West Central Mountains Economic Development Council
Board Meeting Minutes
December 13, 2022 3:00pm
McCall: Idaho First Bank
Zoom Available: link below

Executive Session 2:30 (Open unless otherwise specified)

  • Review agenda items
  • Need to find January Annual Meeting location: can be anywhere, any day, during lunch time. We elect officers – VP is needed. We need to have a budget meeting beforehand.
  • Meeting locations in each town, yearly calendar of locations
  • Suggestion to relocate Community updates to after WCMEDC action items and CAT updates

In-Person: Sherry Maupin, Julie Good, Dylan Martin, Joni Osterman
Zoom: Kelly Hill, Delta James, Cynda Herrick, Judy Nissula, Jill Morris Chapman
Guests: Lindsey Harris, Kim Glineski

  • Call to order at 3:02pm
  • Approval of agenda ACTION ITEM, Julie Motion, Joni 2nd. Motion passes.
  • Approval of past minutes ACTION ITEM, Change to Minutes at title by Julie, Joni Motion, Cynda 2nd. Motion passes.
  • Treasurer’s report
    • Approval of Treasurer’s report ACTION ITEM. Sherry Motion, Joni 2nd. Motion passes.
      • Julie mentioned uncashed checks. National Travel Center, Star News, & Summit Musician. Covered summit breakdown as well with just under 10k profit. Julie mentioned the most we had seen for profit to carry into the next year ($18k for next year).
    • Letter(s) of support requests ACTION ITEM
      • Idaho’s North-South Middle Mile Network – Julie Motion, Sherry 2nd. Motion passes.
        • Explanation of project and letters of support from our region.
      • WCMEDC Updates
        • Early Childhood Education update from Darcie and Dylan
          • Hiring Update ACTION ITEM Sherry action item to approve Kayme Backstrom, Julie 2nd.
            • Discussion of candidates, Kayme & Trace. 2nd interviews were held yesterday with Julie, Dylan, and Joni. Initial interviews with Darcie, Lindsey, Dylan. Question was asked about salary and format, which will be a contractor position.
          • org as an additional resource.
        • Grant(s) report
          • ED Pro Commerce Request for Funds made- County successfully submitted in Grant portal and County already sent us our check for $12,500.
          • Firewood Bank Grant Opportunity – WICAP in Cascade, Julie requested for the New Meadows to see the information. Lindsey sent to Donnelly and McCall foodbanks already.
          • Woody Biomass Boiler Available from Pierce, ID – Lindsey received specs during meeting and will forward to the Board to see any interest or potential new home in the region.
        • Payette River Scenic Byway (Cynda)
          • National Travel Center marketing- payment for $1,000 sent. Dylan asked about historical roadside signs being updated and if audio tour had been discussed for the future for the scenic byway. Audio tour is in the corridor management plan for hopefully future objectives. Shauna Arnold has expressed interest in establishment of an audio tour.
          • LTR to Ada County re: Project #202202167-CU- Julie inquired about the viewshed requirements that the scenic byway had cited and how they could potentially improve properties in Adams County too.
        • Community Development
          • Creative District Update (Delta): Creative District was highlighted in a webinar. Held a networking event on Nov. 29th in Cascade. Planning effort continues with draft plan hopefully done in the beginning of the year by their consultant.
        • CAT Updates
          • Housing
            • WCM Housing Trust- Kelly Miller, Kelly Hill, Kyla Gardner, Lindsey Harris, Sherry Maupin joined. They have asked for a City of Cascade representative too.
            • Add Michelle Groenevelt to Housing CAT
            • Looking at a housing needs assessment for the region. Lindsey meeting with Clearwater tomorrow. They are also working with City of New Meadows & City of Donnelly, in addition with County, which makes them familiar with the region. Last housing study was 2018 done by the WCMEDC.
          • Infrastructure – who what where when document for utilities, infrastructure could be helpful for residents, developers, and businesses.
          • Transportation – Valley County master transportation plan using LHTAC grant to determine upgrades, expansion, etc. Group hopes to combine efforts with the other regional discussions going on. Mayor Good to send Sherry the New Meadows updated master plan.
          • Business Retention & Expansion
            • Update from Dept. of Labor Webinar – Joni: economist discussing employee issues. 2012-2000 rapid growth rate. Since 2020, exhausted labor pool. 62k open positions, and only 20k filled. 3x shortage. For wage growth and poaching, switching jobs is a 9% increase for wages. Issues/Barriers: skill level mismatch, retirements, disabilities of despair (drugs, alcohol, depression), childcare (lack of affordability, pay, staff). Prime age workers 25-54, half of baby boomer population has already retired. Internationally, US is faring better because baby boomers had more children. Countries in Europe did not have that resupply of workforce because they had less children and smaller families. Every country has shrinking labor pool in every market, industry. Keep best employees, change business model. This will continue for the next 30 years. In Idaho, predominant growth does include 0-18 year old, who eventually will enter the workforce.
          • Broadband – hopefully eventually State will declare broadband an essential
          • Communications -quarterly newsletters to launch in 2023.
        • Community Reports
          • Cascade – technical approval from DEQ for facility study, water bond was passed in November for updated facilities. Ultimate goal is to find funding for grants so cost won’t get fully passed on to the consumer. AARP age friendly city designation – ribbon cutting, outreach. City wants their community to be age friendly whether you are 3 or 90 years old. Great honor to be selected. Establishing an official comprehensive plan, that has never been established before. Fundraising for that now with City funds and BlueShield/BlueCross grant as well. Approved support letters for broadband and Perpetua. Placemaking trees is a big success. Cascade Medical Center was featured in the New York Times recently.
          • Donnelly – Christmas in Donnelly. Suggestion to reach out to the City of Donnelly again to have a representative. Lindsey to reach out to Lori, City Clerk.
          • McCall – year end LOT data FY 22 was 6% higher than 2021 (3% Lodging tax). 2021 increased 40%. 6% is lowest increase they have seen in 10 years. In the 1% sales LOT, they saw a 7% increase. That is on top of a 30% increase from the 2020-2021 jump. Mayor Nissula mentioned that City of Cascade has collected nearly $234k in their first year of LOT. Last year they added housing as an approved expenditure for the lodging LOT. Currently 14 deed restricted units in City limits. P&Z discussions about regulation of the amount of gas stations within the City. Maverick has officially withdrawn land use application at this time. Code enforcement required demolition completion of their property.
          • New Meadows: over 200 people came to their downtown tree lighting that they relocated to their city park. Start of a new tradition and big success. Space to memorialize community members who have passed. Brundage housing project is beautiful, positive addition to the continue. Other housing projects going on. Potential drive thru coffee shop across the street from old schoolhouse. Hartland Inn is still in transition.
          • Valley County: 5 planning and zoning applications. Firewise conversation continues. McCall & Payette River Sub 1 are two fire wise communities. Would love to see that become county-wide. $33 million mitigation dollars have been funded for the Boise & Payette National Forest. WUI – wildland urban interface and regional conversations. County did approve Firewise funding for individual property owner grants. Working on Transportation Master Plan. Applied for grant funding for the building in Cascade to be half for childcare. Sherry was at the National Association of Counties meeting on the east coast – housing suggestions will be presented next year to communities. AARPA funding available and determining how to spend – $8.8 million. $2.2 has to be identified by 2024 and spent by 2026.
        • New Business: Joni did inquire about vacant buildings in our respective communities. Further discussion to be had about our role at our annual meeting in January 2023.
        • Public Comment
        • Adjourn at 5:02pm