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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
I. Call to Order
Miles Community College, Miles City, Montana
February 16, 2006 - 9:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Chair Homer Staves called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.
Mr. Staves called for introductions. Commission members present included: Marcy Hamburg, Hal Stearns, Jack Lepley, Doug Monger, Betsy Baumgart, Mark Sansaver, Betty Stone, Homer Staves, and Mark Baumler, acting director of the Montana Historical Society. Commissioners unable to attend were: Wyman McDonald, Darrell Kipp and Tootie Rasmussen. Staff included Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright. Members of the audience included: Dick Fichtler, BLM; Dick Williams, Suzanne Gucciardo and Jeff Olson, NPS, Dick Alberts, Staff Sgt. James Kelly and George Donnelly, Montana National Guard; R. G. Montgomery, Dave Walter and Linda Wolff.
Mr. Staves noted the severe cold weather had affected attendance, but said a quorum was present for the meeting. He announced that a brief executive session would be held during the lunch break.
III. Approval of June 2-3, 2005 Meeting Minutes
Mr. Staves called for approval of the October 22, 2005, meeting minutes.Ms. Baumgart made a motion to approve the minutes; Ms. Hamburg seconded and the motion carried.
IV. Director’s Report
Mr. Blackwood was called on to deliver the Director’s Report. He reported on a November 9-10, 2005, meeting of the COSA representatives to discuss a coordinated approach for extending CCS beyond 2006. The group sent a letter to the L&C Congressional Caucus; and David Borlaug and Karen Seaburg made a trip to DC the week of Nov. 21 to call on key senators and representatives. He announced plans for a March 31st reception/dinner at the L&C Interpretive Center in Great Falls to be attended by COSA reps and congressional representatives, and also invited commission members to attend. There will be a no-host bar followed by a barbeque dinner and presentation on the Undaunted Stewardship program and a powerpoint presentation on the successes of the Challenge Cost Share program in Montana. He explained that if the CCS program were not continued into the future, funding for the L&C Trail would drop back to pre-bicentennial levels. Mr. Blackwood said Rep. Jim Peterson had been invited and agreed to visit with Senator Burns and/or Todd Capser regarding their attendance. COSA plans to meet that same afternoon from 1-3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn.
Regarding revenues from the sale of U.S. Mint coins, Mr. Blackwood explained that more local match was needed to leverage the full amount. Those eligible to receive funds from the Mint were noted as the National Council for their debt, Indian Tribes along the trail for language preservation and the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation for trail stewardship.
Mr. Blackwood reported on the Commission’s grant application to Qwest Foundation, noting Rick Hays’ response that their funds would be directed elsewhere this year.
Since the October meeting, the L&C Honor Guard in Great Falls submitted a request to the Commission for $2,000 in program grant funds; and the community of Livingston requested $1,000 in support of their bronze statute dedication. He spoke in support of both requests and recommended deferring action until the budget discussion was completed.
Mr. Blackwood distributed a report submitted by the “Clark on the Yellowstone” signature event planners, and explained that neither Robby Carpenter nor Melody Dobson was available to attend today’s meeting.
Funding for the Montana National Guard was secured for 2006, and Mr. Blackwood noted that George Donnelly and James Kelly were in attendance today to visit with as many Corps II host communities as possible.
Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of the Calendar of Events listing for the Blackfeet event, “Lewis & Clark in Blackfeet Country” planned for July 26-29, to commemorate the fight. Both the L&C Honor Guard and Discovery Expedition were invited to participate. The main focus will be a symposium planned for July 27. So far, two planning meetings have been held with George Heavy Runner, the event planner; the next meeting was set for Feb. 20 at the tribal offices.
Arnie Olsen’s resignation from his position as director of the Montana Historical Society was effective November 2. Mr. Blackwood introduced Mark Baumler, program manager for the State Historic Preservation Officer, who was serving as interim director.
Mr. Blackwood noted the $300,000 award in federal funding to the Montana/Idaho Public Safety Project, which was far less than the $2.5 million requested.
Mr. Blackwood reported on his work with Bryant Boswell, DESC, and Dick Fichtler, BLM, to secure $12,000 for a bronze of Clark to be installed at Pompeys Pillar during a dedication at the Clark on the Yellowstone event, possibly during the National Day of Honor activities on July 25. This bronze would be a heroic-size bust modeled from one in the family’s burial plot near St. Louis. The BLM has offered to pay for the recognition plaque and pedestal for the bronze and will identify the state Commission as a partner on the project. Two other bronzes to be installed in the area include a grouping of Clark, Sacajaewea, Pomp and York and one of a Crow warrior.
A 10-hour HBO special, featuring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton as Lewis and Clark, is in the planning stages; however, no broadcast or production timeline had been set. Betsy Baumgart said her office was aware of the filming plans, and said they would like to see the movie filmed in Montana if possible.
Mr. Blackwood spoke on the Senate Art Project, noting Mark Baumler and Jack Lepley would give a detailed report later in the meeting. He reported that Ian Marquand, KPAX in Missoula, filmed a segment for the “Under the Big Sky” program and conducted an interview with Hal Stearns. Mr. Blackwood said a film clip of the interview could be viewed during Mr. Baumler’s report.
Mr. Blackwood reported on a couple of recent meetings with the state’s Budget Office regarding the credit of license plate revenues to the Commission’s account for plates sold prior to Dec. 31, 2006. There is a 30-45 day delay in the receipt of revenues from counties, and this revenue flow was reflected on the proposed FYF2007 budget as income in January 2007. He said a motion would follow later in the meeting during the Transition Committee’s report empowering the Executive Committee through calendar 2007.
The Lewis & Clark Legacy Fundraising Campaign concluded this month and the balance of the bank account has been distributed to the Campaign Partners. The checking account will close once the final checks have cleared and the files have been transferred to the Montana History Foundation.
Mr. Blackwood reported on a Dec. 31, 2005, conference call meeting of the Lewis & Clark Focus Team (the inter-agency coordinating committee) where they were reminded to submit agency interpretive sign inventories to the state Commission. These reports will serve as the basis of an inventory for the entity that will serve as the future resident manager of the Trail in Montana. He confirmed that the group’s support for Corps II in 2006 would be similar to that of 2005. The group’s next meeting was planned for April 11 during the Governor’s Conference in Great Falls.
Mr. Blackwood reviewed his travel schedule since the October Commission meeting, noting he had been to Miles City, Sidney, Billings/Pompeys Pillar, Missoula, Blackfeet Country, and Lincoln.
The National Park Service Advisory Board sent notice recently that they had voted to recommend to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior that the new, larger boundaries of the Travelers’ Rest Campsite be officially recognized. Mr. Blackwood said this boundary change to the west side of Hwy. 93 was based on archaeologist Dan Hall’s work that was submitted to the NPS for verification and acceptance.
Mr. Blackwood reported on plans to print 40,000 copies of an updated version of the L&C trail map in conjunction with the Great Falls Tribune. Events from 2005 will be deleted and refreshed 2006 event information will be included. The reverse side will include an ad for the Senate Art Project in addition to event information and some ad space. Delivery is expected in early April to coincide with the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Great Falls. He said this piece had proven to be one of the more successful projects, as it doubled as a map with event information and a restaurant placemat.
