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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
I. Call to Order
Montana Historical Society
February 15, 2005
Clint Blackwood called the meeting to order and explained that Chair Homer Staves was unable to attend today’s meeting. In addition, he noted that Vice Chair Darrell Martin was seated in the audience and would be making an announcement. Mr. Blackwood explained that the Bylaws called for an election of a temporary chair in the event the chair or vice chair were unable to chair a meeting. Betsy Baumgart made a motion to elect Hal Stearns as temporary chair for today’s meeting. Jack Lepley seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns welcomed everyone and referred to the photo and story in the Independent Record related to bicentennial legislation. He announced that April 29th would mark the first of Montana’s events commemorating the Bicentennial.
Mr. Stearns then read Darrell Martin’s letter of resignation addressed to Gov. Schweitzer, dated February 11, 2005. He said the Commission had developed a wonderful relationship with Mr. Martin, and accepted the letter with much regret. Mr. Martin addressed the Commission by saying it had been a true pleasure serving on the Commission and that together they had made a difference in Montana’s Lewis & Clark efforts and had served as an example to other Trail States.
Chairman Stearns called for introductions. Commissioners in attendance were: Hal Stearns, Tootie Rasmussen, Jack Lepley, Betty Stone, Wyman McDonald, Betsy Baumgart, Darrell Kipp, and Marcy Hamburg. Arnie Olsen and Doug Monger joined the meeting just prior to the noon break. Staff included Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright. Guests in Attendance: Diane Brandt, Jeff and Sandra Dietz, Darrell Martin, Steve Adams, Darrell Martin, MSG Ted Reichert, SR Bruce Haagenson, John Maatta, Judy Siring, Gail Stensland, Dick Alberts, Art Neill, Ron Clark, Carol Bronson, Cali Morrison, Sara Scott, Robbie Carpenter, Dave Walter, Dan Krum, Linda Wolff, Melody Dobson, Julie Kleine, Mary Jane Charlo, Rose Oleson, Peggy Bourne, Dick Fichtler, and Cameron Clark.
Mr. Steanrs thanked everyone for coming. He then displayed a copy of the 2005-2006 Montana Highway Map – Lewis & Clark Commemorative Edition, and on behalf of the Commission, thanked Betsy Baumgart for her role in the map’s production.
III. Approval of October 14-15, 2004 Meeting Minutes
Mr. Stearns called for additions or corrections to the October 14-15, 2004, meeting minutes. Betty Stone moved to approve the minutes; Tootie Rasmussen seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Stearns called for approval of the November 4, 2004, Transition Committee Minutes; however, Mr. Blackwood questioned whether the full Commission needed to approve committee minutes. After discussion, there was consensus that the minutes did not require the Commission’s approval.
IV. Director’s Report
Mr. Blackwood was called on to deliver the Director’s Report. He began by recognizing John Maatta as the person having traveled the farthest to attend today’s meeting, as Mr. Maatta just returned from Kazakhstan. He explained that the construction noise was coming from the renovation work underway for the Society’s L&C exhibit, “Neither Empty Nor Unknown.” Mr. Blackwood explained that Mr. Olsen and Mr. Monger were occupied with legislative hearings and would join the meeting around mid-day. Therefore, part of the agenda would be shifted to accommodate their reports, as well as those members of the audience who needed to leave early.
Mr. Blackwood recognized MSG Ted Reichert, MT Natl. Guard, who has been appointed as the Guard’s liaison for Lewis & Clark events in Montana. He also noted the 2005-2006 Montana highway map, and thanked Travel Montana and the MT Dept. of Transportation for their work in designing the new map. He then referenced the map produced by MDT, “Lewis & Clark in Montana,” noting that a revised version would be available soon from the Commission’s office and through their website. The Corps of Engineers has released a new video, “Confluence of Time and Courage,” produced by Gray Warriner, Camera One in Seattle. Mr. Stearns explained that the film was produced with technique called ‘ghost imaging’ where the actions faded in and out. The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls was also working with Mr. Warriner to produce a new video for the Interpretive Center. Mr. Blackwood announced that the Montana Committee for the Humanities planned to hold the Governor’s Humanities Awards Ceremony at 4 P.M. on Feb. 17, 2005, in the Capitol Rotunda, and noted that Darrell Kipp was listed as one of the awards recipients for his work in preserving native languages. Mr. Kipp provided further details on the program. Mr. Blackwood noted that MCH was still accepting applications for funding of L&C programs for the summer and encouraged groups to apply. He reported that Jonathan Jackson was recently promoted to the rank of Colonel. Mr. Blackwood said the Great Falls Tribune and Lee Newspapers are again planning to print two L&C inserts and he was working with them to obtain an overrun of one insert for later distribution to Montana’s visitor information centers. He asked for suggestions on placement of additional copies. The Commission’s 2005 Interim Report to the Legislature was displayed by Mr. Blackwood. He noted copies were mailed to legislators prior to yesterday evening’s Legislative Reception and to RBC’s, Tribal reps, Foundation Chapters, MTTA, etc. Mr. Blackwood noted receipt of a recent letter and Resolution of Support for the Bicentennial from the MT/WY Tribal Leaders, and thanked Darrell Martin for assisting in that effort. He closed the Director’s Report by noting the recent press on Tower Rock and plans for sign installation at the site this spring.
