Strategic Plan | Master Plan | Current Commissioners | Newsletter | Press Releases
Director's Reports | Tasks Completed | Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Commision Conferences & Workshops | Regional Conferences & Workshops
LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
I. Call to Order
Holiday Inn, Great Falls, Montana
June 2, 2005 - 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Montana Agricultural Center &
Museum of the Northern Great Plains, Fort Benton, Montana
June 3, 2005 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Vice-Chairman Hal Stearns called the meeting to order, noting the Commission felt it was important to be in Great Falls for today’s Opening Ceremony for Montana’s first Signature Event, Explore! the Big Sky. He then recognized Clint Blackwood, executive director for the state Commission, who was in the audience for this meeting, as he was recovering from surgery. Mr. Stearns announced he would serve as chair today as Homer Staves was unable to attend today’s meeting due to his wife Andrea’s surgery. He asked people to include Homer and his family in their prayers and a card was circulated among the Commission. He also noted that Betsy Baumgart had recently returned from her mother’s funeral and he extended sympathies to her as well.
Chairman Stearns called for introductions. Commissioners in attendance were: Wyman McDonald, Betty Stone, Marcy Hamburg, Darrell Kipp, Hal Stearns, Betsy Baumgart, Doug Monger, Tootie Rasmussen, Arnie Olsen and Mark Sansaver from Wolf Point, who was the newest member of the Commission. Jack Lepley joined the meeting in progress as he attended the 10 A.M. dedication ceremony of Marias River Mini-Interpretive Site. Rita Cortright filled in for Clint Blackwood who was in the audience.
Mr. Stearns expressed thanks to members of the audience for the role they were playing in the Bicentennial commemoration. Guests included Steve Kubick, Wendy Raney, Dick Alberts, Beth Merrick, Diane Brandt, Ted Reichert, Mary Jane Charlo, Robbie Carpenter, Terri Purcell, Steve Knecht, Rob Bauer, Dave Walter, Dyani Bingham, Cameron Clark, Jeff Olson and Peggy Bourne.
Mr. Stearns welcomed Rob Bauer and asked him to report on his work on the Commission’s Legacy Document. Mr. Bauer, a graduate student at the University of Montana, Missoula, said he was hired May 23 to begin writing the Legacy Document for the Commission. He reported his first week and a half was spent reviewing minutes, records and reports to obtain background information, and noted that when he begins work on the key personnel section he would be requesting a short statement from each commissioner and a photograph.
Mr. Stearns announced that the Opening Ceremony parade planned for 5:30 p.m. today was cancelled due to rain; however, the Grand Opening of the museum exhibits in Great Falls would take place at 6:30 p.m. as scheduled. Ms. Cortright explained that Peggy Bourne would be providing event passes for Commissioners later in the meeting when she reported on the Signature Event.
III. Approval of February 15, 2005 Meeting Minutes
Mr. Stearns called for additions or corrections to the February 15, 2005, meeting minutes. Betsy Baumgart moved to approve the minutes; Betty Stone seconded and the motion carried.
IV. Director’s Report
Mr. Stearns called on Rita Cortright to deliver a brief highlights for March – May 2005. She reported that since the Febr. Commission meeting, the grant contracts and funds were issued for Corps II host community grants through July 2005. Three L&C Training Academy sessions, sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service, were held in Billings, March 23-24; Missoula, April 26-27, and in Great Falls, May 3-4 under the leadership of Ken Wilk. The Governor’s Tourism Conference took place at the Colonial Inn in Helena March 20-22. The Commission had a booth display during the 3-day conference, and both Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright attended various sessions. She noted that Clint’s surgery was April 25, 2005, in Seattle and he was presently on leave from work. May highlights included Ms. Cortright’s L&C presentation to 439 students at Rossiter Elementary School in Helena and the May 18 signing of a modification to the NPS Challenge Cost Share agreement covering 2 grants, one to the Commission for $13,000 for the Legacy Document, and $75,000 to the Society for their exhibit. A May 20 press conference was held on the Capitol lawn with Gov. Schweitzer, MDOT Director Jim Lynch, Betsy Baumgart, Travel Montana, to unveil the 2005-2006 Commemorative L&C State Highway Map. The event was covered by newspapers and two TV stations. In late May, Dave Walter and Ms. Cortright worked with Prof. Harry Fritz, to contract with UM graduate student, Rob Bauer, to begin work on the Legacy Document. Mr. Walter drafted a document outline and Mr. Bauer will be working 10 weeks this summer and next compiling the document. Once drafted the document will be formatted by a graphics designer, printed and distributed. Ms. Cortright displayed a copy of the newly revised “Lewis & Clark in Montana” map produced by MDT staff that now displayed event logos for the Key Events in Montana, in addition to the 2005-2006 Corps II host community sites. She explained that Mr. Blackwood had initiated a project to print and distribute a large quantity of the map statewide. In response, Max Smith, advertising director for the Great Falls Tribune, agreed to partner with the Commission to sell advertising space around the perimeter of the map and also provided graphics design for the reverse side that highlighted the Key Events and Corps II sites. The cost to the Commission was $1,000 for the production of 60,000 maps, 100 sheets to a tear-off pad. Carol Crockett with Travel Montana has agreed to distribute cases of the map statewide to Visitor Information Centers and Chambers of Commerce. Ms. Cortright had a case of maps on hand and encouraged members of the audience to take samples with them and contact the Commission office for more copies for distribution at local area businesses. She spoke briefly on the 2005 Grants Program, noting that all contracts and checks for approved grants had been issued, with the exception of the O&P and Program Grant to the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribe. The final update item addressed was placement of the 13th gateway sign panel at the MDT Sweetgrass Rest Area at Havre. Ms. Cortright displayed a poster of the sign’s image and welcomed members of the audience to take copies of the poster or contact her for additional copies. Mr. Stearns called for questions or comments on the report and suggested the Commission send a letter of appreciation to Max Smith at the Great Falls Tribune for his role in producing the tear-off map, and for the annual L&C inserts in the Tribune. Ms. Baumgart displayed the insert and said her office had a large supply on hand for distribution to the Visitor Information Centers. He also requested that a letter be sent to Travel Montana and MDT for their work on the 2005-2006 state highway map. Ms. Rasmussen said she posted the map and other information in the Choteau Visitor Center and had received positive comments on them.
Mr. Stearns called on Betsy Baumgart to comment on the 2005 Legislative session. She expressed disappointment that the Legislature did not fund Montana’s two Signature Events, although several bills were introduced. HB 301 did pass and allocated Bicentennial License Plate revenues in the amount of 25% to the Montana Historical Society and 75% to the Dept. of Commerce for equal distribution to Pompeys Pillar, Travelers’ Rest and the L&C Interpretive Center Foundation after Jan. 1, 2007. From a tourism perspective, Ms. Baumgart said this was the first time in a long time they did not loose funding, and felt it was because the Legislature recognized that promotional dollars were effective. She reported that Commerce spent a great deal of time on HB 584, the “Big Sky on the Big Screen Act” which would help on an economic level.
Mr. Monger said it was impressive to watch the L&C groups work together on HB 301, noting it could have been a fairly contentious bill.
Mr. Olsen added the Society was involved in HB 301, but not in the other bills as they were involved in obtaining funding through the state bonding program for a new Montana History Center, which was successful with $7.5 million approved in state bonding funds. The Society was in the process of negotiating with owners of the Capitol Hill Mall with the intent to purchase the mall and develop it into a 250,000 square foot, 13-acre Montana History Center. He cautioned that it would be a long process and nothing would happen for 4-5 years at a minimum.
B. Tasks Completed this Year – 7/1/04 to 6/30/05
Mr. Stearns said he visited yesterday with staff about this report and asked Ms. Cortright to comment. She explained that she felt it was better to delay compiling the report until Mr. Blackwood was back to work and could provide input. She offered to send it to Commission members prior to the October meeting.
