West Central Mountains Economic Development Council

Meeting Minutes

December 7, 2017 from 10:00 am – pm

Valley County Courthouse, Cascade, ID


Members in Attendance:  Sherry Maupin (President), Gene Tyler (Treasurer), Cynda Herrick (Secretary), Donald Bailey, Lin Davis, Blake Watson, Linnea Hall, Scotty Davenport, Tom Greco, Bob Giles, Eric Borchers, and Andrew Mentzer (Executive Director).
Members Absent:  Bill Willey and Kathy Hull.


Guests:  Julie Crosby (mayor elect City of Cascade), Jenny Hemly (Dept. of Commerce) and Delta James (City of McCall)


Maupin opened the meeting.


Minutes:   Gene moved to approve the minutes from November 2, 2017. Lin seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report:


Gene presented the Treasurer’s Report and stated there was an ending balance of $67,339.70. Gene also presented the proposed budget for 2018. Cynda moved to accept the treasurer’s report. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Year In Review by Andrew


Andrew presented the ED Portal. He highlighted the sponsors, volunteers, job services, and defined ESL (English as a second language). The Council discussed a WCM Calendar. Everybody should look at the site (portal.wcmedc.org). We need to start marketing the portal.


Andrew presented annual review for 2017 to use for validation and celebration of our accomplishments.


West Central Mountains Housing Trust has submitted their 501(c)3. There are concerns about liability and tax preparation costs.


Andrew will distribute the Idaho Business Review articles that have featured our area.


Discussion on metrics.


Need to look at the brochure for possible updates – especially the “green” one.


Gene would like the Annual Review to be formatted in a manner similar to the IRS 990EZ.


Commerce Trainings with Jenny Hemly


Jenny spoke to the different economic development districts in other regions. Region 3 is the only district without an ED District. Region 3 contains 10 southwestern counties.


The last ED board in Region 3 was ICOG (Idaho Council of Governments) which disbanded in 2014.


There are various efforts to try to rejuvenate a 10 county district. University of Nevada came in September to try to kick off again. They did not touch on the benefits of a district. They recently sent a survey – Valley County is responding. Potentially Kathleen Simpco could meet with partner to educate all on the benefits.


Jenny is trying to figure out how to create a district that is similar to CEDA (Clearwater Economic Development Association). CEDA is so successful it has 9 employees. Sherry commented that we need to have a regional plan to receive funding dollars. Donnelly and New Meadows recently received Block Grants with the assistance of CEDA. Andrew said that there may be no federal money available for grants if the current federal budget is approved. Lin recommended we look at models from outside Idaho. Discussed hesitancy of rural counties to participate due to historical dominance of urban areas. CEDA is high level vs. local more directed efforts. Delta explained past funding by the state and grant benefits to do CDBG – need a certified grant writer such as CEDA. Have to develop an ED Strategy to get funds which is difficult in a large 10 county area. There is concern with loss of federal funds, etc.


Jenny discussed best practices – relationship/team building/communication. Idaho has good leadership for team building. Discussed SBDC consultants.


Jenny explained what other EDO’s are doing around the region and state.


Discussed possible leisure/hospitality coalition, marketing video, scenic byway video, etc.


“How do you move forward….?”


Should speak with Kathryn Almberg about modular homes in Kuna area being constructed for $60 to $80/sq. ft. They are panelized and qualify for financing. They could be a good fit for local housing.


Board Elections


All the same board members were nominated and elected. President – Sherry Maupin, Treasurer – Gene Tyler, Secretary – Cynda Herrick.


Judy Nissula has tendered her resignation. Lin moved to accept the resignation, Gene seconded. Motion carried.


Lunch and Strategic Discussion


McCall participation has increased to $9,000 for specific projects; flexible projects in collaboration with efforts of their ED position (Delta). Discussion around incubators or local foods such as bakers, coffee.


Delta spoke about McCall’s proposed Comprehensive Plan and the Implementation. She stated incubators and entrepreneurial opportunities would be an acceptable focus. Andrew talked about Ketchum’s incubator center—Ketchum Innovation Center.


Julie talked about the leadership academy for adults, and asked if there has been discussion for youth leadership academy for guidance in trade, college, workplace. There needs to be inclusion of needs based community through WICAP. Sherry described the leadership academy, YAC (Youth Advisory Council), and pier leadership group in Cascade. Gene recommended potential partnership with Scouts and 4H in regards to youth leadership.


WCMEDC Strategic Plan Update: Fund Raising & Budget


We will not be financially successful if we do not generate more funds. This year we were only successful due to Valley County excess. There has been difficulty finding funding partners, except Midas and Idaho Power. We did touch businesses this past year and they were saying, “show me your successes”. Gene said it is difficult to resonate with companies that are not headquartered here. Jenny commented that retention and expansion efforts help get buy-in from businesses. Andrew stated it is difficult for new businesses to give their marketing dollars when they are reinvesting at 100%. There are over 100 non-profits in the area asking for donations. Scotty asked if there is a way to get the 72% 2nd homeowners to invest. Eric commented it should be easier ask this year – can show stats on website, growth in population, jobs, apprenticeship, use of portal, etc. Gene would like to pursue Star News support. Tom commented on success of SVCRD and effect of Star News article which spurred additional participation. Much discussion about how other EDO fund themselves. Some sell membership and potential for influence.


Question continues to be “what do we offer?” to justify contribution.


Discussed Programming:

  • Long-term and short-term buckets and business development.
  • County priorities are broadband. Gene will take on this project.
  • Pathways – Cascade Adventure Biking, Feasibility Study for single track – deliverable is the track, and Payette River Waters Trails/Scenic Byway.
  • Workforce Development/Apprenticeships – discussed COSSA.
  • Sherry talked to the Northern Valley County Recreation District.
  • Discussed marketing of the ED Portal.
  • Housing: discussed if a whitepaper to developers about opportunities would be effective, affirmation to various projects, potential for real estate tax.


Next Meeting: January 4, 2017, 10:00 a.m.,  McCall, Idaho