V. Committee Reports
A. Transition Committee
Mr. Stearns reported that the Transition Committee met on November 4, 2004, to discuss the components listed in the Transition Timeline. As a result of their discussions, the Committee made the following recommendations to the Executive Committee: 1) that the day-to-day operations of the Commission cease on Dec. 31, 2006; 2) that Bed Tax funding to the Commission would end on Dec. 31, 2006, and 3) that revenue from sale of the bicentennial license plate would be redirected effective January 1, 2007. The three recommendations were then forwarded to the full Commission on November 9 for their review and subsequent approval. Mr. Stearns said the Montana Historical Society moved forward with the preferred bill draft, which became known as House Bill 164. A draft termination package for staff was prepared and the Commission planned to meet in Executive Session at 1:00 P.M. today to discuss it in detail. Mr. Stearns said the Transition Committee would meet again soon to refine the tasks and future year budgets and would report at the June Commission meeting. Mr. Blackwood was asked to comment. He explained that it made sense to set the Commission’s end date and work from that date to determine duties and funding needs. His position would terminate at the end of July 2006 and Rita Cortright’s would end December 31, 2006. Mr. Blackwood explained that currently the license plate revenue goes away at the end of 2006, and the question arose of how to fund the Commission past that date. This question drove the decision to terminate operations at the end of 2006. Ms. Baumgart thanked staff for preparing the Transition Timeline, and said some questions remained, but would be worked out by the Transition Committee. She supported the December 2006 end date, as the major events will have concluded by the end of July. She explained that Bed Tax funding for FY07 was reduced by half as Dec. 31, 2006 was the mid point of the fiscal year. Mr. Blackwood said staff would draft future year budgets for consideration at the June meeting. Ms. Stone asked about the five pledge payments from PPL noted on the Timeline and Mr. Blackwood explained that this reflected the $100,000 pledge made by PPL to the Legacy Campaign designated for interpretive sign development. Annual pledge payments of $20,000 come to the Commission through the Campaign and are granted out for development of interpretive signs along the Trail. Management of the 4th and 5th payments, as well as the development and installation of signs, would be transferred to the Society when the Commission office closed. The first installment went to the Great Falls area; the second to the L&C County/Three Forks area; and the third would be coordinated with Jeff Dietz and other RBC coordinators for the Yellowstone Corridor. The remaining two locations were not yet determined.
Mr. Blackwood asked for help in identifying other tasks that might not have been captured on the Transition Timeline. Dick Alberts suggested providing direction to the regional commissions regarding the archiving of materials. Mr. Blackwood asked RBCs and Chapters to give consideration to what projects remain to be done along the Trail in Montana and agreed to send a memo soliciting the information. He said this information would help formulate recommendations for maintenance of enhancements that had been made along the Trail, and might possibly have implications for the future of the NPS Challenge Cost Share grant program. Steve Adams reported that the CCS 2006 budget would be cut by 50% to $2.5 million, and it was suggested that the 2007 budget be zeroed out. The L&C Trail would return to the funding pool for all 16 National Trails in the system and would receive about $80,000-$90,000 per fiscal year. Carol Bronson asked if a sign maintenance plan was in place. Mr. Blackwood responded that there was no officially designated entity responsible for overall sign maintenance; however, the Society had a sign program and the topic would be discussed later on the agenda. He said other states were discussing the development of an interpretive sign inventory, which might substantiate the need for future CCS funding. Mr. Adams said he had been tasked with reporting on the accomplishments funded by CCS along the Trail and therefore, had developed benchmarks that included resources, preservation and protection, and marking the trail through accurate signage. He planned to address those benchmarks at various groups’ meetings to gain what he felt was critical information. Mr. Blackwood agreed to consult with him prior to drafting the questionnaire that he would be sending out soon. Mr. Blackwood reported that the Commission had applied for a CCS grant to fund the development of our “Legacy Document,” to be prepared by a graduate student under Dave Walter’s supervision. The student would attend events during the next two summers, visit with RBCs regarding their activities, and work with Commission staff to pull together the information while everyone was still available. He said receipt of CCS grant funds was key to the success of the project. Mr. Adams reported that 142 applications requesting a total of $12 million were received for the $5 million available this year. Carol Bronson reported that 47 of the 142 applications were submitted by Montana projects.
Mr. Stearns congratulated the Commission on forming a Transition Committee to address the establishment of benchmarks for the orderly conclusion of the Commission’s activities. Mr. Blackwood restated his request for suggested additions to the Transition Committee’s task list.
The meeting recessed for a brief break.
