West Central Mountains Economic Development Council

Meeting Minutes

August 11, 2020, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Remote: ZOOM

Members in Attendance:  Jill Chapman (President), Dylan Martin (Vice-President), Cynda Herrick (Secretary), Linnea Hall, Sherry Maupin, Lindsay Harris, Nicole Musgrove, Thom Sowers. and Andrew Mentzer (Executive Director) Megan Chandler (Programs/Events).

Members Absent:  Gene Tyler, Judith Nissula, Julie Good (Treasurer), and Patty Wold

REMOTE: Zoom – Time: 3:00 – 5:00pm  

Executive team meeting, open at 2:30pm. Jill Morris, Dylan Martin, Cynda Herrick and Andrew Mentzer. 

  • Executive team meeting, open at 2:30pm

Andrew presented info about a CARES Act grant that BSU is pursuing with the Workforce Development Council related to local curriculum programs. Deadline for submission is August 24, 2020.

The Bus Kiosk asphalt will come out of the general fund. It was already approved for payment.

There are some fund gaps between now and October. We need to transfer Executive salary into the proper funds through this year. Need to create a subcategory for the Executive Director and Megan’s position for tracking purposes, ED Pro should be exclusively for Andrew’s position. Will move from the general fund to the subcategories for August and September. Should have ED Pro grant funds by October 15. Should put Megan’s contract amount ($25K) into her subcategory less what she has already received. The remainder should go into Andrew’s contract account. (Andrew will confirm amounts being transferred with Julie.)

o Signing of checks for previously approved items (can be done by Jill and Andrew ahead of time)–None to sign at this time.

  • Call to order, regular meeting, 3pm
  • Adoption of agenda (ACTION ITEM): There is one small change to agenda. We have a second letter request from Peter Reese at BSU regarding CARES Act grant. Sherry moved to approve agenda as amended. Linnea seconded. Motion carried.
  • Approval of minutes (ACTION ITEM): Dylan moved to approve minutes as presented. Sherry seconded. Motion carried.
  • Welcome visitors and guests: Delta James, Jenny Hemly
  • Community reports: 

Cascade: New Deputy has started at the County, the commissioners have adopted their budget, they are working through various considerations and issues.

Donnelly: The Donnelly Flyway pathway project is likely headed for approval soon. 

McCall: Working through transition to fall season for restaurants with a virtual round table in September–collaboration opportunity. There is another town hall on the 21st related to school re-opening. The chamber is starting work on the McCall magazine and they are hosting a social at Jug Mountain. The city is launching the Airport Master Planning process. LOT funds have caught up with last year. Park Street should be open by the end of next week. Thompson Street indie dwell housing project is being placed now.

New Meadows: Working on their water system project. The school is looking to open for fall, grass is green, hauling logs. 

Valley County: Sherry stated that VC received $1 Million grant for opioid/substance abuse in Valley County. Will try to incorporate some mental health into that subject. There may be a brick and mortar office, employee, safe spaces, etc. Will be a statewide learning project. Extremely busy in P&Z and building, frantic to get stuff done before snowfall. ITD has a huge project starting in September between Smiths Ferry and Rainbow Bridge for a two-year+ span; there will be some road closures. ITD is discussing flaggers at the Banks-Lowman intersection. 

Sherry stated that traffic studies will be done in Cascade in the Spring. Need to engage our legislative representatives more to encourage representation on transportation needs for the region.

Discussed how each school will reopen for school and sport activities. Discussed concerns with latch key kids and lack of daycares.


  • Events and Programming report (Megan): Learning a lot each day. Right now has a social media program set up on Instagram. Talked about potential topics. The potential for mask mandates and utilizing content from the website to increase awareness. 

Sherry notes that Valley County offers $3,000 for community college education to residents. 

  • Treasurer’s report (ACTION ITEM): Julie’s report was presented through the email.  Linnea moved to accept financial reports as presented. Dylan seconded. Motion carried.

Jill ran through the corresponding email. She explained the kiosk payment difference of $350. Dylan moved to transfer funds to pay for kiosks from the general fund. Sherry seconded. Motion carried.

Described moving of funding to pay contracts of Megan and Andrew. $25K of early childhood funding to Megan’s subaccount and $7,500 from general fund to cover ED contract through October. Sherry moved to authorize transfer of funds, Dylan seconded. Motion carried.

