presumably due to "lead paint," though we're not buying it. Furthermore, children living in Uptown Butte neighborhoods who were tested were found to have "higher rates" of lead in their blood. That's not ideal, especially considering that even low levels of lead in children's blood leads to disease and neurological issues.

What are the Butte authorities doing about it? "Remediation" of the levels, from 1,200 ppm (the highest in the state) to 400 ppm. Don't worry though: Uptown Butte is getting cleaner everyday and clean-up efforts are intensifying.

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