B. Executive Committee
Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Blackwood to review current legislation that had implications for the Commission. He reported that HB 164 was the Commission’s original bill that named the Montana Historical Society as the recipient of future license plate revenues, with a portion of revenues earmarked for a community grants program through 2013. Concurrently HB 301 was introduced and proposed splitting the license plate revenues between Pompeys Pillar, Travelers’ Rest, and the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. At present, HB 164 had been tabled in committee; HB 301 was amended to split the funds four ways with the addition of the Montana Historical Society. The funds were directed toward Lewis & Clark projects and would extend indefinitely the purchase and renewal of bicentennial license plates. The bill no longer contained a community grants provision, as the House committee did not feel communities would need funds after the Bicentennial. The bill has passed out of the House and into the Senate. House Bill 417, the Signature Events funding bill, was heard before House Administration and passed unanimously, with executive action on the same day. The Billings and Great Falls communities provided strong support, and the Commission supported the bill in its present form, which named the funding source as general fund. The bill moves next to House Appropriations, and Mr. Blackwood agreed to notify the Commission when a hearing date was set. He called for questions and Ms. Rasmussen asked if the Society would consider a community grants program within the funds they would receive from license plate sales. Mr. Blackwood responded that Mr. Olsen would have to answer that question once he joined the meeting, but did not feel it was an option for the Society. Betsy Baumgart offered to share with the Commission some informational documentation she prepared for HB 417. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission office was forwarding Travel Montana’s legislative update on to Commissioners, RBCs and Tribal reps, and offered to add names to the distribution list upon request.
C. Budget Review
Mr. Blackwood reviewed the budget worksheet dated Feb. 4, 2005, and noted updates made since the October meeting. He explained that the Legacy Campaign expenses would no longer pass through the budget, as the Montana History Foundation agreed to pay bills directly from the Legacy Campaign bank account in the future. Under “Income” the actual cash balance brought forward from FYE 2003 was adjusted down by $451.73, as a result of a recap prepared by the Society’s business office. The Qwest Foundation contributed $15,000 in grant funds to support speaker fees for Corps II Host Communities during the 2005 summer. License plate revenues were coming in slightly above projections. Under “Expenses,” the personnel expenses were restated to reflect actual monthly costs, based on a report from the Society’s business office. This resulted in an increase of $1,488.45 in the PR Campaign expenses for Tom Cook. Under “Grants,” $22,000 was budgeted for O&P Grants; however, to date only $17,898 had been applied for. He noted the BOI repayment schedule for both loans reflected a payoff by February 2006; one payment was scheduled for August 2005 and the final payment would be made in February 2006. Line 107 of the worksheet reflected a Contingency Fund balance of $36,425, which was left unallocated at the October 2004 meeting. Line 111 reflected an additional balance of $26,331.83 available, for a total of $62,756 in Contingency Funds the Commission could allocate by fiscal year end. He cautioned that this available fund balance was based on license plate revenues coming in as projected, and expenses holding at projected levels. He asked the Commission to make a decision on when to allocate the contingency fund revenues or wait until the June meeting. Normally the Grants Committee would make the recommendation; however, Mr. Blackwood talked with Betsy Baumgart, committee chair, regarding a recommendation and they felt there were too many unknowns at this point for them to make a recommendation. He said, however, the Commission could make a decision today based on the funding priorities set at the October meeting. Ms. Baumgart asked for clarification on the Legacy Campaign income and expenses. Ms. Cortright explained that the three line items of $25.80, $447.79 and $1620.00 equaled the total reimbursement of $2093.59 on line 28. Budget action was tabled until later in the meeting.
D. Grants Committee
Ms. Baumgart deferred to Rita Cortright for the first portion of the Grants Committee’s report. Ms. Cortright began with a review of the 2000 Project Grants, noting the last grant was closed on Feb. 4, 2005. For 2001 grants, she noted the Blackfeet submitted a final report on January 25, 2005 for #2001-002, and a letter was mailed to the Tribe closing the file. For 2002, the Crow Tribe’s grant #2002-005 remained delinquent, and grant #2002-009 was granted an extension until October 1, 2005. For 2003, grant #2003-007 submitted a final report on Jan. 3; #2003-008 requested and received an extension to June 1, 2005; and #2003-009 submitted their final report on Dec. 20. For 2004, all projects had submitted 6-month reports and final reports would be due Aug. 31, 2005.