C. Tasks to be Completed Next Year – 7/1/05 to 6/30/06
Ms. Cortright referred to the handout titled, “Tasks to Complete in FY’06” and said once Mr. Blackwood was back to work he might suggest some edits to the report. She noted that most of the “Administration and Communication” items were ongoing and unchanged from past years. One new item was work on the Legacy Document this summer and next. Under “Financial” she noted Mr. Blackwood’s ongoing efforts to secure Congressional funding; the Commission staff’s continued oversight of the Legacy Campaign; our continued partnership with the National Council; continued support of the two Signature Events; the ongoing NPS CCS agreement to pass through two grants this year; and assisting the Society where possible with the Senate Art Legacy Project. Under “Planning” the following new items were noted: working with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles through this summer; helping Scott Sproull with the “Lewis & Clark in the Rockies” event June 21-July 7, 2006; supporting and assisting with “Clark on the Yellowstone” signature event; working with 13 remaining Corps II host communities to provide grant funding and assistance; coordinating with Mary Jane Charlo on plans for the “Encounter the Bitterroot Salish” event at Sula, Sept. 9-10, 2005. Regarding the tentative event with the Blackfeet next July, Ms. Cortright said she spoke with George Heavy Runner and he was hopeful that a commemorative event would take place. Under “Education & Research,” Ms. Cortright said most of the work was being done through the Education Committee, and said Mr. Stearns would report further during Committee Reports. The eight “Main Goals for FY’06” were reviewed last. She said if Mr. Blackwood made revisions to the document, it would be mailed for review during the October meeting. Mr. Stearns called for questions on the report and Mr. Kipp asked for a review of the Commission’s meeting schedule. Mr. Stearns said the Commission had planned to meet Oct. 11 in Big Timber, in Miles City in Febr. 2006, and also in June and October 2006.
Ms. Baumgart reported on Travel Montana’s L&C instate marketing campaign, noting 100,000 copies of the commemorative L&C state highway map were printed this year, 25,000 more than in previous years. She recognized Tom Cook’s efforts in getting the press release out. The newly revised L&C brochure was printed and ready for distribution. The printed Calendar of Events contained a panel of L&C events. A new TV spot was just finished and would begin airing this week that highlighted the Explore! signature event. A second creative would be pushing the Corps II events, and the third one was general to L&C and the commemoration. She said the letter in the Governor’s “Invite a Friend” campaign talks about the signature events and the L&C Bicentennial, and the “Lewis & Clark in Montana” brochure was included, which was new to the packet this year. To help boost ticket sales for Explore! a link was created from Travel Montana’s www.visitmt.com home page to Explore! the Big Sky’s ticket sales web page. Ms. Baumgart reported 8,000 daily user sessions to that site through April of 2004; this year the number increased to 11,000. She reported that last year the L&C site averaged 700-800 daily user sessions; this year it has increased to 1,100. Horizon Air’s in-flight magazine highlighted Lewis & Clark in the current issue, in particular the White Cliffs area.
Dyani Bingham reported that the Blackfeet event was discussed during yesterday’s COTA meeting, and said Keith Heavy Runner was attempting to secure a tribal resolution for the event. She estimated that 25 people attended the COTA meeting and closed by saying she was currently working on the encampment in Great Falls and said it was going well. Mr. Stearns thanked her for all her efforts.
Cameron Clark announced the 4-day event at Whitehall, July 29-Aug. 1, 2005, and distributed brochures. Mr. Stearns noted the new facility at Twin Bridges, and also the new visitor center at Dillon. Mr. Clark said Dillon has held good events for several years and said Corps II would be in Dillon Aug 5-8, and then to Hamilton Aug. 26-29, and Lolo, Sept. 8-11. The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles re-enactors plan to be at all three sites.
V. Committee Reports
A. Transition Committee
Mr. Stearns, chair of the Transition Committee, referenced the Transition Plan that he said would result in a smooth transition over the next 18 months, and noted it was difficult for everyone to see the Commission’s activities coming to an end. He referenced the minutes of the May 9, 2005, meeting, and thanked Arnie Olsen, Betsy Baumgart, Doug Monger, Homer Staves, Carol Bronson, and Steve Kubick for serving on the committee. In referring to the Timeline, he said the committee looked first at funding, as it was key to staffing, duties, and the grants program. Mr. Stearns said the revenue from license plate sales was holding steady and would continue coming to the Commission through Dec. 31, 2006, at which time the Commission’s involvement with the plates would cease. He noted Clint’s position ends July 31, 2006, and Rita’s position ends Dec. 31, 2006. Most of the fiscal duties would be completed at yearend; however a few might carry into 2007 and would be covered staff in the Society’s business office. Mr. Stearns noted the Commission’s meeting schedule continued through Oct. 2006. The committee agreed that Director’s Reports would cease with Clint’s departure. The Partner Coordination would gradually phase out as of July 2006. They discussed the schedule for the Legacy Document, projected for completion and distribution Dec. 2006. A portion of the NPS CCS Grant would be requested in FY06, with the balance being requested in FY07. The Committee did not cover the topics of newsletter, access database or general daily duties. The website, however, was discussed, and was presently being hosted for $25/month by Tempest Technologies. During the May 9 meeting, Homer Staves joined via cell phone, and offered to follow up on an organization that offers services in archiving websites. Mr. Stearns referred to the recent newspaper article on the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation that addressed their need for a larger space in which to archive materials, and said they could serve as a great central location for archiving L&C records. Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Monger to elaborate on his comments during the May 9 meeting with regard to Interpretive Sign Maintenance. Mr. Monger said there was concern about the long-term maintenance and upkeep of interpretive signs funded by the Commission. He said two alternatives were identified: 1) setting aside funds from the Commission’s ending budget to be invested in a trust through the Society or the LCTHF with the interest earning directed to maintenance and upkeep; or 2) setting aside a set expendable amount for sign maintenance. The Committee did not reach a conclusion on this issue. Mr. Stearns noted that three annual pledge payments of $20,000 each were expected from PPL for interpretive sign projects through the Legacy Campaign. During the meeting Mr. Olsen recommended closing the Legacy Campaign in June 2006. Mr. Stearns noted that the only portion of the Grants Program discussed by the Committee was O&P grants; the committee suggested granting only to RBCs and Tribes who justified a need for the funds. Mr. Monger said it was difficult to budget this item without knowing who would need funding. Marcy Hamburg, Lower Yellowstone RBC, said their group could function at this time without further O&P grant funds. Ms. Stone recalled that O&P funds could be used for speaker’s fees and expenses, and Corps II would be in Miles City and Sidney in July and August 2006.
Mr. Stearns asked for additional comments on the Transition Committee’s work. Ms. Stone suggested a revision to the line item, Partner Coordination – Corps II Communities, to extend it through August 2006. Mr. Kubick suggested allocating more funding to the Clark on the Yellowstone signature event to help them ensure a national-level event. Dick Alberts noted that many interpretive signs had been produced by regional commissions, probably more than the $20,000 in maintenance would cover. He said some of the RBCs would cease to exist after the Bicentennial, but some areas were covered by L&C Trail Heritage Foundation Chapters and would continue to function. He suggested that RBCs should be addressed somewhere in the Transition Plan to capture what they have accomplished in terms of a legacy. Mr. Stearns thanked him for the suggestion, noting this would tie well with the work being done by Rob Bauer on the Legacy Document, and should also include Tribal activities. Darrell Kipp recalled Jeanne Eder’s comments from early meetings, and agreed that Tribal involvement should be included as well as an evaluation of whether the Commission had met its goals and objectives. Beth Merrick announced that the Headwaters Chapter had taken 200 photographs documenting the Trail in 2005 between Dillon and Laurel through an internship at MSU Bozeman. They were considering making 3 archival sets available to interested organizations; nationally, locally and on the state level. They were also considering printing and framing 50 images for display during the Corps II stop in Bozeman this July. Wendy Raney suggested they should go to the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation. Mr. Stearns suggested this type of documentation should or could be done by all the regional organizations across Montana. Ms. Merrick noted that a Clark campsite in the Bozeman area was scheduled to become condominiums in the next year which prompted the Trail documentation. Robbie Carpenter said an exhibit was developed in Billings called, “Clark on the Yellowstone – 200 Years After William Clark,” that included present day photo documentation. She suggested that this project could be adapted all along the Trail. Mr. Monger asked Mr. Olsen how the Society fit into this type of archival documentation of major events in Montana. Mr. Olsen said he felt the Headwaters Chapter photos should be preserved in the Society’s Photo Archives where they would be catalogued and made available for research and education. He said they were archiving the Society’s website as it changed. Mr. Monger asked if the Commission had a role in getting the word out regarding the most appropriate repositories for archival materials. Mr. Kubick suggested storing multiple copies in the event of a disaster and also cautioned that current technology might not be available 50-100 years into the future, and added it was important to include a GPS inset. Ms. Merrick said the digital images would be in both black and white and color and identified by GPS. However, she said the larger issue was copyright, which was currently held by Headwaters Chapter, but could be hard to defend in 100 years. Mr. Olsen suggested the Society could identify the kinds of things that were most important to preserve and provide guidelines for distribution to RBCs, Tribal contacts, and Chapters.
