West Central Mountains Economic Development Council
May 12, 2020, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Members in Attendance: Jill Chapman (President), Dylan Martin (Vice-President), Cynda Herrick (Secretary), Julie Good (Treasurer), Sherry Maupin, Linnea Hall, Lindsay Harris, Gene Tyler, Nicole Musgrove, Patty Wold, Judith Nissula, and Andrew Mentzer (Executive Director).
Members Absent: Thom Sowers.
Executive team meeting, open at 2:30pm.
Jill presented proposal of the new contract for Andrew. She paraphrased the proposal with a potential for cost of living increase, education, health care, and merit. The contract will be presented to the full board. We were reminded that Andrew is a contract employee. Various considerations were given for allocation of funding.
- Call to order, regular meeting, 3pm
- Adoption of agenda (ACTION ITEM) Dylan moved to approve the agenda. Sherry seconded. Motion carried.
- Approval of minutes (ACTION ITEM) Julie moved to approve, Gene seconded. Motion carried.
- Welcome visitors and guests: Delta James, City of McCall; Jenny Henley, Dept. of Commerce
- Community reports:
Cascade: business as usual; Cascade Chamber has given $1,500 for “protect your mountain playground” task force marketing effort; parade and fireworks will be decided next week. Judy reported the city is continuing deliberations next Tuesday. Have been using zoom, successfully. City offices continue to be closed until they feel comfortable. Public works is still trying to determine when to open public restrooms. Brainstorming future meetings and obtaining electronics. III-A will be in town tomorrow doing antibody testing.
Donnelly: Gene reported that LOT are ahead of last year and projections…subject to change. Chamber has not made a decision as to whether proceed with Huckleberry Festival.
McCall: Chamber will decide fate of fireworks; virtual business meetings will continue Thursday; did release a 4th of July survey – results should be finalized tomorrow. Delta stated the city has developed a back to work plan for Idaho Rebounds. Bids for 2nd phase of downtown core came in lower than anticipated – will be able to proceed.
New Meadows: City Hall is still closed. Most businesses have not been open. It has been pretty quiet. Meadow Creek has been busy. Still waiting on repair of pipes from road project that was delayed. Linnea stated that the school is doing well; do not plan on reopening. Senior center is trying to reopen.
Valley County: County has brought back all of the employees. Will reopen courthouse on Monday 18th with signup for appointments. Public hearings will still be on-line. June 11 will be first in-person public hearing. Discussion what fair will look like this year–TBD. Still working on Strategic Plan. Recycling center is planned for the Lake Fork site. Have a planned Waterways ordinance public hearing on May 26.
- Treasurer’s report (ACTION ITEM): McCall Chamber and Cascade chamber have not paid yet. Sent out Midas Gold invoice. Sent a copy of the profit/loss budget. Discussed transferring of funds. Lindsay asked about the invoice for the McCall Chamber – asked that it be resubmitted.
Dylan moved to approve Treasurer’s report as presented, Gene seconded. Motion carried.
o Reallocation of funds from WD ledger into administrative/general fund (ACTION ITEM)
$14,000 from workforce development into administrative category to cover Andrew’s contract through gap months between July and October. Gene moved to approve transfer of funds as presented, Judy seconded. Motion carried.
- Letters/requests (ACTION ITEMS)
o FCC letter on broadband requesting they take a deeper dive on census tracts across Idaho and speeds that are stated, but may not be accurate. Discussion on various partnership opportunities. Julie moved to approve the letter, Nicole seconded. Motion carried.
o Valley County waterways ordinance letter of fact OR support. Andrew asked if there was interest in submitting letters for the waterways? It was decided not to write a letter at this time.
Do we want to weigh in on centralized recycling? June 11 Valley County P&Z will have a public hearing on establishing recycling at Lakefork. We have been indirectly involved through McCall Chamber strategic initiatives group. Impacts recycling and retail. Discussion as to WCMEDC involvement in the relocation issue. There has been concern that recycling efforts will go down by some, but this information is difficult to verify. The conversation should be about management and taking care of the community’s needs, as well as visitors. Andrew recommended writing a letter of fact (not supporting or in opposition to) regarding the CUP. Dylan supports a letter of fact on our involvement. Dylan moved to write a letter of fact for the recycling site in Lake Fork, Gene seconded. Motion carried. Sherry Maupin abstained.