Next Ms. Cortright reviewed the Organization and Planning Grants beginning with 2003, as the previous years’ grants were closed out. She reported that only one grant from 2003 remained open; #2003-017 Fort Belknap Indian Community Council. Ms. Cortright reported that final reports for 2004 were slowly coming in. She noted that grant #2004-005 Missouri River Breaks RBC submitted their final report on Feb. 7 with a special request that would be reviewed later in the meeting. Grant #2005-011 Western Montana RBC was delinquent. Grant #2004-015 Lower Yellowstone RBC submitted their final report with a refund of $53.69. Grant #2004-016 Upper Missouri RBC submitted a final report on Feb. 7. Grant #2004-017 also submitted their final report on Feb. 7 with a refund totaling $1883.55. Ms. Cortright then reviewed the status of the 2004 Missouri River Breaks RBC grant, explaining that Sheila Simanton’s report reflected that O&P funds were used to cover expenses from their group’s encampment at Kipp Park. Because attendance was down, gate receipts that would have reimbursed the O&P account did not come in. Ms. Simanton submitted a request to the Commission asking for an exception that would allow the reallocation of $1,036 in O&P funds to cover the event’s expenses. Mr. Blackwood explained that the Commission office was not aware of this situation until the report was submitted last week. He said if the Commission did not grant the variance, Sheila Simanton and Sheila Askin would be asked to reimburse the costs out-of-pocket, as no other funds were available. He went on to explain that their RBC did not have projected O&P expenses for 2005, but did see an opportunity to support activities at Kipp Park in 2005 in conjunction with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles. Because Fort Belknap might not host Corps II, their RBC might not have much involvement in 2005. He asked the Commission to consider exempting the use of O&P funds for both 2004 and 2005. Mr. McDonald responded that if an exemption was granted to one it should be granted to all, and noted the Salish had returned their unexpended 2004 funds. Ms. Stone said she was sympathetic with their situation, but said it was not fiscally responsible to put on events without knowing 100% where the funds would come from to support it. She felt the grant application guidelines were very clear and did not support granting the exception; however, she said they could approach the Commission and request funding support for a specific summer event. Mr. Kipp made a motion to grant the Missouri River Breaks RBC a one-time exception on the expenditure of their O&P Grant funds to cover the 2004 event expenses. Mr. McDonald asked if the Flathead could be reimbursed for their $1883 in unexpended 2004 O&P Grant funds. Mr. Kipp said they were looking at a specific request, not an overall logistics/programming element of the Commission. Ms. Rasmussen seconded. Mr. Lepley suggested granting them the amount of funds to make up the loss, and not allow the use from the O&P Grant for that purpose. Mr. McDonald offered an amendment to the motion to include reimbursing the Salish. Mr. Stearns called for a second to the motion, but none was made. Ms. Stone questioned the circumstances of the Salish grant and Mary Jane Charlo explained that Arleen Adams was the COTA representative, and Ms. Charlo thought the O&P Grant was being utilized to cover Ms. Adam’s expenses. Julie Cajune was the designated as the L&C Tribal contact, but was unable to attend due to her current job duties. Ms. Charlo was asked to serve as the L&C Tribal contact, but did not know the funds were available to her, which resulted in the bulk of the grant funds being returned to the Commission. Mr. Kipp asked for a report on other 2004 O&P funds returned to the Commission and Ms. Cortright reviewed the list of four. It was his desire to deal specifically with the Missouri River Breaks’ request, and not get into a discussion of why groups returned funds as he felt this would lead to making a judgment call on all grants. Mr. Kipp said if the discussion expanded he would withdraw his motion. Mr. McDonald said the Salish made a verbal request to reallocate their funds and were denied. Ms. Cortright responded that she did communicate with Mary Jane Charlo and attempted to delay the $1883 refund to allow her to reallocate expenses toward the O&P Grant; however, this was not feasible. Mr. McDonald agreed, but said his specific request was to carry the funds into 2005, and Ms. Cortright responded that she did not have the authority to grant that exception. Ms. Rasmussen suggested making a separate motion after this motion was acted upon. Mr. Stearns again called for a second to Mr. McDonald’s motion. Hearing none, he called for a vote on the Mr. Kipp’s motion. Hearing no further discussion, Mr. Stearns called for the vote, and the motion carried. Mr. McDonald made a motion to return to the Salish-Kootenai Tribes the $1883.55 of unexpended 2004 O&P grant funds for use in the 2005 O&P Grant Program. Mr. Lepley seconded. Ms. Stone asked if this meant they would receive an extension, and Ms.Cortright explained that O&P Grants were based on the calendar year. She explained that the Salish L&C contact had the authority to allow expenses against the O&P Grant; however, only about $200 in expenses was claimed. Mr. Blackwood added that numerous attempts to contact this person went unanswered, and now with Mary Jane’s appointment this situation has been resolved. Ms. Baumgart asked if the refunded amount would be applied to past expenses and Mr. Blackwood said the funds would be applied to 2005 expenses. Mr. McDonald restated his motion and Mr. Stearns called for the vote. The motion carried with six voting in favor.
Ms. Cortright continued her report with a review of the 2005 O&P Grants. She noted 13 applicants had applied for a total of $12,898.66; 5 additional groups had applied but were listed as ineligible at that time due to outstanding reports. As of today, only one remained in the “Applied: Ineligible” category, which was the Western Montana RBC. The Blackfeet became eligible with the receipt of their project report and were notified of the status change, but had not yet applied. The remaining 3 groups were ineligible due to delinquent reports. The maximum grant amount for 2005 was noted as $1,000. Ms. Cortright restated the request from the Missouri River Breaks RBC to reallocate the use of their 2005 O&P Grant to support the event at Kipp Park and asked the Commission to rule on the status of Western Montana RBC’s application. Mr. Blackwood said Scott Sproull had simply run out of time to submit the 2004 report. Mr. Blackwood said based on the Commission’s past ruling, those who had applied and were in good standing at the February meeting were eligible for O&P Grants. Mr. Kipp asked when the Blackfeet could apply for funding for the 2006 Encounter Event, and Mr. Blackwood explained that the FY 2006 Budget would include that Program Grant if the Commission determined to grant funding. Ms. Baumgart made a motion to move the deadline for 2005 O&P Grant deadline to Febr. 28, 2005, for receipt of applications from the Blackfeet and Western Montana RBC. Ms. Rasmussen seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood asked if there were any questions on the groups listed as: “Did not Apply: Ineligible,” and none were raised.
