West Central Mountains Economic Development Council

Meeting Minutes: October 13th, 2020, 3:00 – 5:00pm

Location: Donnelly Community Center and ZOOM

Members in Attendance: Jill Chapman (President), Dylan Martin (Vice-President), Andrew Mentzer (Executive Director), Megan Chandler (Programming and Events), Linnea Hall, Julie Good (Treasurer), Lindsay Harris, Nicole Musgrove, Judith Nissula

Members Absent: Cynda Herrick (Secretary), Sherry Maupin, Thom Sowers, Gene Tyler, Patty Wold

Guests: Delta James, City of McCall and Alex Shepherd, MVHS

Executive Team Meeting, open at 2:45pm. Jill Morris, Dylan Martin, Julie Good, Megan Chandler and Andrew Mentzer.

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

Agenda ads: None

Executive session closed 

Call to order, regular meeting, 3:10pm

Adoption of Agenda (ACTION ITEM): moved to be approved by Lindsay and Nicole seconded. Motion carried

Approval of Minutes (Action ITEM): Dylan moved to approve the minutes and Linnea seconded. Motion carried.

Welcome Visitors and Guests: Alex Shepard

Community Reports (DISCUSSION): 

Cascade: things are operating normally, prepping materials for upcoming LOT tax application and RLP money that was received for sidewalks and storm water work. Prepping for winter and projects for 2021. 

McCall (Chamber): First in person board meeting out of the CUB last week. Moving forward with Winter carnival and how it will look partnering with the city, St. Luke’s and CDH. Trying to figure out what 2021 will look like, sculptures will be a big item. Winter issue of McCall Magazine is being completed. Lots of recreation will be highlighted. New business feature article focuses on niche businesses popping up and people are making their dreams a reality and starting new businesses. 

McCall (City): Amendment approved for service agreement for reallocation of $2,500 for economic summit to video series project. City council reviewed Payette Lakes water and sewage district sewer memo. The sewer district will be limiting the amount of connections to the sewer system based on infrastructure challenges. This will have an effect on development potential. Andrew will send out current information to the board and work on crafting a high level comment letter. There is currently a city-wide public art initiative where you can vote and propose where public art can be displayed. For more information or to vote visit: www.mccall4art.com 

Donnelly: Gene and Andrew have been working with a local daycare (it has closed), 17 families (26 children) are left without childcare. Working with the proprietor to find solutions. The North Lake Gem grant septage project upgrade has been approved and will be completed early 2021. 

New Meadows: HWY project and waterline passed! Hope to complete paperwork by end of month. Darby Edwards (Former Mayor) is now a city council member. Julie Good is now mayor. Water project, there is a new well being drilled on the side of town. Entry signs are being replaced to town that will be more durable and last in the long run. Public park restrooms are still closed. Working towards making broadband and internet accessibility available to the community. Working on strategic planning for the city. Andrew is working with Mac (Mew Meadows city clerk) and CEDA on broadband planning opportunities. 

Events and Programming report (DISCUSSION)

Hosted Strategic Planning Event last week and it was a success. Working with UI Extension office to resurrect “Let’s Get Cooking” program. Working with Andrew and Association of General Contractors to host a construction pre-apprenticeship workshop with playbook for other states. Will be hosted in April-May. Making contacts to organize the Annual meeting on December 8th at Tamarack. Making efforts to contact local businesses/ organizations to develop a civic campus to use for trainings, meetings or events. Reaching out to downtown businesses as part of community outreach to improve structure. Researching cost and feasibility for purchase of conference phone for meetings and events. Work with Andrew to develop video series in lieu of economic summit.

Treasurer’s report (ACTION ITEM) Invoicing from all funding partners should begin soon for FY2021. $2,500 from McCall contract to use for video series in lieu of economic summit was approved by City Council. Add budget discussion to November meeting. Midas gold gave $2000 (typical donation for economic summit) this year, board to follow up regarding difference between this and the $5,000 invoice. The board should also reach out to typical summit sponsors to explore general donations. Andrew will send out the list of Summit sponsors to the board. Julie sent reports via email and made changes to funds added assistant salary. Alex Shepherds senior project approved for $600 and has not been moved to the general fund yet. Julie will follow up on communities donations and approval for WCMEDC budget due to differences in fiscal year for cities. $40,000 from Valley County for first of fiscal year plus the match.