Mr. Blackwood plans to moderate a session at the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Great Falls, April 10-11. Ms. Cortright will attend and man a display booth where the new map, the Senate Art Project, and various Montana events will be promoted. The booth space will be shared with folks from Livingston who will be promoting their Sacajawea bronze.
Tara Jensen was named recently as the new L&C contact for the Office of Public Instruction.
Mr. Blackwood concluded is report by noting that Ms. Cortright had liquidated the Legacy Campaign assets and transferred Campaign records to the Montana History Foundation.
Mr. Staves called for questions on the Director’s report; hearing none, he moved on to the next agenda item.
V. Committee Reports
A. Transition Committee - Hal Stearns
Mr. Stearns delivered a report on the Transition Committee’s activities since the Oct. Commission meeting. He noted the previous decision to terminate day-to-day operations as of Dec. 31, 2006, and explained the Transition Committee was formed to determine the steps leading up to that date. Minutes of the December 5, 2005, Transition Committee meeting were distributed and Mr. Stearns recommended reviewing each of the nine recommendations contained in the minutes and taking separate action on each one.
Mr. Stearns explained that prior to resigning his position, Arnie Olsen authorized reclassification of Commission staff positions in the 020 Pay Plan. All of the original conditions of the Commission’s original would remain in place. Mark Baumler had confirmed the intent of Mr. Olsen’s e-mail and had talked with Jody Brandt in the Society’s Business Office regarding the migration to the new plan that was to have begun in January. He then read the following: “Recommendation 1: Steve Kubick made a motion to support migration of the staff positions to the new 020 Pay Plan,” and called for discussion. Mr. Baumler stated that Ms. Brandt was unable to arrange a meeting with State Personnel in January, but met with them yesterday and he did not know the details of that meeting. He said said the difficulty was that the rest of the Society was not on the 020 plan; however he did not anticipate any problems. Mr. Blackwood added that it was quite a process to develop the new position profiles and said Mary Ann Bannon, payroll & benefits specialist for the Society, indicated she would seek a shorter process. Mr. Baumler said a performance appraisal process needed to be implemented as part of the process. Mr. Monger clarified that staff were employees of the Montana Historical Society, not the L&C Bicentennial Commission, and the Commission’s role was to make recommendations to the Society. Ms. Baumgart noted that the Dept. of Commerce had already completed the process of transitioning to the new pay plan and found some easier ways of completing the task of converting job descriptions to profiles and developing a generic evaluation form. She offered assistance to the Society and Mr. Baumler thanked her and agreed to pass on the offer to Jody Brandt. Mr. Stearns made a motion to support and adopt Recommendation 1 as stated. Mr. Monger seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns reviewed the Transition Committee’s discussion regarding possible business that might take place following the formal closure of the office on Dec. 31, 2006, and the sunset date of the Commission on December 31, 2007. Possible issues included the handling of license plate revenues and completion of the Senate Art project. He said there could be revenues left in the budget that would need to be allocated and suggested business could be handled through the Commission’s Executive Committee. He read the following; “Recommendation 2: Steve Kubick made a motion to support empowering the Executive Committee to conduct Commission business through calendar 2007.” He called for discussion and hearing none, Mr. Stearns made a motion to support and adopt Recommendation 2 as stated. Mr. Sansaver seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns explained that no action was required on item #3. He next addressed the Commission’s final meeting date and said most of the focus in 2006 would deal with the signature event, “Clark on the Yellowstone” planned for July 22-25 at Pompeys Pillar. Previous discussions included a proposal that the Commission’s final meeting would be held during the signature event. The Transition Committee recommended one final meeting on July 21, and if necessary the Executive Committee would have the option of meeting in the fall. He read the next recommendation, “Recommendation 4: Homer Staves made a motion to recommend that the Commission’s final meeting should be held July 21, 2006.” Ms. Baumgart made a option to support and adopt Recommendation 4 as stated. Mr. Lepley seconded and the motion carried.
Next Mr. Stearns addressed the final report in the form of the Commission’s Legacy Document. He thanked Dave Walter for his involvement in the project, and Mr. Blackwood and Ms. Cortright for their support of Rob Bauer, who was tasked with completing the document this summer. The final report is expected to be printed and ready for mailing by October 2006. He read the following; “Recommendation 5: Betsy Baumgart made a motion to recommend utilizing the Legacy Document as the Commission’s final report to the Legislature, and to work with Mark Baumler to ensure the format was appropriate for the Society’s reporting requirements.” Ms. Stone made a motion to support and adopt Recommendation 5 as stated. Ms. Baumgart seconded. Mr. Monger asked Mr. Walter if the final report would include an executive summary and Mr. Walter confirmed it would. Mr. Baumler reported that he had spoken with Jody Brandt and Dave Walter and confirmed that the format would satisfy the Society’s reporting requirements. Mr. Staves called for the question and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns expressed his appreciation to staff for the work to produce the newsletter ‘journal notes,’ and for the work involved in keeping the website current. He read next, ‘Recommendation 6: Betsy Baumgart made a motion to recommend producing the July newsletter on schedule and a fall issue in October or November.” Mr. Sansaver made a motion to support and adopt Recommendation 6 as stated. Ms. Hamburg seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns addressed plans for archiving the Commission’s website and read the following: “Recommendation 7: The Committee agreed to delay making a recommendation in order to allow for further research and a report at the Febr. 16 meeting.” Mr. Staves said he had agreed to follow up on this and said he spoke with his contact and referenced an article in the Billings Gazette that discussed a web site, www.archive.com that is collecting all websites that were going out of existence. Mr. Staves agreed to continue working with Mr. Blackwood on this topic. At a minimum he said it could be copied to CD and provided to the Historical Society. Mr. Baumler reported on his conversation with archivist Jody Foley, who said she would welcome a professionally copied CD. A hard copy printout could also be archived. He offered to make the static website available through the Society’s web page for a period of time past Dec. 2006, with no additional cost to the Commission. Mr. Blackwood explained that the current monthly fee of $25 would be discontinued as of Dec. 2006. Mr. Staves asked Mr. Stearns to revisit this topic with the Transition Committee and report at the July 21 meeting. Mr. Stearns recapped that they would look at transferring the website to the Historical Society, and consider having it copies professionally to a CD for archival purposes.