Mr. Blackwood revisited the request from Missouri River Breaks RBC to use their 2005 O&P Grant for an event, rather than for the approved O&P uses. Ms. Stone said a lot of work went into the O&P Grant Guidelines and felt that making one exception would lead to making many exceptions in the future. Ms. Stone made a motion directing that 2005 O&P Grant funds be utilized as originally intended. Betsy Baumgart seconded. Ms. Baumgart supported Ms. Stone’s position. Mr. Lepley suggested allowing 2005 and 2006 O&P Grant recipients to make their own determinations regarding the use of the funds as the focus was now changing from administrative activities to actually hosting events. Mr. McDonald agreed with Mr. Lepley. Mr. Blackwood clarified that all other 2005 O&P applicants had followed the grant guidelines in making their application, and the contracts had been issued for signatures. He said if the motion passed all of the agreement would need to be retrofitted, or the grant recipients could be notified of the expanded use of funds and a simple amendment could be prepared for signatures. Mr. Lepley said if an exception were granted for one group it should be done for everyone for the next two years. Mr. Stearns asked Ms. Cortright to comment and she said it would result in some increased paperwork and legal expenses to have the amendments reviewed and signed by our attorney at the Dept. of Justice. Ms. Baumgart asked if there was a way to expand use of funds under the current O&P Grant program. Mr. McDonald suggested leaving 2005 as is and changing the criteria in 2006. Ms. Stone restated her motion; however she indicated that she was considering withdrawing the motion and offering a new motion that would allow expanded use of the funds. Mr. Stearns asked for public comment. Mr. Dietz favored removing the grant restrictions and keeping the paperwork to a minimum. Mr. Alberts urged caution in removing restrictions for items such as marketing. Mr. Martin noted that the purpose for the O&P Grants was to encourage participation by RBCs and Tribal reps. Ms. Brandt said the category most in need of funding was speakers and presenters. Ms. Oleson spoke in favor of including marketing in the acceptable uses of O&P Grant funds. Ms. Stone withdrew her motion. She reminded groups that their Tourism Regions were a source of marketing funds. Ms. Stone made a motion to expand the use of future O&P Grant funds to include speaker and presenter fees. Ms. Baumgart seconded the motion and suggested incorporating the language from the Program Grant Application. Mr. Stearns called for the vote and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood said a letter would be sent very soon notifying 2005 O&P Grant recipients of the expanded use of grant funds, and explained that the bureaucracy connected with the Grants Program was necessary to ensure that the program was being properly administered.
Ms. Cortright continued the Grants Committee report with a review of the 2005 Program Grants, noting that $50,000 of the $80,000 pledged to Explore! was paid; $10,000 of the $20,000 pledged to Clark on the Yellowstone was paid; the full $10,000 pledged to the Confluence event was paid; and the $2,000 check to support the Salish event had been issued. The final report from the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Association remained past due. The Funding Schedule for Corps II Host Communities was reviewed next. Currently five communities were budgeted to receive $14,500 for 29 presentation days. Final reports would be due 45 days past the end date of each event. Mr. Blackwood noted that Qwest Foundation provided $15,000 in funding support for community programming for Corps II. The report also contained the schedule for FY06 and FY07.
The Challenge Cost Share grant program was reviewed next. Ms. Cortright reported that only two grants remained open from 2003, FY03-169 and FY03-209, and should be closed out by August 2005. The 2004 NPS CCS recap indicated 8 open grants from the original list of 12. Mr. Blackwood said he contacted Dick Williams, NPS in Omaha, to inform him that the Commission would not serve as the pass-through entity for 2005 CCS grant awards, and as a result the NPS would need to work directly with grant recipients.
Mr. Stearns called on Ms. Baumgart to report on the Grants Committee’s recommendation for Contingency Fund allocation. Ms. Baumgart suggested returning to this topic later in the meeting. She acknowledged Ms. Cortright for her efforts in administering the Commission’s Grants Program.
H. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee
2. Signature Event Updates
Peggy Bourne was called on to report on plans for Explore! the Big Sky signature event in the Fort Benton/Great Falls area, June 1 – July 4, 2005. Ms. Bourne provided a handout and reviewed the numbers listed in the handout; 34 days in the event, 107 days until the event kicks off, 150 unique activities, as well as numbers related to the budget, ticket sales, brochures and billboards. The event budget was noted as $2,650,203 and 39,286 tickets remained to be sold to balance the budget. Ms. Bourne said Julie Klesh had been hired recently as the second paid staff member, and they have been focusing efforts on fundraising, contract drafting, finalizing events and marketing. She said hundreds of calls were coming in from all across the country. A waiting list of 45 has formed for people wanting to purchase Symposium and All Event Tickets. Mr. Blackwood complimented both Signature Event planning groups on their efforts.