Betsy Baumgart returned the discussion to the preservation of interpretive signage, and suggested an inventory was needed of the signs that the Commission wanted to maintain and preserve. She noted this also had funding implications, and was not sure if this was a Transition Committee task or if a separate subcommittee should be formed. Mr. Stearns and Ms. Stone agreed that a subcommittee would be very helpful. Ms. Stone said the NE Plains RBC had held its final meeting and it would be very helpful if the Society would provide archival guidelines before the information was lost. Mr. Olsen explained that paper was still the best medium for preserving information, and noted that already the preservation of information on cassette tape and CD was becoming obsolete. He said it was very expensive to continually update every time a new technology becomes available and many historical societies were struggling with the issue. He said the most secure photographs were black and white shot with film, not digital. He offered to have Society Archives staff make a presentation at a future Commission meeting. Ms. Stone asked if this could be accomplished at the October 11 meeting and Mr. Olsen agreed. Mr. Stearns said time was of the essence as many events had already taken place. Mr. Olsen suggested that general guidelines could be distributed in the next two to three weeks through the Commission office, and Archives staff could make a more detailed presentation in October. Mr. Stearns suggested that some of the contingency funds could be directed to support local archival activities. Mr. McDonald requested that the Tribes offices and colleges also be included in the distribution. Wendy Randy said there appeared to be many areas where the Foundation and Commission could coordinate efforts in the remaining 18 months. She spoke of preliminary conversations with Mr. Blackwood regarding sites and interpretive sign maintenance, and said that COTA and COSA planned to meet and discuss this issue. She said they were looking to the Foundation to take the lead on preservation projects, but said that task was probably more than the Foundation could do. This fall the Foundation planned to conduct strategic planning to determine what they could and wanted to do, in particular with regard to interpretive signs and archiving.
In summary, Mr. Stearns requested staff draft a letter to RBCs, Tribal contacts and Colleges, Foundation Chapters, coordinators for the Signature Events and significant events and Corps II host communities, urging them to document events taking place this summer and fall and asked that the Society’s archival guidelines be included in the mailing. Terri Purcell suggested posting the guidelines on the Commission’s website. Ms. Baumgart asked if a separate meeting should be scheduled, or if the topic could be dealt with during the Commission meeting. Mr. Olsen agreed to provide the guidelines to Ms. Cortright for distribution, and arrange for a presentation by Archival staff during the October meeting. Beth Merrick suggested it would be helpful to receive an outline of the kinds of things the Society would be willing to store. Mr. Kubick raised the issue of satellite photos, and asked for contact information; Mr. Stearns directed him to the University of Montana EOS program.
G. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee
Corps II Activities
Jeff Olsen, Public Information Officer, NPS Corps II, delivered a brief update on Corps II in Fort Benton, Rocky Boy’s and Great Falls, noting programming was scheduled daily from 12:00 to 8 P.M. He said the Corps II staff was excited to be in Montana; some were viewing the Rocky Mountains for the first time. Mr. Olsen reported that the population of Glasgow was 3,200; attendance at Corps II was 3,500. He thanked Ted Reichert for the Army National Guard support, and thanked Ms. Stone for her efforts in making the Glasgow stop a great success. He touched on the topic of attendance numbers as reported in recent newspaper articles, and said it all depended on how you measured success. Future 2005 Corps II stops included, Helena, Bozeman, Dillon, Hamilton and Lolo, returning to Montana next June at Missoula. Mr. Olsen said tentative venues were scheduled after the return trip to St. Louis next fall in the Carolinas and Atlanta and Seattle has also expressed interest in hosting Corps II. Mr. Stearns thanked Mr. Olsen for his efforts in promoting Corps II.
The meeting recessed for a brief break.
Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event
Peggy Bourne, executive director for Explore! the Big Sky, was introduced and thanked for her efforts in planning the Signature Event. Ms. Bourne thanked everyone for their support over the past 3 ½ years. She distributed copies of the commemorative tabletop book on the signature event, produced in partnership with the Great Falls Tribune, and rain ponchos to Commission members. Ms. Bourne reported that 80 people attended Bob Archibald’s June 1 Opening Event lecture in Loma. Tonight’s activities included the Great Falls Museums receptions with shuttle service. The 5:30 p.m. parade planned for today was cancelled due to weather and the Grand Opening ceremony in Fort Benton June 3, 4-7 p.m., was moved inside at the High School. Corps of Discovery II planned to open at 2:00 p.m. at the Fort Benton fairgrounds. Ms. Bourne reported that plans and logistics for the remaining events were coming together nicely. She offered passes to Commissioners for the evening’s events and invited them to attend a reception Saturday at 5:30 p.m. aboard the BNSF passenger train located behind the Civic Center. She closed by thanking the Commission for their time, generosity and the opportunity to work together on the signature event.
B. Budget Review
Fiscal Year 2005
Mr. Stearns called on Ms. Cortright to review the FY2005 Budget. She began by noting that she obtained actual income and expense figures yesterday from the state’s accounting system. License plate revenue for May was $13,080 or $1,420 less than projected. Year-to-date income for plates was $9,565 higher than projected. She reported on meeting with Jody Brandt, centralized services manager at the Society, to project expenses for May and June and to also confirm the cash balances on hand at fiscal year end. The cash ending balance of $56,239 projected on the FY05 budget sheet was very close to the figure Ms. Brant projected. Ms. Cortright reviewed the ‘Expenses’ section, noting that $1,000 was paid to the Tribune to help cover the cost of printing the tear-off maps. She said the O&P grant to the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribe was not yet paid; therefore the $2,883 was moved to the June column. She noted that $18,000 in NPS CCS grant funds were paid in May. Under ‘Contingency” she explained that grant funds previously allocated by the Commission were paid in April and May to support Corps II activities. This left a total of $5,000 allocated to the Salish for the “Encounter the Bitterroot Salish” event to be expended in June. The projected cash balance on the May 20, 2005 version of the budget was $58,688. With the actual income and expenses posted, the cash balance was revised to $56,239. Ms. Cortright explained that license plate revenues could be carried forward into the new fiscal year; any unexpended funds from Commerce could not be carried forward. In reviewing the cash balance with Ms. Brandt, she confirmed that approximately $8,000 from Commerce remained unexpended and this balance would be sufficient to cover the two outstanding grants to the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She noted that if those contracts were not submitted prior to fiscal year end, the funds would need to be reallocated to another grant or they would revert back to the Bed Tax fund.
FY 2006 Budget Review
Ms. Cortright explained that the FY 2006 budget was based on the same format as the FY 2005 budget. Income of $200,000 in Bed Tax funds was budgeted to support operations. Five prior year NPS CCS grants totaling $39,384, plus the two 2005 grants totaling $79,350, would pass through the FY06 budget. A total of $4,000 remained to pass through in 2006 from the BLM to support Corps II activities. Under ‘Grants’ a total of $50,000 in income was projected from Travel Montana to support the FY06 grants program; this allocation had not yet been confirmed by Travel Montana. License plate revenues were projected at $144,740, which reflected a 15% annual decrease. The FY05 Cash Balance was projected at $58,688, for a total Income of $594,162.71.