Future funding for MTTA was addressed next. Mr. Stearns explained that MTTA had been an active and successful organization in promoting tribal tourism. The Transition Committee had discussed possible sources of funding for MTTA past the Commission’s FY07 commitment, and at that time Mr. Olsen agreed to consider providing funding through the Society, which Mr. Baumler was not aware of during the Dec. 5 meeting. Ms. Baumgart explained that Travel Montana provided $10,000 annually in support. The Committee agreed to leave this topic open-ended for discussion during the Feb. 16 meeting. Mr. Stearns called on Mr. Baumler who said he had heard good things about MTTA and said he understood why Mr. Olsen agreed to consider future funding; however, he felt it was appropriate to defer this decision until a permanent director was in place at the Society. Ms. Baumgart said MTTA predated the Commission and was developed through an effort with Travel Montana related to their cultural tourism program. The funding was intended to help establish and operate MTTA’s office and provide funds to attend the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. She felt MTTA would continue regardless of additional funding through the Society; however, if funding was possible, she said it was a great association and they could certainly use the assistance. Mr. Staves echoed Ms. Baumgart’s comments. Mr. Baumler agreed to pass this topic on to the new director. Mr. Monger clarified that the Commission was committed to $5,000 in FY07 and asked if this discussion involved the budget. Mr. Staves said once the Commission took up discussion of the FY07 budget, the topic of additional funding could be considered at that time. Mr. Stearns asked if it would be appropriate to send a letter commenting on the Commission’s position regarding FY07 funding. Mr. Stearns made a motion directing staff to draft a letter to MTTA citing the Commission’s interest in seeing MTTA’s efforts continued, and expressing how much we have enjoyed our relationship with them. Ms. Hamburg seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns explained that no action was required on item #9 as it would be covered later in the meeting. Regarding other topics, Mr. Stearns explained that the Transition Committee also discussed maintenance funding for Interpretive Signs. He said basic to this plan was completing an inventory and added that funding was not a given as any unspent funds would likely be directed to the Senate Art Project. Mr. Blackwood said he had a proposal from MDT and there also remained the proposal from FWP that would be addressed later in the meeting. Ms. Baumgart asked for clarification on Mr. Stearns’ comment regarding unspent funds and he responded that funds were not committed at this time. Mr. Alberts asked if there were further issues that RBCs should be concerned with, outside of the Interpretive Signage inventory, such as archiving. Mr. Staves asked if Mr. Bauer had interviewed RBCs and Ms. Cortright responded that he has reviewed all of the their available minutes and had done some interviews. Mr. Alberts agreed that archiving of information was one of the biggest issues for RBCs. Mr. Staves thanked Mr. Stearns for the Transition Committee’s effective work and referred to the Timeline worksheet as informational.
The meeting recessed for a brief break.
B. Budget Review - Clint Blackwood
Mr. Blackwood began with a review of the FY’06 Budget Worksheet and referred first to the projected March-June income from license plate sales. He cautioned that these figures were projections based on past years’ actual income, less a 15% annual decrease. He predicted a continued decline in license plate revenues, and cited the new general issue plate as a contributing factor. Mr. Monger asked how actual figures through 2005 compared with budgeted amounts. Mr. Blackwood said 2005 income was generally stronger than projected during the first half of the year; however the worksheet projected income to be down by $140 at FYE. Mr. Stearns asked if the Bicentennial plate had a sunset date and Mr. Blackwood responded that each of the specialty plates have to address this individually, and the legislation passed last session removed the sunset date of Dec. 31, 2006 from the L&C plate. Continued sale of specialty plates was based on maintaining a minimum number of 400 plates sold annually and people could maintain their plates in perpetuity as long as the plate remained in readable condition.
Mr. Blackwood noted that the final Board of Investment payment was made Feb. 13. Regarding the projected payment of grant funds, he noted the timing of these payments was dependent on cash flow, but did not foresee any problems at this time. The year-end cash balance was projected at $14,657.79, which had not been carried forward to the FY07 budget. Mr. Monger asked for a general recap of the Commission’s fiscal condition. Ms. Cortright responded that the base budget was funded through Travel Montana in the amount of $16,666 per month. The NPS CCS Grant funds were pass-through and did not affect the base budget. The $50,000 from Commerce for the grants program came in July and was regranted immediately. The fluctuation in the income portion of the budget was license plate revenues. She said plates income was holding well according to projections and she did not foresee any problem with projected revenues. She stated that most of the expense categories were coming in under budget, and felt that the $14,657 cash balance might even increase slightly by FYE. Mr. Staves pointed out that budgeted income was $591,714, and actual plus budgeted income was shown at $597,372. Under expenses the budget was $591,714 and actual plus budgeted expenses were shown at $582,714. Mr. Staves said he was pleased with the status of the budget and asked if actual FYE figures would be available prior to the Commission’s July 21 meeting. Ms. Cortright responded that the FYE would be closed then but most likely the final reports would not be received in time for the meeting.
Mr. Blackwood referred to the FY07 budget, noting the $14,657 carry forward from FY06. He said the expense item for Tom Cook for public relations was dropped from the budget. Under income, the $50,000 repayment to the Commission from the Senate Art Project was projected for July 2006. Unallocated funds as of December 2007 were noted as Contingency Funds in the amount of $73,641. If the $50,000 loan to the Senate Art Project were not repaid, this balance would be reduced to $23,641. The January income column reflected an expected $6,360 in revenue from the December license plate sales. Mr. Staves said the worst-case scenario would be an ending balance of $15-$16,000; best-case would be about $70,000 to disburse. Mr. Monger asked if the accrued interest on the $50,000 BOI loan should have been included. Mr. Blackwood said the agreement was repayment of principal, plus interest; however he did not have that amount readily available. Mr. Monger asked to have the interest included in the FY07 budget, plus the estimated carry-forward balance from FY06, for the July 21 meeting. He also asked if it was possible to estimate any unpaid Dec. expenses that would carry into January and Ms. Cortright said it was not possible to predict those much in advance of December; however this was a full 6-month income and expense sheet and everything was accounted for. Mr. Baumler asked for confirmation of the interest amount and Ms. Cortright agreed to provide him with a copy of the repayment schedule. Mr. Staves called for a motion and Ms. Stone made a motion to approve the FY07 budget with the requested changes by Mr. Monger to include the interest amount on the BOI loan, the actual cash carry-forward from FY06, and removal of the Contingency expense item. Mr. Sansaver seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Monger complimented staff for their work to accurately budget income and expenses and said the last couple of years’ budgets were a great improvement.
C. Grants Committee - Betsy Baumgart
Ms. Baumgart called on Ms. Cortright to deliver the grant reports. She began with a recap of the 2002 Project Grant to the Crow Tribe in the amount of $7,500 for the their video project, “ A Crow Perspective of Lewis & Clark.” The funds were directed toward the costs associated with duplication of the video once produced and matching funds were required. To date the final report had not been submitted. She explained that Mr. Blackwood spoke yesterday with Latonna Old Elk regarding the status of the grant report and asked him to comment. Mr. Blackwood said the dilemma was a change in tribal leadership and project administration. The video was not produced, but research materials were collected. Mr. Blackwood had asked her to draft the report explaining that funds were not used for the actual production of a video, but were instead expended on gathering the materials. He explained she agreed to make an attempt to compile the report, addressing the changes in leadership and project management. He said she was informed that Corps II funds would not be extended until the 2002 Project Grant report was satisfied. He was hopeful that the reported expenses would more than make up the amount of the grant. Mr. Staves said he would like to see the collected resources made available through Travel Montana or the Historical Society, where someone else could benefit from them. Mr. Blackwood said that was a reasonable request, and would address this with Latonna. Mr. Baumler asked if there was a Tribal archive where the materials could be made available. Mr. Stearns suggested another repository could be the new OPI office dealing with the new initiative, “Indian Education for All.” Mr. Staves asked if the Commission desired to take any action. Mr. Lepley made a motion that the Commission accept the forthcoming written report in lieu of the video and extend Corps II funding as planned. He supported writing off the grant and letting the Corps II event proceed. Ms. Stone requested that the report include naming the repository for the gathered materials. Mr. Monger supported moving ahead with Corps II funding on a reimbursement basis. Mr. Sansaver seconded the motion. He then explained that Fort Peck produced a visitor guide, tribal history and video with the help of the Glasgow Museum and offered to share the visitor guide format with Latonna. Mr. Monger offered an amendment to the motion requiring that in this circumstance Corps II grant funds be made as a reimbursement, not as an up-front payment. Ms. Stone seconded the amendment. Mr. Staves called for discussion on the amendment. Hearing none, he called for the question and the motion carried.