Jeff Dietz provided an update on the Clark on the Yellowstone signature event, noting they were 17 months away from the event, July 22-25, 2006, in the Billings/Pompeys Pillar area. Mr. Dietz referred to their promotional video, noting it was shown many times yesterday in the Capitol Rotunda. He said Melody Dobson had a copy of the event’s comprehensive four-day event and fundraising plan. Also under development was a comprehensive “to scale” site plan for Pompeys Pillar National Monument. Mr. Dietz announced that work on the new Interpretive Center was progressing well, and by March 30 the outside structure should be completed. He said the organizational and planning structure was in place for the event, and many partnerships were also in place. The marketing plans have been developed in partnership with Betsy Baumgart, Travel Montana, and they were ready to undertake a volunteer training program. He said plans for all components were in place, with the exception of funding. The projected budget was $1.582 million; event costs were projected at $869,00 and in-kind donations at $713,000. Projected income from grants totaled $350,000, including a projected $80,000 grant from the state Commission in 2006. Mr. Dietz said this left a cash shortage of about $500,000 to $600,000, and noted they did not have a safety net. He said they were actively fundraising and have been for the past four months, and would continue those efforts; however, he felt the efforts were a little disappointing. He next addressed House Bill 417 sponsored by Rep. Monica Lindeen, which requests $500,000 each for Montana’s two signature events. The success of this bill would define whether Clark on the Yellowstone was truly a signature event, or a larger community event, and that decision would need to be made by late April in order to make programming plans. Mr. Dietz expressed his appreciation to the Commission for their support of HB 417 and encouraged continued support, as he felt that the signature events would benefit tourism throughout the entire state. He said the $1M request equated to about $1 per capita of Montanans to fund the two signature events for the nation. Mr. Dietz said there was strong statewide support for commemorating the L&C Bicentennial and he felt it was important to let the Legislature know of that support. He noted that the day HB 417 was introduced marked the 200th anniversary of Pomp’s birthday, and said there was no mention of the coincidence in the press. Mr. Dietz encouraged the staging of a “L&C Day at the Capitol” media event in late March or early April, and closed by offering to answer questions. Mr. Stearns thanked Mr. Dietz for his presentation and said it raised a couple of important points; that this is Montana’s moment to shine, and that we could not relax efforts to promote the Bicentennial with the Legislature or in local communities.
7. Encounter the Bitterroot Salish Event Update
Mary Jane Charlo delivered an update on the event, Encounter the Bitterroot Salish, Sept. 9-10, 2005, at Sula, Montana. She distributed a handout that outlined the two-day event, and accompanying budget that reflected a $10,000 grant from COTA and matching funds of $11,360. Plans called for a powwow, buffalo feed, food, arts and crafts vendors, Native guided tours, L&C re-enactors, singing and dancing contests, and a Salish Indian Mass on Sunday morning by Father Thomas Connelly. Mr. Blackwood noted that the Commission was previously provided a copy of the Salish’s 2005 NPS CCS Grant application for $50,415, and said their application to COTA for a $10,000 grant was successful. He said a request might be forthcoming from the Salish for additional support from the Commission, and would be contingent upon the success of the CCS Grant application, which should be known by mid-April. Mary Jane then requested funding in the range of $5,000-$15,000 for the event. Ms. Baumgart asked if the funds requested from the Commission were factored into the CCS Grant Application and Ms. Charlo said they were. Mr. Blackwood suggested waiting to make a grant determination until after the CCS Grant was announced, which would require Executive Committee and Grants Committee action prior to the June Commission meeting. Ms. Baumgart asked if the Commission’s funds would be needed prior to April and Ms. Charlo said they would be, as she needed to reserve equipment. Mr. Monger asked where the funds would come from on the Commission’s FY05 budget and Mr. Blackwood said they would come from the Contingency Fund line item. Mr. Monger asked if there were other competitors for those funds and Mr. Blackwood responded that the signature events would be competing for the dollars. Ms. Baumgart made a motion to provide up to $5,000 for the Salish Event, contingent on a written request from Ms. Charlo listing the key areas on the NPS CCS Grant Application where Commission funds would be expended. Mr. McDonald seconded. Following further discussion, Mr. Stearns called for the question and the motion carried.
Jim Fall, Executive Director, Montana Newspaper Association, distributed a sample calendar that contained 90 separate inserts detailing the highlights of the Expedition, week by week through Montana. He requested that people contact newspapers in their local communities and encourage them to participate in the program. The illustrations were the work of artist Gary Little from Billings. Mr. Monger commented on the tremendous job being done by newspaper editors and/or the Newspaper Association in keeping the L&C story in the forefront. Mr. Fall said the five Lee Newspapers, the Great Falls Tribune, and the Kalispell Daily Interlake, and about 16 community newspapers were participating. Mr. Monger made a motion directing Mr. Blackwood to send a letter to Jim Fall at the Montana Newspaper Association, encouraging more participation in the project and thanks for past participation. Ms. Baumgart seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns recessed the meeting for an Executive Session and lunch and requested people return by 1:15 PM to resume the meeting.