  • Letters/requests (ACTION ITEMS)

o Mask ordinance letter of fact will be tabled until after CDH meeting at 4:00 p.m.

* Letter for Peter at BSU: needs letter of support a CARES Act grant alongside other educators and the state for $20 million dollar grant spread between a number of entities and is due by August 24th. Sherry moved, Dylan seconded. Motion carried.

  • Scenic Byways update (DISCUSSION): Andrew said we had a productive meeting at Avimor. Postponing discussion on signage inventory due to Covid.  There were some website updates. Had corresponding discussion concerning jersey barriers and other designs with ITD. 
  • Economic Summit update, next steps, planning, options to coordinate with Sun Valley and Teton Valley (SHORT WORK SESSION): Met and discussed what the economic summit will look like. It could be a hybrid live presentation from the comfort of your own home with some folks in person, depending on capacity for Tamarack. It could be a virtual hub in the Cub also. We have not canceled reservations at Tamarack. Meeting with reps from Sun Valley and Teton Valley for a technology share and how to integrate so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Discussed alternatives to have people in person, restrictions at Tamarack and potential for a smaller group with others sharing remotely. Andrew described a shortened remote alternative similar to Blaine/Teton/Valley county. Perhaps a Mountain Town Summit option, if coordination can occur.

Sherry noted the importance of local collaboration. Dylan described how the agenda could accommodate a single shared keynote, with local break out topics for each of the separate counties. 

Concern is renting a high dollar event and only having 20 people show up. May discuss with Tamarack about lowering cost or exploring alternate models.

Discussed how we would engage people on-line when others are meeting in person. Continued to discuss alternatives including social distancing and satellite sites.

General sense is to plan in person meeting with some satellite options. Megan will continue to explote options.

  • Grants (open/future DISCUSSION)

o EDPro / MOU: signed and off to Commerce.

o Broadband grants (Commerce): waiting on outcome of grants for Valley County and McCall

o IDAEYC (grant contract): Dylan has really led this program–big thanks.

o Stibnite Foundation: Not Successful on Either app, but if folks would like to explore other funding options, they can reach out to Andrew

o GEM/USDA: Weiser River Trail–waiting on Commerce GEM grant announcement. 

  • Recreation/Pathways

o Heinrich and Donnelly Flyway update – have submitted application and working towards the entitlement; NPS grant will be rescheduled for 2021 when federal travel bans are lifted. 

  • Education and workforce development:

o Talent Pipeline Management Academy through IACI–Andrew attended the first major session. Lots of interesting information and tactics that fit well with our existing model 

o IDAEYC ELAC program update: The group has convened twice and will be doing a data dump this week. Will do a data analysis and aggregation of the data–needs assessment.

o Update on BSU fall programs and enrollment to date (DISCUSSION): decreased from 8 to 4 people enrolled due to Covid uncertainties and finances.

  • Community Projects/Infrastructure

o Coronavirus task force update (DISCUSSION): continues to meet on a weekly basis. Coming up with positive things to share with community. Sub-committee met and on September 15 there will be an industry roundtable for restaurants. Andrew reached out to the chambers to deploy a survey concerning restaurant industry focus for fall and winter.

o Creative District update (DISCUSSION): Another meeting to take a deep dive on August 18 at 2:00 p.m. including different agencies to determine how robust our creative assets truly are in Idaho and explore setting up a new creative district. 

o Broadband update (DISCUSSION): already covered. Andrew helping aggregate data sets and working with incumbents and city and county partners.

  • Business retention and expansion (DISCUSSION): next week and the week after will reach out to Delta and Jenny to put together outreach to McCall businesses. Have to reach out to 20 businesses as part of our 2020 McCall contract, Megan will assist with this program (revitalization).
  • Marketing/fundraising update (DISCUSSION): standing item on the agenda–nothing new.
  • Idaho Knowledge Report update (DISCUSSION): Idaho Technology Council asked Andrew to join as an analyst for 2020 for growth analysis and data deep dive. Will elevate data voice for our region. Could influence legislative efforts downstream. 
  • Round Table, Upcoming Events & Public Comments

Next meeting will be on September 1, 2020, at KWP.