Ms. Baumgart said she did not want to hinder Corps II, but felt that an explanation of what the funds were spent on was necessary. If possible, she wanted to see the research put into some type of tangible documentation, rather than simply handing off the stack of research to a repository. Mr. Lepley questioned what would happen if the report were not forthcoming. Mr. Blackwood said the funds were extended in good faith, but because of changes in administration and project leadership the project had not been completed and agreed Mr. Lepley made a good point. Mr. Monger said the third option was to ask that the grant funds be returned, and if that did not happen, then he would not support providing further funding. Mr. Staves said the Commission had a fudiciary responsibility for the grant funds. He explained that when TAC grant funds were used improperly the grantee was fined a percentage of the grant funds. Ms. Baumgart noted the Commission’s grants program involved Bed Tax funds. Mr. Lepley said they were no longer dealing with the same group of people who received the funds. Mr. Staves noted the funds were granted to the Crow Tribe and the Tribe was still in existence. Ms. Baumgart confirmed her request to obtain a report or summary documentation from the gathered research materials versus just having the materials archived some place. Ms. Baumgart made an amendment to the motion requesting some type of written report or document from the research gathered, either a travel guide or documentation of the research. Mr. Monger seconded. Mr. Lepley asked what would happen if the report was not forthcoming. Mr. Staves responded that if the report was not produced, no further funding would be provided. He then asked Ms. Baumgart and Mr. Monger to assist Mr. Blackwood in assessing the final report. Mr. Monger asked if Mr. Sansaver could be included and Mr. Staves agreed. Mr. Blackwood said timing would be a factor and did not know how much of a detailed report Ms. Old Elk could produce, but knew she would be anxious to write the grant application for the Corps II funds. Ms. Cortright noted that the Corps II funds were to be on a reimbursement basis, so the application could be completed immediately. Ms. Hamburg asked for clarification and Mr. Staves said no further funds would be provided until the final report for the 2002 project was submitted and accepted. Ms. Baumgart asked for the dollar amount on the Corps II grant and Ms. Cortright responded it was $500 per day, for a total of $2,000. She clarified that the Corps II application had not been mailed to the Crow as of today; the 2006 O&P Grant application was mailed last fall and had not been returned. Mr. Staves clarified the amendment on the main motion, stating it required a financial report on the grant and either a report or document that could be utilized, or a summary of the gathered materials and where they would be placed for future reference. Mr. Staves called for the question and the motion carried with one vote in opposition. Mr. Staves said the main motion addressed Mr. Lepley’s concerns. Ms. Baumgart asked how much time was allowed to complete the final report before they would need Corps II funds. Ms. Cortright noted the Crow’s Corps II event was scheduled for July 15-18, and explained that the application process was fairly simple in form. Ms. Baumgart said she was comfortable with extending the Corps II application now, in anticipation of receiving the final report. Mr. Staves clarified that Corps II was on a reimbursable basis and they would not receive funds until after their event. He said what was not covered in the motion was a reporting deadline. Mr. Sansaver suggested a June 1 deadline and said he would be willing to travel to the College and provide assistance. Mr. Lepley was still concerned that Corps II would not take place without the Commission’s funding support. Mr. Staves clarified that Corps II would take place regardless of the Commission’s funding support; what would be impacted would be speakers in the Tent of Many Voices. Mr. Staves called for a vote on Mr. Lepley’s motion and restated it as follows: The Commission required a final report and if the report was received by July 1, they would receive Corps II funding on a reimbursable basis. Mr. Lepley offered to withdraw his motion and Mr. Staves responded that it could not be withdrawn as there were amendments on it. Mr. Staves called for the question and the motion carried, with two votes in opposition.
Ms. Cortright continued with the Project Grant report, noting that only one project remained open; #2004-002 to Montana Geology and Geography that had been extended to Aug. 31, 2006.
2005 Organization & Planning Grants
Ms. Cortright reported that reports were due on December 31, 2005, and two were delinquent at this time, Western Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission and the Little Shell Tribe. Repeated requests have been made, but reports have not been forthcoming.
2006 Organization & Planning Grants
Ms. Cortright explained that following the mailing of board packets grant funds totaling $10,977 had been issued to eleven O&P grantees. The contracts on #2006-005 were received on Feb. 15 and their check has been requested. The contract was extended to Western Montana RBC but funds would not be issued until the 2005 O&P Grant reporting requirement was satisfied. No application was submitted by the Little Shell and their 2005 report was delinquent. The Crow had not yet applied for 2006 O&P. The contract for the Blackfeet was in the mail, awaiting signatures.
Ms. Cortright reviewed the status of Program Grants, noting the Jan. 31, 2006, deadline had passed for receipt of a report from the Gallatin L&C Bicentennial Commission – PPL funds for signage at Headwaters State Park. She said the Design and Construction Bureau, FWP, and Ray Heagney, FWP at Headwaters State Park, were working to complete the signage and she expected the report soon.
The FY06 grants were reviewed, and she noted that another $10,000 was sent to the Yellowstone Co. RBC since the report was mailed, brining the total to $45,00 granted to date. Regarding Western Montana L&C RBC, she explained that the application for the total $20,000 grant award was received Feb. 15. The first $10,000 would be granted as soon as the contracts are signed; the second $10,000 was scheduled for payment in June based on available revenues. Applications were mailed to Corps II host communities with a March 31 application deadline. The $5,000 grant to the Discovery Expedition was slated for last-position payment in June and their contracts were in place. The contracts were in place for the $2,500 grants to Sidney and Miles City and funds should be issued soon.
The FY07 grants listed were $5,000 to MTTA and a total of $12,000 to Corps II host communities. Mr. Blackwood raised the question of allowing early payment of the FY07 Corps II grant funds. Ms. Cortright requested permission to mail the checks from FY06 funds if cash flow allowed, as the first three events were slated in late June and early July and it would be helpful if communities could receive funds in advance of their events. Ms. Baumgart asked for clarification and Ms. Cortright explained that the request was to pay $12,000 allocated for Corps II venues in FY07 out of the FY06 budget if cash flow allowed. Mr. Blackwood added that this time period would fall on the state’s fiscal year end closing and resulted in a delay in obtaining FY07 funding. Ms. Baumgart made a motion that if cash flow allowed, the Corps II grants are paid before the end of FY06. Mr. Monger seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Monger asked for clarification that the Western Montana RBC would not be provided further funding until they satisfied their reporting requirements. Ms. Cortright responded that no further funds would be issued until the 2005 O&P report was satisfied. She noted that the first $10,000 program grant was budgeted for payment last August, but because the application and contracts had not been put in place, no funds had been extended to date, and would not be until the 2005 O&P report was received. Mr. Blackwood asked Mr. Fichtler to relay that information to Mr. Sproull.
