BOARD MINUTES April 2019
Snowy Mountain Development Corporation Board of Directors Meeting Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 10:00 AM SMDC Conference Room, Lewistown, MT Attendance: SMDC Board Members: Ross Butcher, Holly Phelps, Carol Schaeffer, Dean Blomquist, Ian Reed, Cody McDonald, Gary Barta, Kay Klepey, Paul McKenna, Richard Moe and Chad Brindle. SMDC Staff: Kathie Bailey, Diane Pennell. Call to Order: Vice chairman Holly Phelps called the meeting to order at 10:02 am. Ross arrived soon after and welcomed Chad as new board member from Judith Gap, representing Wheatland County. Minutes: Carol found a few typos in the minutes which will be corrected. Minutes of the February 20, 2019 meeting were approved as amended (Cody/Paul). Financial Report Audit: Kathie fielded any questions on the audit. Dean noted the dates on future rental lease payments were unclear. This was noted to correct in the future. Financial Report: Kathie explained current YTD financials in the packet, stating that SMDC is in a good place financially with a bottom line of $58K after Brownfields loan funds expended and an additional $19K of revenues earned but not received. SMDC has received the first portion of the CDFI grant of which $41K is still unexpended. Visual reports showed the major source of revenues from grants (Brownfields and CDFI) and the major source of expense as personnel. Neither of which are surprises. The financial reports were unanimously approved. (Carol/Ian). Signers on Bank Accounts: A spreadsheet was distributed showing current signers on our bank accounts. Kathie asked the board to approve removing Karen Sweeney as a signer on all accounts since she is no longer with the organization and adding Carly Wheatley and Sara Hudson (see attached spreadsheet). She explained that neither have access to funds and that it is rare that we use two SMDC employees to sign checks, but at times it is needed. The motion to remove Karen and add Carly & Sara was unanimously approved (Richard/Kay). Stockman Bank Accounts: At the last meeting the board asked staff to research banking options for the funds at Stockman Bank, taking into consideration interest rates, insurance and the possibility of placing funds in our other community banks. A spreadsheet was distributed showing five options which considered all those elements. The interest rate Stockman Bank will give SMDC is 2.25% while First Security in Roundup could only offer 1% and Citizens Bank in Harlow could only offer .11% both on one year $250K cd’s. Projected annualized interest based on current bank balances for the five options ranged from $5,512 to $19,104. Board asked for Kathie’s recommendation. She stated that leaving the funds at Stockman Bank at 2.25% would provide the organization significantly more interest income and flexibility with our funds. The board unanimously approved leaving both the Brownfields and Savings account (which was transitioned to a Money Market account) at Stockman Bank(Cody/Dean). Diane added that we are also looking into negotiating a higher interest rate at Bank of the Rockies. Executive Director’s Report/Educational Moment: Confidentiality/Conflict of Interest Forms: Kathie distributed these forms for completion and return, explaining again the importance of confidentiality and disclosing any conflicts. RBDG: USDA granted SMDC $30K: $25K to provide a loan for the Lewistown Art Center (LAC) and $5K to the agency to provide technical assistance. Staff are also working with the Lewistown Historic Resources, who Page 1 of 4
will be using some of the loan funds under the LAC umbrella. EDA Planning Partnership: SMDC submitted application forms for a fourth year renewal. These funds provide our foundation for operations and were $70K this fiscal year. EDA RLF: SMDC has $500K to lend and are working on our first loan. $250K comes from EDA and the other $250K from Fergus County CDBG and line item funds. CDFI: Technical Assistance Award. SMDC did six workshops to meet some of the CDFI goals. So far Treasury has been easy to work with. Brownfields Assessment & RLF: SMDC is almost out of both pools of funds. Four properties are almost complete with Phase 1’s and 2’s and staff are starting work on Harlowton Roundhouse, Mid-State Signs and the old Texaco Station in Ryegate. Sara has eight files on her desk of new projects. Both she and Kathie will be in Denver next week at a Brownfields training and have been asked to speak on managing funds in dealing with consultants. Kathie just got all the project reporting up to date on ACRES which showed 14 properties with clean-up completed and another 5-10 done with no clean-up required. On the assessment side, Staff are working in Petroleum County at Kozy Korner Café with DEQ through their TBA funds, then it will probably go to clean-up. There is a lot of activity in all counties except JB. Kathie reminded the board that the key to having access to these funds is to have a redevelopment plan and no liable party for petroleum, asbestos or lead based paint contaminated projects. Between RLF and Assessment, SMDC has completed 19 projects!! Staff will put in an application for $500K in supplemental funds soon, which will be used for hazardous projects. There are still petroleum funds remaining from the last supplemental. RCAC: This program is coming to an end in July. $15K has been provided from them and $5K/each from the City of Lewistown, Fergus County and SMDC to pay for Carly’s position. She has met the goals of the program.