Under the “Expense” category, personnel costs of $112,835 were obtained from the Society’s Business Office, and reflected a 3.5% increase this October and 4% next year. Ms. Baumgart asked why the Director’s FY 2006 salary was less than the FY2005 figure, and Ms. Cortright agreed to review it and report back. Ms. Baumgart also confirmed that the $50,000 for grants was in her budget for 2006. Most of the expenses were projected at the previous year’s amounts, with the exception of Tom Cook’s salary now projected at 10% or $4,230, down from 20% the previous year, and an annual increase in rent of $1,730.
Ms. Cortright reviewed the amounts projected for grants in FY06; $9,000 for Corps II host communities, $10,000 for L&C in the Rockies, $8,000 for the Blackfeet event, $20,00 for Explore!, $60,000 for Clark on the Yellowstone, $5,000 for MTTA, $19,000 for O&P grants, $4,000 of BLM pass through grants for Corps II, $18,000 in PPL funds for interpretive signs, and $119,734 of NPS CCS pass through grant funds. The Grants Program total budget was $272,734.61.
The Administration Overhead paid to the Montana Historical Society was budgeted at 10% for operations expenses and 4% on grants for a total of $39,353.93. Mr. Monger questioned the percentages and Ms. Cortright explained that they increased from 7.5% and 3% to 10% and 4% based on communication between Clint Blackwood and Arnie Olsen. Mr. Stearns asked why the percentages had increased and Mr. Olsen responded that it was to bring it into balance with true costs.
The balance owed on the BOI loan was budgeted at $64,423.73, with two payments remaining, August 2005 and Febr. 2006. The Contingency Funds of $58,616 reflected the amount of income presently unallocated. Ms. Cortright suggested discussion on the projected Grants Program allocations, and the possible allocation of the Contingency Fund balance of $58, 616.
Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Review
Ms. Cortright explained that the FY07 budget was quite different from previous years, as income and expenses were adjusted to reflect staffing changes at the end of July and closure of the office in December 2006, one year ahead of the Commission’s sunset date of Dec. 31, 2007.
Income reflected $100,000 from the Dept. of Commerce for July-December; $8,650 in NPS CCS pass through funds to complete the Legacy Document; $18,000 of PPL funds for interpretive signs; $50,000+ repayment of the Commission’s loan to the Senate Art Project; and $56,209 in license plate revenues for 6 months. She explained that the FY06 cash balance was not carried forward to the FY07 budget. The total Income for the first half of FY07 was $232,859.
Items listed under “Expenses” were reviewed next. Personnel reflected salary costs and payout balances. Ms. Cortright explained that projected expenses for the remaining categories were very conservative. Under “Grants” only one NPS CCS grant remained, which was the Commission’s Legacy Document. Corps II Host Community Grants were budgeted at $11,500; MTTA at $5,000, and the final PPL pledge payment of $18,000 for interpretive signage. The Administration Overhead to the Montana Historical Society was projected at the same percentages as the 2006 budget, for a total of $20,506. The projected Contingency Funds balance was $61,811, assuming a zero roll forward from FY06 and repayment of the $50,000+ loan to the Senate Art Project.
Mr. Monger recapped that approval was needed for the FY06 budget first questioned whether the Commission wanted to retain the Contingency Funds balances, or consider allocating funds now to the signature/significant events. Ms. Baumgart supported discussions on utilizing the funds on current events rather than carrying them forward. Mr. Monger said he would like to see a $50,000 positive balance at the end of FY07 for items such as sign maintenance, archiving, and unexpected expenses. Ms. Baumgart said the key was repayment of the $50,000 Senate Art project loan. Mr. Stearns asked for the License Plate report, followed by comments from Mr. Olsen on the Senate Art Project.
D. License Plate Committee
Committee chair Betty Stone reviewed the report, “L&C License Plate Sales Recap,” noting that April revenue was $13,080 and that license plate revenues on the FY05 budget were about $11,000 ahead of projections. She also felt the FY06 revenue projects were reliable. She referred to the county-by-county sales recap and said it was interesting to note that new plate sales were still taking place. Ms. Baumgart asked about the difference between projected income for 2005 on the Sales Recap of $146,744 and the FY05 License Plate Revenue projected at $166,985 on the FY05 Budget Sheet. Ms. Cortright explained that the recap was calendar year and reflected the actual revenues received from counties for plates sold in a given month. The budget was based on the fiscal year and monthly license plate revenues reflected there represented a combination of months’ sales transferred into the special revenue account. Mr. Monger asked about the approx. $11,000 increase in plate revenues on the FY05 budget and Ms. Stone responded that actual revenues were higher than projections for Jan.-March 2005.
H. Senate Art Legacy Project Committee
Mr. Olsen began by saying he had a different view from Doug and Betsy on spending the cash balance. He felt it depleted their ability to deal with unexpected expenses. He said the license plate revenues looked good, but could change at any time. He complimented Ms. Cortright on her work in preparing the budget, but said it contained a lot of educated guesses; therefore he did not support spending the Contingency Fund at this time, but would support discussing it later in the year. He said the Society holds the liability for any unpaid bills, and said it remained his concern that if something went wrong, the Commission would run out of options.
In regard to the Senate Art Legacy Project, Mr. Olsen distributed a project spreadsheet and displayed a limited edition bronze casting #74 of the smaller artwork, one of three picked up at the foundry last week. He reported the sale of 11 maquettes; four more were reserved but payment had not yet been received. To date, 25 silver and 292 bronze medallions had been sold and the Society had a sales booth at the Signature Event’s Souvenir Market in the Montana ExpoPark. Other outlets for the medallion were as follows: 24 were sent to the Ag Museum in Fort Benton and 11 had sold; 25 were sent to Fairmont Hot Springs and 2 had sold; 20 were sent to the L&C Interpretive Center and 4 had sold. Mr. Olsen reported that since the last meeting, the Society added administrative expenses of $415 to the project, for a total of $4,300, which the Society was being repaid for this month. Mr. Stearns asked where those expenses were shown on the spreadsheet and Mr. Olsen said they were not on the sheet. Mr. Olsen referenced the bottom line on the worksheet, noting revenue totaled $119,360, and expenses were $79,224.71, leaving a current cash balance of about $40,000. He reviewed the process for casting the maquettes, explaining that the artist desired to touch up each wax mold prior to casting. A crate was developed that holds up to five wax molds. The wax mold shipment is sent to California where the artist touches up each mold and then on to the foundry in Kalispell. To date, three maquettes had been cast. Casting costs of $800 each must be paid at the time of casting, leaving a net profit of $2,700 per maquette. Mr. Olsen said revenue needed to be saved up in anticipation of making the next $41,00 payment to the artist and to cover the $45,000 cost of casting the large piece. Two payments remained to be made to the artist; one when the large piece goes to the foundry and one when it is installed in the Senate chambers in 2006. He estimated that about $129,000 was needed to complete the project, not counting the $50,000 payback to the state Commission. Regarding marketing of the maquettes, Mr. Olsen said a high quality “invitation to purchase” had been developed and was at the printer. He planned to mail it first to past and present Senators, then to House members two weeks later, and finally to lists of specific art buyers and the public. Mr. Olsen said he was confident that the limited edition maquettes would be sold. Ms. Baumgart asked if the cost of the invitations was included in the spreadsheet and Mr. Olsen said he did not know if it was included. Ms.Baumgart noted that the $4,000 budgeted for marketing was already spent and said she expected there would be additional costs in the future. Mr. McDonald asked if legislators had shown much interest to date and Mr. Olsen said several purchased medallions, but even though they were provided with a handout flyer on the maquette, only two sales resulted. He noted that ex-Senators had not been approached yet and felt that having the finished product in the marketing piece would boost sales. Mr. Stearns asked if there was a priority of sale and Mr. Olsen said there was not, that anyone could purchase at any time. Mr. Stearns invited Mr. Lepley to comment on the project, and he agreed that now that the cast maquette was in hand for people to see, sales would speed up. He said once the large piece was installed in the Senate people would wish they had purchased a maquette. He noted however that the project was based on the advanced sales, and that revenue from the medallions was considered extra revenue. Mr. Monger asked if the project was on track with earlier projections. Mr. Olsen explained that with the $40,000 on hand, if all maquettes sold and no more medallions sold, revenue would total $188,000; he projected the remaining project costs at $130,000, not counting marketing costs. Mr. Lepley added that a profit would be realized once all the items were sold. Mr. Monger expressed concern that the Commission would no longer be in place when that happened and Mr. Lepley suggested the Transition Committee review and recommend what would happen with the profits. Ms. Baumgart asked Mr. Olsen if he expected the project would have the $50,000 by Dec. 2006 to repay the Commission’s loan and he said he did not know. Mr. Monger recapped that the 2007 budget, without the $50,000 repayment from the project, projected a positive cash ending balance of $6,000, and also did not reflect a carry forward of $56,000 from the FY06 budget. Mr. Olsen argued that the $6,000 was based on a number of estimates. Ms. Cortright explained that the projected expenses on the FY07 budget were high, as the personnel payout balances would be less due to Mr. Blackwood using down his vacation and sick time leave balances. Ms. Stone asked about the payoff of the BOI loan and Ms. Cortright explained it would be paid off in Feb. 2006 with the proceeds of license plate sales. Mr. Kipp asked if the artist was working on the large piece, and Mr. Olsen said he was now working on the large clay. Mr. Lepley cautioned that the artist would work at his own pace, regardless of the Commission’s deadlines. Ms. Baumgart noted that the key piece they had been waiting for was the cast maquette; now the image was available for marketing.