Corps II Grant Report
Ms. Cortright reviewed the event schedule for June through August 2006 and noted that Corps II grant applications were due March 31. A total of $12,000 in grants was scheduled for FY07, and based on the previous motion, as many grants as possible would be paid in FY06, depending on cash flow.
Challenge Cost Share
Ms. Cortright reported that one project remained open in FY04, Century of Change for $13,384. For the current year, the Commission was granted $13,000 for production of the Legacy Document; to date, $4,073 had been requested. The Montana Historical Society was awarded $75,000; to date $24,000 had been requested, leaving a total balance of $73,311.61 in pass through funds. Ms. Baumgart thanked Ms. Cortright for her efforts in managing the Grants Program. Mr. Williams also extended thanks from the National Park Service to the Commission and staff for serving as the Grants Administrator for Challenge Cost Share funds.
D. License Plate Committee - Betty Stone
Ms. Stone asked Ms. Cortright to report and she began by explaining that two printouts were provided; “License Plate Revenue Projections by Fiscal Year,” and “License Plate Sales Recap – Calendar Year.” She explained that the monthly Projected Revenue for 2006 was based on actual revenues from prior years, with a 15% reduction built in. She noted that revenues received for example in January reflected plates sold in November and December, as there is a 30-45 day delay in the receipt of revenues from the counties. The total projected revenue for calendar 2006 was $135,380. The Jan.-June 2006 projections were carried forward to the FY2006 budget under License Plate revenues. The July-Dec. 2006 projected revenues were carried forward to the FY2007 budget under License Plate revenues. She said plate sales were holding steady according to projections and noted that in calendar 2005, 1,266 new plates were sold and 6,979 plates were renewed. Collector plate sales to date totaled $2,268 and Ms. Cortright said there were still 15 plates available for $30 each. Mr. Staves recapped that close to $1 million dollars had been realized from the license plate sales. Mr. Monger asked if these reports would be part of the archived records.
E. Education Committee - Hal Stearns
Mr. Stearns noted that Mr. Blackwood reported earlier on their meeting with Tara Jensen, OPI, who was enthusiastic about tying L&C information with teacher programs. He referenced OPI’s website where information such as lesson plans was readily available to teachers. The College of Technology in Billings, along with the event planners for “Clark on the Yellowstone,” was planning a technology symposium May 7-9, as a soft opening for the signature event. They plan to bring in all 4th grade students in the immediate area to the College of Technology where current technology would be compared to that of 1805-1806. Community professionals would be invited to share their knowledge with students. On July 19-20, through a Dept. of Education grant, the community of Billings plans to provide a program for teachers. Further details were not available at this time; however DEU credits would be offered. The Montana Committee for the Humanities’ new publication includes a request for topics and speakers for the Speaker’s Bureau for 2006-2008. Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Donnelly to speak on the National Guard’s National Bicentennial Event. He explained the Guard elected to host a youth rendezvous in North Dakota in conjunction with New Town’s signature event. An essay contest was under way to select ten students from each state and territory who would be brought to three sites in North Dakota for hands-on participation with the Guard and re-enactors. Students would also participate in the Opening Ceremony at the signature event. Mr. Donnelly offered brochures and noted the application deadline was approaching for the essay contest; to date about 20 students had entered. He also referred to Sgt. Jim Kelly’s efforts on behalf of the Guard’s educational outreach program in Montana schools. To date they have reached over 4,000 students in three months and the he said demand from educators was overwhelming.
F. Fundraising & Promotion Committee - Mark Baumler
Mr. Baumler asked Ms. Cortright to deliver the report. She reviewed the income and expenses for Oct. through January 2006, and noted the bank balance as of Dec. 31, 2005, was $15,214.68. The Coordinating Committee met on January 11, 2006, to discuss formally closing the L&C Legacy Campaign. They reviewed the financial reports and status of open pledges. Two large pledge donors were contacted with a request to redirect their pledge to one of the partners. She noted one pledge would most likely redirect to Pompeys Pillar; and the donor in Great Falls had agreed to continue their $10,000 undesignated pledge and would forward it to the Pompeys Pillar Historical Association for redistribution equally among the partners. The committee directed that the bank balance be split evenly among the four partners and each received a check for $3,734.70. A motion was made to formally close the Campaign as of February 11, 2006. Once the four checks clear the account the bank has been directed to close the account. Ms. Cortright noted that Campaign assets have been liquidated and the proceeds were put in the account prior to closing the account.
G. Eventa/Calendar Coordination Committee
“Lewis & Clark in the Rockies Bicentennial Festival”
Mr. Blackwood began by saying that Russ Copeland and Scott Sproull were unable to attend today’s meeting, but had forwarded a report the “Lewis & Clark in the Rockies Bicentennial Festival.” Mr. Fichtler reviewed highlights of the event, noting the opening ceremony was slated for June 21. Corps II would locate at Southgate Mall from June 22-25. On June 26-28, a series of guided walks, float trips, and bird walks were planned in the Missoula area and at Lolo Pass. A quiet ceremony was planned on June 29 at Lolo Pass commemorating the return trip. One June 30-July 3, an encampment was planned at Travelers’ Rest for re-enactors, and would overlap the Corps II dates in Lincoln. A 4th of July celebration was planned at Fort Missoula, and a barbeque and picnic was planned July 6th at Gibbon’s Pass sponsored by the Beaverhead National Forest and Big Hole Battlefield. On the 7th a dedication would take place at the headwaters of the Blackfoot dedicating the Alice Creek Trailhead with hikes to Lewis & Clark Pass. Tours were planned July 8-9 in the Monture Creek sponsored by the Blackfoot Chapter of LCTHF. Mr. Fichtler reported on good attendance at the planning committee’s recent meeting, and said a good committee was in place. The Festival was being marketed as an entire package, and the Missoulian was planning to print the daily event schedule, in addition to the daily journal quotes. Close coordination was taking place with DESC re-enactors. Other options still being worked on included bringing the John Fisher L&C artifacts collection to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s new headquarters in Missoula, and development of the “Landscapes of Lewis & Clark” art display in conjunction with the Univ. of Montana Museum of Arts and Culture.
“Clark on the Yellowstone”
Mr. Fichtler also reported on plans for the “Clark on the Yellowstone” signature event. He said there was tremendous participation from the Crow Nation, with 30-40 tepees planned in the area. The National Day of Honor on July 25 would include over 150 Crow warriors in full finery as part of the Honors Parade. Bud Clark will re-enact William Clark’s signature on the Pillar, and BLM was helping DESC plan their route down the Yellowstone River. Mr. Fichtler predicted it would be a very colorful, successful event, and recognized the NPS CCS funding support. He said the event planners were doing a wonderful job coordinating with all of the partners. In recognition of the workload, Mr. Fichtler said he was now spending half-time in Billings.
