ANACONDA — A small foundry in Anaconda received a big award from the governor for doing its part in saving one of Montana’s precious resources.
Governor Greg Gianforte presented AFFCO the Spirit of Montana Award for quickly building a part that helped repair the malfunctioning gate on the Hebgen Dam in November that caused a major drop in the Madison River.
“You know, you got the call at 3:30, shift goes off at 4, the shift stays, you work all night and we save the Madison River,” said Gianforte.
The factory, which was built in the late 1880s, employs about 80 workers and was able to build the part needed to repair the dam in under 24 hours. The general manager was happy to be recognized with the award but credits his employees.
“We have fantastic employees who have a really hard work ethic and when we have to roll up our sleeves we know how to do it,” said General Manager Kevin Kovacich.
He added he was honored the foundry was able to help out during last fall’s emergency.
“We’re all Montanans here and, you know, we all take pride in what we have here, so it really does mean a lot to us from that perspective,” said Kovacich.
And while the workers at AFFCO will tell you they were just doing their job, the governor made a point to let them know that when the state needed them, they stepped up.
“Again, on behalf of a grateful state, thank you for your swift, successful response, so that we could save the river,” the governor said.