Doug Monger returned discussion to the FY06 budget by saying he would personally like to have a $50,000 cash balance in FY07 to set aside for sign maintenance, and said funding could come from the loan repayment or the profits from the Senate Art Project. He spoke in support of allocating a substantial portion of the Contingency funds to the two Signature Events. Mr. Olsen questioned the need for taking that action now and Mr. Monger responded that events had immediate costs and needed the funding help. Mr. Olsen expressed concern that the Society would be liable for uncovered expenses and at this time did not have a guarantee that the budgets would close out even. He preferred instead to carry a reserve and felt that by Feb. ’06 the Commission would be in a better position to allocate funds.
Mr. Stearns called on Robbie Carpenter with Clark on the Yellowstone, and she requested the Commission allocate an amount equal to that granted to Explore! the Big Sky, as they had the same logistics, marketing and programming costs as the larger event. She said if they did not receive adequate funding support now, decisions would need to be made in the next 3 months to scale the event back to a community event rather than a national level signature event. The FY06 budget allocated $60,000 to Clark and she requested that the amount be increased to $80,000. Mr. Olsen made a motion to allocate an additional $20,000 to Clark on the Yellowstone from the Contingency Fund balance. Mr. McDonald seconded. Mr. Monger asked about the Commission’s funding commitment to Explore! and Mr. Blackwood said $80,000 of the $100,000 commitment was paid, leaving $20,000 in FY06 budget. For clarification, Mr. Monger restated the motion as follows: he moved approval of the FY06 budget, changing line 73 from $60,000 to $80,000 and changing line 91 from $58,000 to $38,000, and allowing staff the freedom to work with monthly cash flows to allocate payments. Ms. Baumgart asked if we were meeting Ms. Bourne’s funding request and Mr. Blackwood said she would like to receive more funding. Joni Stewart, member of the fundraising committee for Explore!, reported they were still short of funds, and depending on ticket sales and weather, could very possibly need additional funding. Mr. Monger went on record in support of Mr. Olsen’s motion, but said he felt that with only 16 months left, carrying a contingency fund of $86,000 was too high. He supported the motion with the intention of amending the budget in October to spend down the contingency balance. Mr. Stearns called for further discussion. Mr. Stearns called for the question, and the motion passed.
Mr. Stearns called for further budget questions and Ms. Cortright reviewed her earlier statement that approx. $8,000 in operations funds were not yet issued to the Salish & Kootenai for their project grant and 2005 O&P grant; the contracts had not been signed and returned to the Commission. She explained that the funding source was bed tax; any unexpended funds revered to the Bed Tax account at fiscal year end. Mr. McDonald explained that the Tribal Council had established an indirect cost percentage on grants it was their policy to not approve grants that did not provide for ICD. He added that a resolution of the situation was eminent. Betty Stone made a motion giving Ms. Cortright the authority to redirect the $8,000 to Explore! the Big Sky in the event the situation with the Salish grants was not resolved by June 30. Betsy Baumgart seconded. Mr. Olsen asked Ms. Cortright if she had discussed options with Jodie Brandt on where to spend the funds, and she responded that she had not. Cameron Clark asked if there were funds available to support speaker fees and Mr. Stearns agreed to visit with him about the Montana Committee for the Humanities Speakers Bureau. Mr. Stearns called for the question and the motion carried.
VI. Old Business
B. Review Proposed Maintenance/Upkeep Plan for Interpretive Signs
Ms. Cortright said in February the Commission discussed the possibility of establishing a fund for the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the L&C interpretive signs. Many signs had been developed by groups that would eventually sunset and a plan was needed to provide for ongoing sign maintenance and upkeep. One possibility was to talk to PPL and determine if they would be willing to redirect their final Legacy Campaign pledge payment of $20,000 toward maintenance of signs developed with their funds. Ms. Cortright explained that PPL had not been approached regarding this proposal as we were working first to satisfy PPL’s request for a photo opportunity with a PPL-funded sign in the Great Falls area prior to their release of further pledge payments. Unfortunately, a photo opportunity planned today at Carter was rained out. Mr. Blackwood planned contact RBCs in the Yellowstone Corridor to discuss possible sign locations once the photo opportunity requirement was satisfied. Dick Alberts noted that some PPL signs were erected in areas where sign maintenance agreements were already in place. Mr. Blackwood clarified that PPL funds would not be used generally for sign maintenance, but would be directed toward PPL signs.
Ms. Cortright said another funding possibility would be to set aside funds from the FY07 budget, if a positive balance was realized at yearend. She said Mr. Blackwood had also approached the NPS staff regarding their willingness to match funds set aside by the state Commission for sign maintenance.
Mr. Stearns asked Wendy Randy if she was aware of other groups’ concerns related to sign maintenance and she responded that she was, but no one had developed a plan yet, adding that Montana was probably the furthest along in the Trail states in discussion options. COSA planned to meet this evening and she expected they would discuss the topic. Ms. Baumgart asked if we knew which signs would be included in the plan; that information was not currently available. Beth Merrick said the shelf life of a sign was typically 15 years. Regarding signs in the Glasgow area, Ms. Stone said the frames might need repainting at some point, but they had extra fiberglass panels produced for installation when the original panels became unreadable, which could be in two years from now. Mr. Stearns said it appeared that the signs at Lemhi Pass were removed during the winter and reinstalled in the spring. Ms. Baumgart said since the maintenance funds were not needed immediately, she suggested first obtaining refreshed background information on signs and locations prior to the Commission moving ahead with a long-term plan such as setting aside funds from the Senate Art Project or another source. Mr. Alberts supported Ms. Baumgart’s suggestion, noting that some signs in the Helena area were on BLM land; others were on private property. Several questions were raised related to sign types, locations, ownership, long-term maintenance agreements and determining when to repair or replace signs. Ms. Raney said the LCTHF had talked to COSA and the NPS about a trail-wide maintenance plan, but the key initial step was an inventory, and she thought that would be part of this evening’s discussion. Mr. Lepley suggested contacting the RBCs for a list of signs in their areas. Mr. Stearns said this could tie with the idea of obtaining archival photographs of the Trail and could be included in the correspondence to RBCs related to archiving records. Mr. Lepley questioned who would determine when a sign needed repair. Mr. Monger agreed with the need for an inventory and a funding mechanism, but said sign maintenance was a huge undertaking. He was in favor of developing the endowment program and finding a party interested in managing it long-term and working with them on the details. Mr. Stearns suggested developing criteria dealing with eligibility. Mr. Monger suggested not trying to legislate from the grave and suggested leaving those questions for later consideration. Mr. Stearns suggested revisiting this topic at the October meeting.
V. Committee Reports:
F. Fundraising & Promotion Committee
Mr. Olsen delivered the Legacy Campaign report, noting that the Feb.-May 2005 income totaled $2,325 and expenses totaled $1,346.74, for a net income of $978.26. One $4,000 pledge was written off and a $15,000 pledge was redirected to a specific project.
G. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee
Diane Brandt reported on the April 29-May 1, 2005 event, “Lewis & Clark at the Confluence,” the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles re-enactors, the Corps of Discovery II at Glasgow, May 14-17, and the dedication of the Fort Peck Interpretive Center. She said they secured about 15 sources of revenue to fund their events and estimated the total cost at about $60,000. In spite of the cold weather they had 150 people the first night, 1,500 on Saturday and about 1,000 on Sunday at the Confluence event. About 700 people attended the buffalo feed sponsored by COTA, which was moved indoors due to weather. She spoke about the lasting partnerships formed between entities in North Dakota and Montana and closed by presenting Mr. Blackwood with a photo journal of the events.
Betty Stone complimented Ms. Brandt on the great job of coordinating the Confluence kickoff event for Montana. She thanked Hal Stearns and Homer Staves for attending and participating in the event. Mr. Stearns said the round table discussion, “In the Wake of Lewis and Clark: The Impact of the Fur Trade on the Native Peoples” was one of the best he had attended. He also spoke about the benefit of bringing local communities together for events such as the buffalo feed and urged other communities to consider similar events. Ms. Stone thanked Dyani Bingham and MTTA for helping coordinate the Native American day on Sunday.
Mr. Stearns called on Mark Sansaver to introduce himself and also report on the Corps II visit at Poplar. Mr. Sansaver, who works for the Fort Peck Tribal Community College, said the community of Poplar really welcomed Corps II; the weather was terrible, but the event was great. He said the experience demonstrated to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes and the community that they could come together and host a successful community event. He explained that when the Lewis & Clark Expedition came through in 1805 the tribes could have taken hostile action, but instead watched from a distance. He said there were newspaper articles written expressing mixed feelings about the Bicentennial observance, but 95% of the people opened their homes and the reservation to Corps II. The event opened with a 40 Nations Flag Ceremony and about 90% of the presenters in the Tent of Many Voices were locals. A website and travelers’ guide were developed and beautification projects were undertaken in the area. The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles camped in the park, and Scott Mandrell came through separately, camped next to Corps II, and took his live webcast program into the college. Mr. Sansaver spoke about the Assiniboine documentary on Lewis & Clark; Ms. Stone added was funded in part with state Commission grant funds.
Betty Stone reported on the Corps II visit at Glasgow, May 14-17, and distributed a handout on the economic impact the events had in the area. Her report was based on figures from the ITRR 2003 Montana Nonresident Economic Impacts & Expenditures. The bottom line resulted in a total of $85,670 spent in the community during the 4-day event, excluding the 1,000 Glasgow area residents and the school children that attended. Ms. Stone recognized Woody Baxter, FWP, John Collins, BLM, and Ted Reichert, Army National Guard for their assistance in hosting the Corps II exhibit. She explained that their planning committee’s philosophy was to make this an ‘event.’ In order to accomplish this they attached other events to Corps II, such as Native American programming, a live buffalo exhibit, the National Guard “Then and Now” exhibit, an aquarium with local fish species and a program, “Fishing with Lewis & Clark” put on by FWP, BLM’s exhibit, and the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles re-enactors’ pirogue and program. She said by adding additional programming to compliment Corps II, they were able to bring in more people and keep them engaged in activities for a longer period of time, noting some people attended all four days.
Mr. Stearns referred to Travel Montana’s printed 2005 Calendar of Events and thanked Ms. Baumgart and Travel Montana for providing the calendar.
Mary Jane Charlo reported on the Sept. 9-10, 2005, “Encounter the Bitterroot Salsh” event, planned at Sula to celebrate their ancestors and their contribution to history. She said regular meetings were being held with the FS and NPS, and there was tribal involvement. Plans were under way for a short re-enactment of the Expedition meeting the Salish and the layout for the grounds was completed. The event poster was designed and ready for printing. Regarding the indirect costs for the two outstanding grants, Ms. Charlo said the rate was 30%, and said if necessary she would go to the Tribal Council to request a waiver of the requirement. Ms. Charlo was also working to help secure speakers and presenters for Corps II at the Ravalli Co. Fairgrounds and also at Fort Benton. She said Scottie Gardipee, direct descendent of Three Eagles the chief who met Lewis & Clark, would serve as grand marshal at the Hamilton parade. He will be presented with a painting by Jessie Henderson titled, “Offering in the Great Clearing” depicting the meeting of the Salish and the Expedition. This artwork was also used in the design of the “Encounter” poster. She said Scottie Gardipee planned to build a dance arbor on the Sula site with assistance from the Forest Service. Ms. Charlo said calls were coming in on vendor opportunities and the dance contest, and she was interviewed recently by a reporter from Newsweek Magazine. Mr. McDonald expressed concern that every federally funded Indian program had been cut.
In Scott Sproull’s absence Rita Cortright delivered a report he had e-mailed to her on May 31. She announced that WMLCBC and Travelers’ Rest had advertised recently for an events coordinator and received four applications that were being reviewed. Regarding the L&C Bicentennial Training Workshop held in late April, 115 people from 11 states attended. The event, “An Evening with York,” a one-man performance with Hasan Davis at the Wilma Theater was attended by over 400 people. Their other projects included interpretive signage at Ross’ Hole and Caras Park, and helping with the “Encounter” activities and Corps II at Lolo. Mr. Blackwood said Mr. Sproull lobbied him for a second $10,000 program grant in FY07 for their event, “Lewis & Clark in the Rockies,” and suggested the Commission give consideration to his request tomorrow.
Dick Alberts, L&C Co. RBC, distributed a rack card and reported on plans for their event, “The Gathering” planned for July 9-23, in the Helena area. Corps II will be at the L&C Co. Fairgrounds from July 9-17, and to compliment it a variety of other activities were being planned, including the “Odyssey West” concert, a Native American Indian Art Market, “Mondays at the Myrna,” dedication of the interpretive trail “The Lewis & Clark Montana Experience” in the Great Northern Town Center in Helena, the Mission Mountain Wood Band concert, the Mount Helena Music Festival, Musical Currents “A Gates of the Mountains Bicentennial Concert,” the “Portal” Dance Project on the Hardy Creek Bridge, dedication of the “Two Camps Vista House” at Devil’s Elbow Campground, and the “Symphony Under the Stars” concert. Most of the events were planned at the L&C Fairgrounds. In addition, FWP was planning a dedication ceremony on July 17 at Tower Rock. Only three events required tickets; the Myrna Loy, the Mission Mountain Wood Band concert, and the Mount Helena Music Festival.
Robbie Carpenter distributed a handout on the “Captain Clark Signature Week and Clark Days,” planned for July 17-24, 2005, in the Billings/Pompeys Pillar area. She noted in particular the Reenactment of York and Clark as portrayed by professional reenactors Hasan Davis and Hal Stearns on Friday, July 22.
Beth Merrick reported on plans in the Headwaters area, and directed people to the website, www.bozemanchamber.com.
Mr. Stearns announced again that the evening’s parade had been cancelled due to rain. He reminded people that the Commission meeting would resume tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Ag. Museum in Fort Benton, followed by a joint lunch with COSA members, a reception at the Grand Union Hotel, and Opening Ceremony at the High School at 4:00 p.m. He encouraged people to attend the Museums Tour planned this evening.
The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.
June 3, 2005
Ag Museum – Fort Benton
I. Call to Order
Vice-Chairman Hal Stearns called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and asked Jack Lepley to comment on the museum and the Bob Morgan artwork on display in the meeting room.
Chairman Stearns called for introductions. Commissioners in attendance were: Mark Sansaver, Betty Stone, Doug Monger, Jack Lepley, Arnie Olsen, Hal Stearns, Darrell Kipp, Marcy Hamburg, Tootie Rasmussen. Rita Cortright filled in for Clint Blackwood who was in the audience. Guests included Gail Stensland, Margaret Gorski and her mother Irene, Diane Brandt, Clint Blackwood, Dick Alberts, Beth Merrick, Dave Walter, Rob Bauer, Cameron Clark and his daughter Vanessa. Mr. Stensland provided a brief history of the development of the Ag Museum complex. Mr. Stearns reviewed the day’s schedule of events and asked people to comment on events attended last evening.