Mr. Staves announced a brief executive session during lunch and he recessed the meeting until 12:45 p.m.
A promotional DVD on the “Clark on the Yellowstone” event was played for the audience.
Corps II Host Communities
Jeff Olson, NPS, distributed two handouts, “Corps of Discovery II Update Feb. 8, 2006,” and “Comprehensive Management Plan Project Update, January 30, 2006.” Corps II opens in a month in St. Helens, Oregon, and he said he did not know how they could top the Glasgow visit. Mr. Olson said they had secured a location to do a report to the President, much as Lewis did at the end of the Expedition. In mid-to late-October, after Corps II disbands, they will reconvene at Monticello to deliver that report. He hoped that many of the dignitaries who attended the 2003 Opening Ceremony would be on hand for the Closing Ceremony as well. The Comprehensive Management Planning Process was under way to address post-Bicentennial activities. He said the Trail had been operating under the same management plan since its inception. It was their desire to take advantage of all of the partnerships that were currently in place to start the planning process to develop a document that would guide the National Park Service into the next 20-30 years. He said Steve Adams was committed to turning perceptions on their head with this plan, and really wanted partnership involvement. Some of the states had already begun pre-scoping meetings to look at issues to be included in the management plan. Mr. Olson predicted the process would take 5-7 years to complete, and would involve NPS meetings in every Trail state, including some not officially on the Trail, briefings with the states’ Governors and agency points of contact. Mr. Olson said his purpose today was to reiterate their obligation and the Park Service’s desire to keep everyone involved.
Mr. Blackwood invited Sgt. Kelly to address the L&C Outreach Program. He provided a handout and reported that they had been traveling through Montana teaching students about Lewis & Clark. They planned to hire 8 soldiers and would be providing logistical support for the Corps II communities with set-up, tear-down and security, and desired to be stationed adjacent to Corps II. Mr. Blackwood welcomed Sgt. Kelly aboard and said this was a good partnership that he looked forward to again this summer.
Mr. Blackwood reviewed the dates and locations for this summer’s seven Corps II community events. He invited Marcy Hamburg to speak on plans for Corps II in Sidney. Ms. Hamburg reported they had held several planning meetings, two annual fundraising events, and met with BLM and the National Guard. Theirs will be the last stop in Montana, and other activities were being planned in conjunction with Corps II. She was hopeful they would receive additional grant funds and said they were gearing up for a sponsorship drive. The process of contracting with presenters and speakers was also under way.
Mr. Alberts was invited to speak on plans in Lincoln. He reported on a January planning meeting where over 20 people were in attendance. The Helena National Forest – Lincoln Ranger District had taken the lead on planning the event, as they had in Helena, and he said the experience gained in Helena would be very helpful. Plans also included a July 4th parade and rodeo, and he cautioned that lodging would be in short supply.
Ms. Wolff addressed the group regarding Corps II in Miles City. She reported the Yellowstone Corridor was planning for “A Slice of the Trail” golf tournament that would start as soon as the courses open this season and would run through August. An informational brochure was distributed to the audience. A Grand Ball was being planned at the Range Rider’s Museum. They were working with NPS and FWP to plan events at Pirogue Island, and with BLM on children’s events in their tent. Marcy Hamburg added they were successful in securing Rob Quist and Jack Gladstone for performances with the additional grant funds provided by the Commission.
Mr. Blackwood reported that the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles planned to be on the Trail again this summer pending approval of their Challenge Cost Share grant. He also referenced the handout on the Blackfeet event, July 26-29 at the Meriwether Meadows Campground, halfway between Browning and Cut Bank. Further information would be available in the future on the Blackfeet website, www.blackfeetcountry.com.
Ms. Stone reported that following their event last April, “Lewis & Clark at the Confluence,” the budget ended in the black. Their committee met in December and agreed to have a marble bench with a commemorative plaque created for placement at the Confluence Interpretive Center. She said they were also able to provide about $1,000 to Sidney to assist with their Corps II event.
Ms. Baumgart encouraged everyone to provide event details to Travel Montana for listing on their Calendar of Events. She said the site was still receiving tremendous exposure, with 37,000 user sessions in January, a growth of 26 percent over last January.
H. Senate Art Legacy Project Committee – Mark Baumler
Mark Baumler said this project hit his desk early on in November and said he had been working closely with Commission staff during the last couple of months. Mr. Baumler provided several handouts, including a fact sheet and cash flow sheet produced by Gena Ashmore, photos, and brochures. He noted the recent press conference held in the Senate Chambers with Senator Grimes. The size of the finished art was 16.5 feet wide, 8 feet tall and over 8 inches deep, and would weigh between 2000-3000 lbs. He explained the rubber molds of the form shown in the photo had been made in California at the request of the artist and would be shipped to Kalispell later in February. The casting could begin in early March, with an expected completion date in August or Sept. as the foundry was unable to give a quicker turn around than 6 months upon receipt of the molds. He hoped installation could take place no later than September with the dedication in October or November to coincide with the Legislative Caucus. As a legacy project, he felt the fall timing was okay. Regarding sales, Mr. Baumler noted the project was designed to pay for itself through the sale of maquettes and medallions. He reviewed sales noting that of the 75 maquettes , 23 were sold, 3 were reserved, leaving 49 available. To date 496 bronze medallions were sold, 82 reserved, leaving 422 available. All 25 silver medallions were sold. Mr. Baumler referred to the spreadsheet, explaining it was a cumulative representation. He noted total income at $157,641 and total expenses at $136,917, leaving a cash balance of $20,724 toward the next payment on the project. He said he was confident based on the numbers that Ms. Ashmore prepared that the project was overall on track to make a profit, including repayment of the Commission’s $50,000 loan. He said the cost of installation, however, was unknown. He said this project was proving to be more difficult than first envisioned, and said the most pressing problem was cash flow. The initial payment to the foundry to initiate the casting process was $11,200, and another equal payment would be due April. The artist was owed $16,000, a portion of his second payment, which was due in March. He saw the solution to the cash flow situation in the sale of more maquettes, and said he brought a maquette along today for viewing. He encouraged everyone to help promote sales and referred to the ad on the back of the Russell magazine. Mr. Baumler said more magazine ads would be coming out this month, and said Mr. Blackwood planned a press interview while they were in Miles City today. Mr. Staves asked for clarification that this was a Society project with the funding passing their books and Mr. Baumler said the Society was in charge of the books. He added that the legislation directed the Society to commission the artist, but the Commission was tasked with raising the funds. He saw it as a joint project, as the Commission was attached to the Society. Mr. Blackwood asked if the cost of producing the molds had been paid and Mr. Baumler said it had, but the shipping costs were not included. He said the cost of shipping was known previously, but they did not know that special $500 crates were required to avoid damage in shipping. He said it was frustrating when those unknown expenses came up but they were working through each one. Mr. Lepley said in 25 years this Senate Art Project would be the Commission’s claim to fame and would be a visible remembrance of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial in Montana. He projected that when the original piece was hung, maquette sales would go very quickly, and predicted the pieces would double in value. He also predicted that it would enjoy the same popularity as the Russell paining in the House Chambers. Mr. Blackwood raised the topic of interim financing and Mr. Baumler said he was working on a couple of leads. One involved Sen. Grimes approaching Sen. Tester to see if the Senate could provide some funding and Mr. Blackwood was following up on this. Another potential source was the Society’s Art Acquisition Fund, and Mr. Baumler was considering a short-term loan from this fund. A final possibility was that Society Board member Tom Siebel had indicated an interest in owning a larger scale copy of the original artwork. Mr. Baumler said he met with the Senate Art Advisory Committee regarding this request and they agreed it was not appropriate to have a full-size duplicate made, but a lesser size might be acceptable. Mr. Baumler was pursuing this request with the artist to determine a cost, and would contact Mr. Siebel to determine if he remained interested. This sale could provide a margin of profit for the project. Mr. Staves expressed concern that producing another piece would be misleading to those who have already purchased maquettes. Mr. Baumler said they had checked with a couple of art dealers who did not think this would diminish the value of the maquettes. Mr. Lepley agreed. Mr. Blackwood said the legislation was reviewed and did not prohibit the sale of an additional piece. Mr. Staves remained concerned with the morality issue. Mr. Baumler said the Senate Advisory Committee would be the entity to make the decision since they commissioned the original art and the arrangement to sell maquettes. Mr. Staves questioned why it would be their decision if the Commission were liable for raising the funds, as he saw this as a marketing and sales issue. Mr. Baumler said he would have to revisit the issue. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission would not have any obligation with regard to the mid-sized piece. Mr. Staves returned discussion to the need for additional sales of maquettes. Mr. Baumler said if the maquette sales progressed, they would not have to consider producing a piece for Mr. Seibel, but until then, he was in need of funds to continue the project. Mr. Monger directed a question to Mr. Baumler regarding the budget and questioned whether it was correct to show the $50,000 loan from the Commission in both the Revenue and Expense sections. Mr. Staves responded that it was correctly stated and the resulting profit would remain at $33,739, leaving a potential income of $242,358 on the project. Mr. Monger asked when the next payment was due, and Mr. Baumler said the cash balance was $20,724 and the next payment of $2,000 would cover the cost of shipping the molds to Kalispell. After that, the first $11,200 payment to the foundry would be due Feb. 21. Mr. Staves said it was his understanding that we would not commit to casting the full-size until sufficient maquettes sales were made to cover the cost. Mr. Baumler said casting could be held up, which would help the cash flow. Mr. Staves said the Commission was told that none of the process on the large piece would go forward until the maquettes were sold. Mr. Baumler said the go-ahead on the molds probably happened because of shifting the process from Kalispell to California; the next step starts at Kalispell where the molds were to be done originally. Mr. Monger clarified his understanding that there was not a substantial payment to the Kalspell foundry, no obligation or contract, until such time as enough maquettes had been sold to finance it. Mr. Baumler said there was no contract in place with the foundry. Mr. Blackwood said until the piece was cast and installed, sales would languish. Both Mr. Staves and Mr. Monger reiterated that this was not how the project was started. Mr. Staves expressed concern that the Commission was now being told it was their liability, and commitments were being made to proceed with the project that the Commission had not approved. Mr. Baumler said if the Commission wanted to finish the project, they needed to come up with the funds through the sale of maquettes. He said the idea that sales would pick up once the piece was installed in the Senate was a problem, as the piece could not be cast until the maquettes were sold. Mr. Baumler said no money would be owed until the casting process was initiated in Kalispell. Mr. Blackwood said the molds could be put into storage until such time as the funds were available to proceed. He said at this time they had a window with the Kalispell foundry, and it would cost $44,000 to complete the process. Mr. Staves asked for clarification of his understanding that the Commission was liable for the payments. Mr. Baumler responded that the Society signed the contracts and they were liable for the artist’s payments, and the Society would also sign the contract with the Kalispell foundry for casting the large piece. He said the Commission was liable under law to raise the funds for the project. Mr. Staves advised him to not sign the contracts yet. Mr. Monger asked for assurance that neither the Commission nor the Society would obligate the other until such time as there was cash on hand to fulfill the contracts. Mr. Blackwood said there were sufficient funds on hand to pay for the molds and their shipping to Kalispell. After that point, the decision would need to be made to move forward with casting. He noted the law said the Commission was liable to secure outside funding for commissioning the art. The Society entered the $125,000 contract with the artist and the Commission’s responsibility was to raise that amount of money. To date, $66,667 has been paid, and the Commission was liable for the remaining $58,333 balance owed. Mr. Staves said once the Commission sunseted he did not want to see press releases claiming that members of the Commission had not fulfilled their fudiciary responsibilities. He reiterated the Commission was told the artist would not continue on the large piece until funds were in hand. Mr. Monger said there were protections in the contract with the artist that final payment would not happen until the piece was installed in the Senate chambers. Mr. Monger expressed concern with initiating the casting of the large piece without having funds in hand to cover the costs. Mr. Blackwood said that would not happen, as he was in daily contact with the Society. Mr. Staves asked how funds would be obtained without selling maquettes, as he did not want to borrow funds at this stage. Mr. Blackwood proposed storing the molds until sufficient funds were raised to proceed, and clarified that he was not proposing the Commission take out a loan to cover costs.
Mr. Stearns said it should be the Commission’s primary focus to take every opportunity to promote the project and sale of the maquettes. Mr. Staves said he was confused regarding the Commission’s role as they were not originally tasked with selling the maquettes, and felt a marketing plan was needed in order to proceed. He agreed with Mr. Stearns’ suggestion of increased PR, but said there had been no plan since Mr. Olsen left. Mr. Baumler said there was no plan in place when Mr. Olsen was there, and added that the maquettes tended to sell best by word of mouth. He noted the upcoming advertising in “We Proceeded On” and said they were attempting to keep project expenses low. Mr. Monger agreed that earlier promises were not fulfilled, and recommended making a fresh start today to get maquettes sold. He felt it was the Commission’s obligation to help market the art and asked what was needed to accomplish that task. Ms. Baumgart agreed with Mr. Monger’s assessment, and expressed sympathy with Mr. Baumler’s position. She referred to the original agreement to spend $4,000 on marketing noting the Historical Society was to take the lead on creating and implementing a sales and marketing campaign to include a variety of direct mail, publicity, and advertising. Mr. Baumler said he felt the Society had done most of those things but noted he had not seen a specific plan. Ms. Baumgart noted the current budget was now almost triple the original amount at $11,000 of which $9,600 had been expended. She asked if there were marketing tools still available that could be sent to a target market, such as the blue cards. Mr. Baumler responded that a letter was in process encouraging Senators to purchase the maquettes, and said a supply of cards remained. Ms. Baumler suggested working cooperatively on a target market to utilize the remaining products and Mr. Baumler welcomed her involvement. Sgt. Kelly asked if the maquette had been shopped along the Trail in Montana, and suggested showing it in the Corps II communities this summer, in addition to contacting companies such as Wells Fargo. Mr. Baumler said it was displayed in Great Falls during the Signature Event. Ms. Hamburg suggested newspaper articles including a photo of the art piece, and offered to display the maquette in Miles City during their event. Mr. Staves asked if the Commission supported forming a committee to develop a business plan or promote sales. Mr. Sansaver offered to help make contacts, but also wanted to see an inventory of what had been done to date. Ms. Baumgart offered staff assistance from Travel Montana to develop a marketing plan, but cautioned her staff did not know the art world. Mr. Lepley asked again about displaying at the Russell Art Auction, and Mr. Blackwood said he had checked with several leads but was unable to secure a space. Mr. Staves asked Mr. Sansaver to chair a committee comprised of Mr. Baumler, a rep. from Travel Montana, Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Stearns. Mr. Saves said he would be involved as much as possible. Mr. Monger asked if staff time should be directed to the project and Mr. Staves said there was not choice but to become as involved as possible.