August treasurer report: Linnea moved to accept financial reports as presented and Dylan seconded. Motion carried.

September treasurer report: Dylan approved to accept financial reports as presented, Julie seconded. Motion Carried

Letters/requests (ACTION ITEMS)

Broadband advocacy general letter for Governor’s office. Andrew sent letter out to board for review. Highlights policy and funding needs in rural Idaho. Judy moved and Nicole seconded. Motion carried

Scenic Byways update–website business directory, signage updates (DISCUSSION). Signage inventory in progress, ask ITD to provide funding for the signage in the corridor as well as material for current projects. Business directory for each community partnered with chambers. Welcome to the WCM signage at county lines with hopes to be approved by April.

New Meadows Senior Project funding request review from Alex (ACTION ITEM). Alex Shepherd, a Meadows Valley Senior, is looking for funding for his senior project to build out solar system to pump water to the community greenhouse where fresh fruits and veggies are grown for the community: Has raised $832 to date. Working on school board approval. The well has been drilled and there is a pump in place. What does the greenhouse grow? Pollinators plus fruits/veggies to feed students. Has applied for 3 grants: two from awesome foundation ($500) and one from american heart association ($2000). Julie asked if Alex could present to the City Council. How will this project live beyond the one year project? The project is specific to getting a water source and solar up and running. Fairly maintenance free in the long term. Runs from a separate pump. Andrew recommended the board move forward with a last dollars in allocation to ensure project completion. Dylan moves to approve $600 for Alex’s senior project (last dollars in) and have Andrew and Megan assist with seeking additional funding. Lindsey seconded. Motion passed.

Recreation/Pathways (DISCUSSION): Heinrich and Donnelly Flyway update; MOU signed & P&Z review. Andrew meeting Thursday for Heinrich beta trail. MOU is signed and reviewed by VC P&Z. Donnelly flyway is headed towad the entitlement process.

Education and workforce development (DISCUSSION): IDAEYC ELAC program update & stipend allocation: Melissa Hamilton was formally added to the ELAC. Meeting with a consultant to discuss strategies. Strategic plan 1st draft is crafted and has been sent to committee for approval and edits. Will have it approved and signed off on by Oct 30th. This may be an opportunity to seek grant funding from the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation (WCF). Possible expansion to another position to execute the strategic plan. Question about funding: Will have conversation with Martin (Dylan’s contact) for downstream funding for future.

AGC Project scope approval (ACTION ITEM). AGC has authorized the pre-apprenticeship for construction and trades, $10,000 for the local training program. Authorize contract for program delivery via playbook. Fee of $4,000 in addition for the playbook. Motion to approve by Julie, Lindsay seconded. Motion carried.

Update on BSU fall programs and enrollment to date (DISCUSSION). 5 students in cohort. Call for candidates for next semester (Start in Jan) scholarship funding may still be available.

Fall videos update (DISCUSSION). Launching soon.

Coronavirus task force update (DISCUSSION). Continues to meet and move forward, discussion to revamp and using Protect Your Mountain Playground site to keep folks updated. Moving meetings to bi-weekly. 

Creative District update (DISCUSSION). Idaho Commission for the Arts is working with Idaho Policy Institute on a SWOT analysis. 

Broadband update (DISCUSSION). Andrew is meeting with the Economic Development Administration on Thursday to explore planning grants. Looking to do a regional strategic plan for the region. Opportunity to hire a consultant to develop a region wide plan and then go after grant opportunities for the build out. Broadband is moving forward consistent with Strategic Plan and deliverables by 2021

Housing update–LEAP/IndieDwell (DISCUSSION) Andrew will be meeting with LEAP’s leadership team to advance local partnership discussion about local housing in the whole valley

Business retention and expansion (DISCUSSION). McCall downtown revitalization contract next steps (DISCUSSION). Getting going on outreach. Sewer capacity may be a challenge.

Marketing/fundraising update (DISCUSSION) Nothing to report at this time. 

Round Table, Upcoming Events & Public Comments

    • Purchase of conference phone for meetings. 
    • Linnea moved to purchase a spider phone. Judith seconded. Motion carried.

Next Meeting will be on November 10th in McCall