V. Committee Reports
E. Education Committee
Tootie Rasmussen reported on attending the Arbor Day activities in Choteau, April 29, 2005. Thanks to the efforts of Choteau’s mayor, Choteau was recognized as a “Tree City USA” site. Mary Sexton, director of DNRC, and an arborist from her agency in Helena delivered comments to a large audience of school children. Gov. Schweitzer arrived in time to plant a tree in a small courtyard at the school and interact with the students. She said originally the Education Committee had wanted to see a tree planting ceremony at the “Confluence Event” in honor of Arbor Day, but that did not happen. Mr. Stearns referred to the lesson plan, “Celebrating Trees” developed by Carla Wambach, and thanked her for working on the project. The plan was posted on OPI’s website, www.opi.state.mt.us/Lewis&Clark and made available nationwide to teachers for classroom use. He noted that April 29 was the day the Expedition entered into current day Montana and also marked this year’s Arbor Day celebration. He also noted the $20,000 grant awarded to Fort Benton for tree planting and beautification along the Fort Benton Levee.
C. Grants Program
Betty Stone asked Ms. Cortright to report on the status of grants. She reported first on Program Grants through 2004, noting that all projects were completed with the exception of the final report from the L&C Interpretive Association in Great Falls. For 2005 Program Grants, all contracts were in place and all funds were paid out with the exception of the Conf. Salish grant for $5,000. Based on yesterday’s discussion, she hoped this grant would be finalized prior to June 30. All Corps II funds were distributed with final reports due from each community 45 days past the close of their event. Last October the PPL pass through grant funds were paid out to L&C County and the Gallatin RBC and final reports would be due Sept. 1, 2005.
Ms. Cortright reviewed the 2003 NPS Challenge Cost Share grants, noting that only two grants remained open; $16,160 remained to pass through for 3 interpretive sign projects; and paperwork was completed recently to pass through $25,000 to the L&C Co. RBC for the Great Northern Town Center project. For the 2004 NPS CCS grants, five projects had yet to request their funds totaling $39,384.61. In 2005, the state Commission would serve as pass-through entity on two grants, their Legacy Document, and the Society’s L&C Exhibit, “Neither Empty Nor Unknown.” She referred to the press release containing the list of projects receiving funding in 2005 and noted that Montana received $1.5 million in funding for 35 of the 102 projects that had applied. Marcy Hamburg announced that the Lower Yellowstone RBC received $1,500 two weeks after the initial awards were announced. Ms. Cortright announced dedication ceremonies for two projects funded by the Commission; the upcoming June 12 dedication at Clara Park in Great Falls, and yesterday’s dedication of the mini-interpretive site in Liberty County. Jack Lepley reported that about 100 people attended that dedication overlooking the Marias River.
Regarding the 2005 O&P Grants approved at the Febr. 2005 meeting, the contracts were in place and funds had been issued to all but the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribe, which should be completed by the end of next week. Final reports would be due Dec. 31, 2005.
Regarding the 2006 O&P Grants, Ms. Cortright noted that the Transition Committee had discussed awarding funds on an as-needed basis because some RBCs would have sunset their operations. Yesterday’s motion to approve the 2006 budget included $1,000 allocations to each eligible O&P grant recipient. She asked if the Commission desired to leave the current O&P Grant process in place, or if the Grants Committee should meet and revise the application and guidelines. Ms. Stone suggested having the Grants Committee review the application and guidelines and bring a recommendation or revised procedures to the October meeting. Ms. Cortright offered to poll RBCs and Tribes to determine their level of need for the 2006 O&P Grant funds and provide that information to the Grants Committee. The established timeline called for approval of the procedures at the October meeting, with a December 15 application deadline and formal awards in Febr. 2006. Mr. Stearns asked the Hi-Line RBC reps if their groups might be hosting return trip events and Ms. Stone said she thought they would direct their efforts to supporting the Lower Yellowstone RBC’s activities in 2006. Mr. Sansaver said they planned a recap meeting, but felt the funds would be best used to cover travel costs for speakers/presenters to attend events in Sidney in 2006.
Mr. Stearns called for discussion on Scott Sproull’s request for an additional $10,000 from the FY07 budget to support the “Lewis & Clark in the Rockies” event, June 21-July 7, 2006. Mr. Stearns read the June 1 email sent to the Commission office by Scott Sproull. Ms. Cortright said the Western MT RBC planned to hire an events coordinator this month and had received a $10,000 NPS CCS Grant. Mr. Stearns noted they were planning a 17-day event that would impact a number of communities. Following discussion, staff was directed to request that Mr. Sproull submit a budget for his event, and justification for the $10,000 FY07 grant request for consideration at the October 11 meeting. Ms. Stone suggested not committing the funds ahead of approving the FY07 budget at the June 2006 meeting. Ms. Cortright noted that the budget approval would fall in the middle of the event itself and that might be too late. Mr. Monger said it was his intention to discuss the FY 2006 Contingency Funds at the October meeting, and said he would be comfortable with committing funds at that time. He asked if there were other pending grant requests and Ms. Cortright said she was not aware of any others at this time. Mr. Blackwood reported on his conversation with George Heavy Runner regarding funding for the tentative Blackfeet event, and Ms. Cortright noted that $8,000 was approved in the FY06 budget yesterday. Ms. Rasmussen said she had heard that the Golden Triangle RBC was planning something in 2006 related to the Fight Site and Camp Disappointment.
Mr. Stearns asked Ms. Hamburg about plans in the Miles City to Sidney area next year. Ms. Hamburg explained that Miles City and Sidney were making plans for Corps II. She said Richland County planned to pave the location at the Sidney fairgrounds; however the NPS site visits had not yet been conducted. She explained that their RBC wanted to make the last stop in Montana a great event and thought that plans were expanding to include a wider variety of events in addition to Corps II. The County had agreed to cover liability insurance if the event were held at the Fairgrounds, and had made a $2,500 cash contribution. Sidney planned to hold a fundraiser again in October, where a traveling trunk from the Montana Historical Society would be displayed at the MonDak Heritage Center. Additional funding in the form of grants would be sought. They have already held discussions with BLM and FWP in Miles City regarding assistance with presentations and personnel. Ms. Cortright noted that both Miles City and Sidney would receive Corps II host community grants from the state Commission. Diane Brandt encouraged people to look to their Tourism Regions for marketing dollars. The Montana Committee for the Humanities was also suggested as a source of speaker’s fees. Mr. Lepley questioned the reasoning of awarding increased sums to events when places like Sidney and Miles City would need financial help. Mr. McDonald said Missoula had a chance to be one of the largest events, and felt that because of the population base, the return on investing grant funds would be great. Mr. Blackwood suggested reviewing Mr. Spoull’s request at the October meeting, making the decision and moving on. Mr. Stearns suggested polling the remaining event locations to determine their funding needs. Ms. Stone felt this was overstepping the Commission’s original intent of funding Signature and Significant Events and the Blackfeet event. Mr. Blackwood agreed with her statement. Mark Sansaver suggested that communities whose Corps II events had now happened could share how they fundraised and where they went for partnership support for their events with planners of future Corps II events. Ms. Brandt offered to provide a copy of their budget too. Mr. Olsen said at some point the Commission needed to close out program granting, and suggested doing so at the October meeting.
VII. New Business
B. Recognition Awards at October 2005 Meeting
Mr. Stearns explained that Mr. Blackwood received an e-mail regarding the recognition of a volunteer who should be acknowledged for their efforts to promote L&C and the Bicentennial Observance. He suggested the Commission consider planning an awards ceremony at one of the Commission’s last meetings, possibly in October or next June, to provide a tangible ‘thank you’ to those deserving of recognition. He also suggested that the awards could be presented on the local community level. Mr. Sansaver agreed with the concept of providing a certificate or medallion in recognition of service. Mr. Olsen agreed and said the medallions would make a great award. Ms. Cortright asked about a nominations process, and whether the Commission wanted to incorporate this into one of the Commission’s meetings or schedule them on a local basis. Mr. Olsen responded that a ceremony at a centrally located meeting in June 2006 would be suitable. Mr. Monger suggested moving the October meeting to a September date for a wrap-up Commission meeting and awards ceremony. Ms. Stone suggested incorporating the ceremony into the Clark on the Yellowstone signature event. Mr. McDonald asked about process and suggested polling the RBCS, Tribes and Commission members for nominations. Ms. Stone made a motion in support of planning a wrap-up awards ceremony and continuing to work on the specifics regarding the nominations process, type of ceremony, date and location. Mr. Olsen seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Monger asked if it was necessary to set aside medallions for incorporation into recognition awards, and Mr. Olsen said he would be willing to set a number aside. Mr. Blackwood asked if they were considering one award per group, and Mr. Olsen agreed with that concept, but suggested there might be a handful of volunteers the Commission would want recognize as well.