5. Lewis & Clark at the Confluence
Diane Brandt reported on plans for the upcoming event, Lewis & Clark at the Confluence, April 29-May 1, 2005, noting it was a collaborative effort between Montana and North Dakota. She distributed ad copy that would be placed in North Dakota, and explained that the North Dakota Tourism folks designed the event logo at no cost to the Confluence event planners. She said funding support for her position came from a NPS CCS grant and most of their marketing dollars came from the Missouri River Country, with a $5,000 grant from North Dakota Tourism. The marketing effort would be stepped up starting in March. The total budget for the event was projected at $57,000; approx. $4,000 in sponsorships have been secured. She listed the speakers slated to present during the event and said a Caviar application was out seeking about $6,000 to fund 3 additional speakers. Ms. Brandt reviewed the activities planned for the three days that included the L&C Honor Guard, a buffalo feed, a panel discussion, and Native American-focused activities on Sunday where almost all of Montana’s tribes would be represented. She said weather would probably be their biggest challenge. Corps II would be located at Williston from April 23 – May 1; at Poplar from May 6-9, and Glasgow, May 14-17. Ms. Brandt said a good committee was in place and she felt confident they would have a great event. She planned to promote the event at both North Dakota’s and Montana’s Governor’s Conferences. Ms. Stone announced that a room block was set aside for speakers and dignitaries, and offered to provide lodging information to attendees. Ms. Brandt said specific programming information would be available at the Governor’s Conference booth. She recognized the NPS Challenge Cost Share program for providing the initial funding to launch the event planning, and complimented Montana and North Dakota on their coordinated planning efforts.
1. Army National Guard Participation
MSG Ted Reichert addressed the meeting, noting he came on board January 10 to represent the Army National Guard and would be participating through September. He said it was the goal and ambition of the Guard to have a presence of at least 6 soldiers at each of the Corps II events under the leadership of SR Bruce Haagenson. They planned to partner with the Corps of Discovery II and compliment the local events by providing assistance with setup, tear down and security. The Army Guard also planned to provide a “Then and Now” presentation highlighting what the military was like then and today. MSG Reichert said he had already contacted most of the event coordinators regarding plans for a veterans’ recognition salute to be held during either the opening ceremony or the “Then and Now” presentation. He would also like to recognize Montana soldiers currently on active duty, as presently over 70% of Montana’s National Guard soldiers were deployed on active duty, with most serving in a combat zone. He said the Army Guard had its own funding and could offer resources for security, safety, education and ceremonial events. MSG Reichert reported that he had visited most of the eastern Montana event sites, and by Friday would have completed visits all 2005 Montana event sites. He has begun interviewing and hiring soldiers to participate and would soon be putting together their plan. He participated in the Security Conference for the Explore! event held recently in Fort Benton, and said the area sheriffs would be submitting a request for National Guard Support for the event. He closed by saying the National Guard was excited about participating in 2005; however, plans for 2006 were unknown at this time, but he felt they would be funded to provide the same support as in 2005. Mr. Monger inquired about Ltc. Jon Jackson and MSG Reichert explained that he was promoted to Colonel and was still MSG Reichert’s boss and was still involved. Mr. Stearns thanked both MSG Reichert and SR Haagenson for their participation.
3. Corps II Updates
Mr. Blackwood said he and Pat Jones with Corps II traveled in September to several communities from Fort Benton, to Great Falls and on to Dillon. He also met with Fort Peck and Glasgow in the last two weeks. An advance team from Corps II planned to return to Montana in March, about 6 weeks ahead of the actual Corps II events, to make on-site visits in each community. He said Fort Belknap was undecided at this time regarding their hosting of Corps II. He planned to travel there next week to meet with the Tribal Council and hoped that a member of the NPS would also be able to accompany him. He planned to ask for a formal letter in the event that Fort Belknap decided not to participate.
4. Discovery Expedition of St. Charles
Mr. Blackwood said the Discovery Expedition was making plans to participate in Montana’s Bicentennial from the North Dakota border to Fort Benton and said Dick Fichtler, BLM, had worked with them to secure the necessary permits. They have applied for a CCS grant to fund their activities along the entire Montana Trail, but if not successful, they planed to complete at least the first portion of the trip. He said the group desired to continue the rest of the way through Montana if their grant application was successful; if not, it would be more of a retracing of the Trail and not a re-enactment. They have divided Montana into four segments and an advance party had been traveling the Trail, making contacts, and seeking information on permits, campsites, river access, and determining what communities might be interested in having them participate in events. Mr. Blackwood has encouraged them to be very careful in portraying their plans as tentative so that communities don’t come away with the mistaken impression that their plans were firm. He offered to communicate with the RBCs once the Discovery Expedition’s plans were finalized. Larry McClain is the executive director of the St. Charles group, and Mr. Blackwood said he was receiving mixed messages regarding Scott Mandrell’s participation this year. Mr. Alberts said it was impetive that their RBC received information in the next two months regarding the Discovery Expedition’s plans.