VI. Old Business
Mr. Williams was invited to address the Commission on behalf of the National Park Service. He noted his involvement with Lewis & Clark over the past 15 years and said it was great to be in Montana during the final year of the Bicentennial observance. He said his main purpose for traveling to Montana was to orient a new NPS employee, Suzanne Gucciardo, who would be collecting data and information on the Trail, and centralizing GIS information. Mr. Williams predicted there would be a tapering off of interest in Lewis & Clark, but noted that every generation rediscovers the history of the L&C Expedition. He encouraged people to help provide input to NPS, but to not wait on them as he said it was the state and local organizations that kept the Trail alive through the infrastructure developed during the Bicentennial. Mr. Williams noted the success of the Challenge Cost Share grant program. He explained that the NPS was not asking for continued funding support and did not ask for CCS funding in the beginning; the funding came to the NPS budget because Congress was receiving inquiries and funding requests from constituents. He encouraged people to contact their Congressional representatives if they felt strongly about future funding for the program. Mr. Staves presented Mr. Williams with a certificate of appreciation and a lapel pin on behalf of the Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission. Mr. Stearns recognized Mr. Williams as a tremendous advocate. Mr. Williams then announced his plan to retire from NPS in about 6 weeks, and said this would be his last official trip on the Trail.
A. Review FWP Proposal Regarding Interpretive Sign Maintenance Plan
Mr. Blackwood reviewed FWP’s proposal from July 2005 noting there would be no overhead fee, but the funds could not be invested in an interest-bearing account. He reported on a recent contact with MDT to determine if they would be able to assist the Commission with the sign maintenance plan. MDT confirmed interest in working with the Commission to establish guidelines and said they would manage the program with funds from the Commission invested in an interest-bearing account. The topic was tabled until the July 21 meeting.
B. Review Nomination Process for Recognition Awards
Ms. Cortright explained that at the last meeting the Commission approved a plan to present framed medallions to past and present Commission members, and a medallion on a wood base to Tribal contacts, RBC contacts, MTRI focus team members and a list of 11 additional recipients. Tied with this was a proposal to present an additional medallion to each Tribe and RBC for recognition of an outstanding volunteer. This idea did not receive strong support from RBCs as they felt it would be too difficult to single out one person for special recognition. She displayed a draft ‘certificate of award’ and explained that 3-4 certificates could be provided to each group, either with the name already filled in, or left blank for completion on the local level. The certificates could be presented during the July 21 awards ceremony or at a locally planned meeting or event. Mr. Staves asked if the cost was in the budget, and Ms. Cortright responded that $5,000 was budgeted in FY07 to cover the cost of the awards. She noted that a supply of the logo lapel pin remained and these could be given in conjunction with the certificates. Ms. Baumgart supported the idea and asked RBC reps if they planned to attend the July meeting. Ms. Stone asked about plans for the July 21 awards banquet. Mr. Blackwood said he did not think the plan included inviting all of the certificate recipients to the no-host luncheon, but would include presenting the medallions and the RBC representative would take the certificates home for later presentations. Mr. Staves agreed that recognizing individuals would take hours to complete, and directed staff to work out the details.
VII. New Business
A. Nominating Committee for July Elections
Mr. Staves called for volunteers to serve on the Nominating Committee and Ms. Stone agreed to chair the committee. He named Tootie Rasmussen to serve with Ms. Stone.
B. Review Committees & Chairs
Mr. Staves said at this late date, he did not see the necessity of making changes to the committee list.
C. Future Meeting Dates & Locations
The final meeting was set for July 21, at the Western Heritage Center in Billings.
D. Additional Grant Requests
Mr. Blackwood reviewed the request from the L&C Honor Guard for a $2,000 Program Grant to support their activities in Montana this summer. The $1,000 request from the Great Bend of the Yellowstone RBC would support the cost of bringing Gary Moulton to the statue dedication on July 15. The total of $3,000 would come out of the expected 2006 budget surplus. Mr. Lepley made a motion to approve both grant requests, and Ms. Baumgart seconded. The motion carried.
Mr. Stearns raised the possibility of providing funds from the Commission’s projected FY06 cash balance of $14,000 to other communities along the Yellowstone Corridor. Ms. Baumgart suggested a formal application was needed and Ms. Cortright confirmed that all funds were provided based on an application and contract. Mr. Staves said the funds to Billings and Great Falls were increases to their existing grants. Ms. Stone expressed concern with committing any more of the projected balance, as funds might still be needed to finance the Senate Art project. Mr. Staves invited Mr. Stearns to make a motion and he declined, saying the general mood appeared to support not spending more of the projected balance.
New Vacation Planner from Travel Montana
Ms. Baumgart displayed a copy of the newly released Vacation Planner, noting that the two previous publications, the Vacation Guide and Travel Planner, were combined into one 4-color format this year. The print run was 750,000 copies. She noted the ad for Clark on the Yellowstone, and a double spread on L&C in general. She said the L&C website experienced a 26% growth this January compared to last January and encouraged people to provide Travel Montana with information for inclusion on the Events Calendar. She said they planned to market L&C as strongly this year as last. Mr. Staves referred to the publication’s cover, and noted the ad campaign included a reference to the use of GPS.
Sgt. Kelly asked what was next after the Bicentennial Observance was concluded. Mr. Stearns responded that the Bicentennial was the beginning of taking a look at exploration. He predicted more focus nationwide on explorers such as David Thomson and John Fremont, and more of a focus on local history and looking inward at our history as Americans.
VIII. Public Input Time
Mr. Staves invited public comment and Mr. Montgomery spoke on the Gallatin Co. RBC’s photographic legacy on the Trail in southwest Montana. He said a senior in photography at MSU-Bozeman was contracted to photograph the Trail from Crimson Bluffs to Lemhi Pass and had taken about 1,000 photos of which 35-36 quality photos were selected for their Legacy project. The cost to the RBC was about $2,300 to cover the photographer’s expenses. Each photo’s GPS was recorded so that in 100 years a person could find the exact location. The photos will be on display for schools and then archived. The RBC retained the rights to the images that were also stored on a CD. Ms. Baumgart asked about the photo CD, noting Travel Montana includes photo images on their website and might like to display some of these images with permission. Mr. Montgomery directed inquiries to Beth Merrick at the Museum of the Rockies.
Mr. Sansaver made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Baumgart seconded. The motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.
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