Public Input: Chad stated that he is here to learn what SMDC does, hoping to glean ideas to help grow Judith Gap. Old Business: Rural Investment Cooperative (RIC): Kathie explained that the Investment Coop has bought their 1st share in the Central Schools project. The project will be transferred to a developer who will create housing and commercial space. It is the first project of its kind in the state. Winnett Wastewater: SMDC staff have been helping Winnett with this project for more than ten years. The CDBG application is completed, but Winnett is below the line in the TSEP funding bill. The should qualify for RRGL and good chance for CDBG, but without TSEP they may not be funded. May have to redo next year. Board discussed the difficulty for small communities with the time, effort and resources invested to apply for project that are given to larger communities. Cody offered to mention this to Senator Tester’s rep.
Housing: Housing is still a huge need. o
A combined housing group is meeting the 3rd Wednesday of each month to address issues. They are starting by conducting a housing survey.
The 50-year-old Eagle’s Manor is needing to upgrade their infrastructure and update. Their 58 units are only 70% full. SMDC staff are working with them to submit a CDBG under the City of Lewistown.
Staff have submitted a Fergus County Growth Policy application and a Musselshell County Community Center planning grant application.
USDA REAP: USDA solicits applications annually for their rural energy efficiency and alternative energy grants. Rural businesses including ag producers remodeling with new windows or heating systems may be eligible. Grant could fund 25% of project costs. Jamie Sura is applying for approximately $100K on her Main Street Lewistown Building. The Malt Shop in Roundup has also talked to Kathie about applying. Kathie said they will Page 2 of 4
need an energy audit and NCAT helps with energy efficiency calculations, cost estimates and engineering. Kay’s Super Market in Stanford was awarded a REAP grant in the past with 75% of costs paid! Cody added that Stanford NAPA store, which is a vital part of the community is closed. Kathie asked that Cody give her information such as asking price, financing and franchise ownership.
Coal Board Applications: Funding will run out at the end of June. SMDC staff will write and submit the following three grant applications in the next two weeks for the June meeting: o
Musselshell County Road Department mower
Roundup Memorial Hospital
Hawk Creek Fire
The Coal Board is six months behind on contracts. Kathie encouraged awarded counties not to spend the money until they have a contract. Dean said that Golden Valley will need a motor grader in the next one to two years. Kathie said match is a minimum 10% but applications with 50% match are the ones typically funded.
Legislation passed to approve Coal Board staying at 5.8%. There will be $33 M for biennium which is the same as last biennium.
HB52, which is funding for economic development programs, including CRDC’s will be increased from $425K to $625K/year. This will be helpful to SMDC which should see an increase.
Legislation for MBOI dollars used as match for programs like IRP RLF’s, to be increased from $5M to $10M is moving forward.
Richard reported that HB773 to raid county entitlement funds was shut down.
HB661 the Aviation Gas Fuel Tax bill seems like it will pass with modifications.
2020 Complete Census: As Kathie is on the steering committee for the census, she has organized a committee in Fergus County, has talked to Golden Valley and will reach out to the other four counties in SMDC’s region. The goal is to capture an accurate count, with few falling through the cracks as these numbers affect funding eligibility.
New Business: CDBG Housing: Kathie discussed the City of Lewistown’s CDBG housing rehab project. Lewistown was certified in October 2016, although it took over two years to get the Corcoran project approved. The health and safety issues addressed with this project were 1) siding 2) plumbing/moving washer and dryer hook ups from the basement and 3) chimney repairs. Unfortunately, the owner of the property died before repairs were entirely completed. The City has a large lien on the property which would have been forgivable to the owner had she remained in the home and remained alive. The issue has become what to do with the property. The first option was to let the heir (a twenty-six-year-old son who meets the low to moderated income (LMI) requirement) remain in the house. Unfortunately, he is unable to hold down a job, has no resources to pay bills or take care of the home and the CDBG money invested in the home would soon be lost as the house under his care is in serious disrepair. The second option is SMDC and the City could walk away, but once again all the investment would be lost. Kathie and staff met with the City Manager, City Attorney and a Department of Commerce representative. They discussed the intent of the program to protect the asset and get property rehabilitated and back into the hands of an LMI owner. A proposal was made that SMDC buy the home (instead of the City due to politics and confidentiality) for $2,500 to which Kathie agreed. He countered Page 3 of 4
through his attorney at $3500 and SMDC agreed. She asked the board to approve the decision and for recommendations. Board suggested the following: o Get two liens released as there is a judgment and a deed of trust o Get City to remove their lien o Do what must be done to make the property livable and sellable in the short term o Offer the home to qualified owners who meet LMI eligibility requirements o Add the forgivable lien back on the property to avoid flipping A motion was made and unanimously approved to purchase the home for $3500 (Carol/Richard). A second motion was made and unanimously approved for SMDC staff to move forward with the project, working with Gary, Ross and the City as an advisory committee, with the end goal to find an LMI purchaser who fits the intent of the program (Ian/Dean) Grant Writing Fees: Tabled Announcements: The next board meeting will be SMDC’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 19th. Location to be determined. o Budget Committee: One representative from each county was appointed: Dean, Ian, Holly, Cody, Carol and Sandra. o Nominating Committee: Ross, Holly, Carol and Dean are willing to retain positions. Ian will give a report for the nominating committee. . Adjournment of Meeting: Chairman, Ross Butcher adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p m. Submitted by Diane Pennell
Reviewed by Kathie Bailey 6/11/2019
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Minutes of the Snowy Mountain Development Corporation Board of Directors Meeting on April 17, 2019