Mr. Lepley suggested presenting an award to every past and present person who had served on the state Bicentennial Commission. Ms. Cortright offered to bring suggestions to the October meeting. Gail Stensland added his support for the concept.
VI. Old Business
C. Nominating Committee Report
Doug Monger and Tootie Rasmussen served on the Nominating Committee, and Mr. Monger said they gave consideration to the fact that only 18 months remained until the Commission’s activities would cease. He then moved the nomination of Homer Staves to continue to serve as chair, and Hal Stearns to continue to serve as vice chair. Mr. Stearns called for discussion. Hearing none, he called for the question and the motion carried.
D. Commissioners’ Terms Ending Oct. 1, 2005
Mr. Stearns announced that terms ended October 1, 2005 for Homer Staves, Betty Stone and Darrell Kipp and he urged them to submit a reappointment request to Governor Schweitzer. He said if others were interested to make application, they should also contact the Governor. Mr. Monger made a motion requesting that the Commission send a letter to Governor Schweitzer recommending reappointment of the three members whose terms expire this October. Mr. McDonald seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. McDonald announced that he planned to resign from the Commission following the Sept. 9-10, 2005, event “Encountering the Bitterroot Salish,” and cited other commitments as his reason for resigning. He hoped there would be sufficient time for the Governor’s Office to fill his position prior to the October meeting. On behalf of the Commission, Mr. Stearns thanked Mr. McDonald for his service on the Commission, noting he had been a terrific member.
VII. New Business
A. Future Meeting Dates & Locations
Mr. Stearns said the October 11 meeting was scheduled from 9-5 p.m. at the Grand Hotel in Big Timber, and added that the meeting start time would require people to travel Monday evening. Mr. Olsen suggested starting the meeting to 1:00 p.m. and Ms. Cortright said she would have to reconfirm availability with the Grand Hotel. Ms. Stone agreed with the later start time and suggested the meeting could extend into the evening if necessary. Ms. Cortright agreed to contact the hotel and send a confirmation to Commissioners regarding the new meeting start time.
Miles City had previously been suggested as the location for the February 2006 Commission meeting. Mr. Stearns called for discussion on the location and Ms. Hamburg said Linda Wolff would gladly host the meeting in Miles City. The dates of Feb. 16 or Feb. 9 were proposed and Ms. Cortright agreed to secure a location and reserve a room block.
COSA Meeting Highlights
Mr. Stearns asked Ms. Cortright to deliver highlights from last evening’s COSA meeting. She reported that COSA members met at the Ag Museum from 7-9 p.m. where they discussed the future of COSA after the Bicentennial Observance and how the Challenge Cost Share Program of the NPS could be extended beyond the Bicentennial to provide for on-going Trail improvements. Steve Adams with NPS spoke about the federal requirement of drafting a 10-year plan, which he intended to fast track, with the intention of completing the entire process in 18 months. He agreed to provide COSA with a draft plan prior to their August meeting in Portland. The Foundation was considering expanding its role to include trail stewardship, but said to accomplish this they needed to grow their membership base to provide the funding support. Of great concern was the fact that Eastern Trail States had completed their observances, and many of the groups had disbanded or would very soon. COSA members planned to meet again today from 1-3 p.m. following a joint lunch with the state Commission at the Ag Museum.
Margaret Gorski said there was a great deal of thought and energy being focused on post-Bicentennial and how to use the infrastructure and community organizations in a way that sustains to the L&C Trail, as well as the sites that are of economic benefit to communities. She said Montana had developed one of the best infrastructure organizations, and she would like to see it tapped for thoughts on now to sustain the level of awareness and protection of the sites on the Trail. She proposed holding a wrap-up regional meeting with the RBCs, Tribal reps., Foundation Chapters, MTRI and the Commission to discuss and recommend how the states could best nurture the Trail and infrastructure. She felt that MTRI was the logical organization to bear some responsibility for developing and implementing some long-term strategy for Montana. She said it was very complicated and warranted more conversations with MTRI to determine their possible role and noted that Montana was providing a model for other states in the drafting of its Legacy Document.
IX. Public Input Time
Mr. Stearns offered the opportunity to members of the audience to provide public input; no further comments were offered.
Commission Attendance at Upcoming Events
Mr. Stearns polled members of the Commission to determine representation at various Bicentennial events. He thanked Tootie Rasmussen for offering to cover many of them. Ms. Cortright explained that compiling this list would also provide her with a better estimate of travel expenses for the budget. Ms. Rasmussen asked if their attendance was considered official representation of the Commission and Ms. Cortright responded that in an earlier meeting Mr. Stearns suggested it would be good to have at least one Commissioner at the opening ceremonies for events and at Corps II. She offered to make arrangements with event planners for introductions.
- Explore! the Big Sky
- Betty Stone planned to stay one additional night
- Wyman McDonald planned to attend the Symposium one day and overnight
- Marcy Hamburg planned to stay one additional night
- Mark Sansaver planned to attend activities on the 25th
- Helena Corps II
- Arnie Olsen planned to attend
- Tower Rock Dedication – July 17
- Tootie Rasmussen planned to attend
- Bozeman Corps II
- Hal Stearns planned to attend
- Whitehall-Twin Bridges-Dillon
- Tootie planned to attend Corps II on Aug. 5
- Hamilton Corps II
- Tootie and Hal planned to attend
- Lolo Corps II & Sula Event
- Wyman McDonald and Hal Stearns planned to attend
Ms. Stone suggested letting the Corps II host community contact know of planned attendance, and suggested that the Opening Ceremony was the best time to participate.
Mr. Monger invited people to stop by to see the new interpretation installed at Clark’s Lookout near Dillon. He said Headwaters State Park also had all new facilities and interpretation, and said the Lolo Creek bridge would be completed soon at Travelers’ Rest State Park. The interpretive sign and site dedication was planned for 10:00 a.m. July 17 at Tower Rock State Park.
Margaret Gorski said the interpretive signs were in place and a dedication ceremony was planned on top of Lemhi Pass Aug. 12; she offered to provide details soon.
Mr. McDonald asked about the Salmon Interpretive Center and Ms. Gorski said it was open. He asked about the center at Clarkston, Washington, and Mr. Stearns said it was also completed. Mr. McDonald recalled that he had recommended early on the idea of the Tribes coming together to develop their own L&C Tribal Indian Center, perhaps across the road from the Great Falls Interpretive Center, where each Tribe could interpret their history. He reported that tribal people through Montana did not feel that the Great Falls Interpretive Center told their story. He suggested that possibly the Tribal leaders get together and present a proposal to Congress. He planned to present the idea to the Conf. Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council.
Mr. Olsen said the Montana Historical Society’s exhibit, “Neither Empty Nor Unknown,” was in progress and would open in phases. The exhibit would focus on Indian culture, how they used plants and animals, and how they helped Lewis & Clark. A Native American advisory group was providing assistance in telling the story in an appropriate way, and they had contracted Native American artists to produce murals. Mr. McDonald asked to be informed of the advisory group’s meeting schedule.
The meeting adjourned at 12:00 noon to enjoy lunch.
Back to Commission Meetings Menu
Welcome | What's New | Commission Overview | Resource Library
Chapter & RBC Info | Endorsement Info | Education | Funding
Montana Events | Help/Sitemap | Related Links
Feedback Form | Email This Page
For more information please contact:
Montana Historical Society
P.O. Box 201201
225 North Roberts
Helena, MT 59620-1201
Hosting donated by Tempest Technologies, LLC
Visit Virtual Montana to plan your Montana Vacation!