- Scenic Byways update (DISCUSSION): byways subcommittee had a technically challenged meeting last month. We are discussing updates to the signage and Cecilia with ITD will do an inventory of what exists along the corridor. Continue to work on branding signs and best practice landscaping, etc. to uses along the byway. Byway committee is drafting the advisory letter.
- Grants (open/future):
o EDPro (DISCUSSION) – Andrew stated he started the grant and the process is in play with the county. Working with Mary Rosen on the application. He needs a list of specific businesses that we should reach out to. Following same models as past years. Asking for $30,000.
Jill is going to McCall Chamber and may be asking for additional funding for next fiscal year. Each community should be requested to submit a letter of intent. We should ask the school boards for participating also. We discussed various alternatives to the matches and funding and how it is earmarked.
▪ Need commitment letters from match partners – need from Valley County as primary matching entity
- New hire (events/programs) discussion and job description approval/posting (ACTION ITEM)
Andrew crafted a job description for the new potential position. It will not be posted until the contract is signed and budget is in place with IDAEYC. It was carefully crafted so that there was a level of accountability achieve working with the board but not necessarily working for the board and is more event facing. Julie would like it clarified working with oversight vs. supervised to ensure compliance with contractor status.
Julie moved to approve the job description for the contract assistant pending a favorable outcome with IDAEYC grant and authorized moving on with job description very similar to what was presented. Sherry seconded. Motion carried.
- Recreation/Pathways: Update on the $14,500 grant for extension of Weiser/River Trail through USDA. Have a $5,500 deficit and will ask for funding from Stibnite Foundation. Andrew has meeting with Mac next week to work through details.
o Singletrack opportunity near Tamarack with partners (DISCUSSION): Had conversations with Valley Soil for an opportunity to put a track parallel to BOR fencing. Good news is all of the groups are beginning to gel. The thesis on pathways is playing out despite Covid 19.
- Education and workforce development:
o Talent Pipeline Management Academy through IACI–(DISCUSSION): Andrew attended a webinar on best practices for healthcare. Will be jumping into US chamber efforts this summer.
o IDAEYC update (DISCUSSION): budget sheet and needed framework is in hand. To be finished this week/next week, then sign off on contract.
o Construction Pre-Apprenticeship with AGC–POSTPONED (DISCUSSION) – early next spring would be good time of year.
o Culinary Pre-Apprenticeship in Cascade–POSTPONED (DISCUSSION) – Andrew should follow up with Larry and James. Fall may be a good time. Fun around the holidays.
o Update on BSU meetings/game plan/webinar with community and broadband (DISCUSSION): Had a meeting with their leadership last week; will follow through with local nomination of folks interested in participating this fall. Should be in the Star News.
Have another meeting on May 21 with Dr. Tromp. Community needs to rally around this effort with various board members to elevate the uncertainty around hiring freeze, online students, etc. there will be a 50% scholarship if candidates qualify–total of $50k available.
- Community Projects/Infrastructure
o $1,000 estimate for asphalt at Cascade bus kiosk (ACTION ITEM) – we have $650 in the bank or try to find a partner for $350. Sherry moved to contract with Josh Davis to complete and find appropriate funding. Dylan seconded. Motion carried.
o Census outreach update/marketing plan (DISCUSSION) – we are behind the curve. Mackenzie crafted robust marketing through June. This effort (digital) goes with existing efforts of the complete county committee and federal census leadership.
o Coronavirus task force update (DISCUSSION) – Jill put together a task force with 22 people. They are working through the messaging. A message of being responsible and staying safe.
o Cascade seasonal wayfinding update–waiting on IDPR but continuing to move things along (DISCUSSION): ITD said traffic was at a typical level, people are just travelling the main highway.
- Business retention and expansion (DISCUSSION): uptick in facetime with businesses, people in need of resources is on the rise.
o Business outreach update–12 BRE visits
- Economic Summit update (DISCUSSION): should provide a virtual ticket. Should have some table surveys, or some shares from businesses on what works and what isn’t working and where they see their efforts moving. General consensus was to have the summit and offer leadership in some format.
- Round Table, Upcoming Events & Public Comments
o Zoom/technology subscription discussion (ACTION ITEM): Discussion concerning security of Zoom. Gene will do some research.
Adjourn: Judy moved to adjourn, Sherry seconded. Motion carried.