8. LCBC Attendance at Major Events
Mr. Blackwood said he would not personally visit each Corps II site in Montana, but did plan on attending all of the major events. He said if commissioners felt the state Commission should be personally represented at all events, he would welcome communication from them regarding which events they desired to attend and he would build a calendar. This topic also had budget implications for both FY05 and FY06. Mr. Stearns said he felt it would be most appropriate to have Commission representation at each of the Corps II sites. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the expense reimbursement procedure and explained that if a Commissioner traveled on official Commission business, they were entitled to claim expenses. Mr. Olsen asked for a schedule of dates and locations and Mr. Blackwood offered to send an e-mail summarizing the event information.
Mr. Stearns invited Judy Siring to provide an update on events in the Dillon area. She commented that it was disheartening to have to return almost $900 of their 2004 O&P grant, and noted that plans for Corps II were scaled back due to lack of funds. They have been in communication with the St. Charles group and hoped to include them in their event. Ms. Siring said this was her last day at the Chamber but she would remain as the Corps II community contact for Dillon.
Julie Kleine, FWP, Headwaters State Park, noted that Corps II would be in Bozeman for 9 days and they were receiving good community and tribal support. The Three Forks Area “Festival of Discovery” was planned during the same dates, and the St. Charles group might participate. She asked if the Army Corps of Engineers was planning anything and Mr. Blackwood said their participation was by invitation and offered to provide her with contact information for Ken Wilk.
John Maatta, with North Central Montana RBC, distributed a brochure on the Corps of Discovery in Liberty County, and noted the Expedition was in Liberty County two times; once in 1805 and again in July 1806. Their group was in the process of completing a mini-interpretive site on BOR land along the Marias River near the Tiber Dam. A dedication was planned for the first weekend in June and he extended an invitation to everyone to attend.
Dick Alberts said the L&C County RBC was blessed with a very good organizing committee for this summer’s events in Helena. He provided a handout of the tentative schedule of events planned for July 9-23 in the Helena area that included an Odyssey West concert, the Mission Mountain Wood Band concert, a Gates Musical Currents Bicentennial concert sponsored by the Helena National Forest, and the Symphony Under the Stars concert at Carroll College. Many of the events, including Corps II, were planned at the Fairgrounds. Sara Scott added that a meeting would take place next week to develop a preliminary schedule of speakers for Corps II, and expected to have a final schedule by the end of March.
Dick Fichtler, L&C Bicentennial Coordinator for BLM, announced that their L&C budget had been zeroed out for this year, Oct. 04 – Sept. 05, which equated to almost no river rangers on the Upper Missouri this year and almost no interpreters at Pompeys Pillar. He was awaiting word regarding the reinstatement of funding.
Tootie Rasmussen thanked everyone for delivering their event’s reports.
E. License Plate Committee
Betty Stone delivered the License Plate Committee report. She referred to the handout titled, “L&C License Plate Sales Recap,” noting that a total of 9,374 plates were sold for a total of $185,200 in calendar 2004. Revenue was slightly ahead of projections and she attributed this to the fact that we were actually into the Bicentennial years. Ms. Baumgart asked why 2004 sales were higher than 2003 and Ms. Cortright explained that the Jan. 2003 plate sales reported by DOJ were in error; the revenue reflected sales of approximately 1,243, not the 285 reported by DOJ. Mr. Blackwood said at Mr. Staves’ request the license plate revenue was restated to reflect a 15% annual decrease; however actual revenues were coming in slightly higher than the restated projections. Mr. Monger added that many of the specialty plates would hit the “400 plates sold trigger” at the end of calendar 2005 and might result in many of them dropping off, which could mean increased bicentennial plate sales.
F. Education Committee
Mr. Stearns delivered the Education Committee report. He announced that a Native American Symposium was planned for June 1-3, during the signature event in Great Falls and would address current Native American issues. He said Chaldler Jackson, Linda Juneau, Jane Weber, George Horse Capture, and others, were also involved in planning the first “Confluence” symposium. Mr. Kipp announced that the “Confluence of Cultures” symposium held May 28-30, 2003, was honored this past November with a Helen and Martin Schwartz Price for Excellence in Public Programming, given by the Federation of State Humanities Councils at a ceremony in Washington, DC.
Regarding L&C Guide Training, Mr. Stearns noted that the usual sessions at the L&C Training Academy in Great Falls would not take place; however, the Corps of Engineers planned to hold three training sessions in Montana, March 23-24 in Billings, April 26-27 in Missoula and May 3-4 in Great Falls. Mr. Lepley added that step-on guide training related to the Signature Event had already taken place in Great Falls, and was attended by about 60 people. Guide Training was currently being offered in Fort Benton on Wednesday evenings, with 30 people attending.
Mr. Stearns reviewed plans for Arbor Day, April 29, noting it was also the anniversary date of the Expedition’s entering into current day Montana, as well as the kickoff for the Confluence event. The state Commission has partnered with DNRC’s Montana Urban Forestry Division and OPI to encourage participation in Arbor Day activities. In October, over 500 curriculum and contest packets were mailed to 5th grade teachers, encouraging them to participate in a poster contest. Each school that submits a poster will receive a L&C ponderosa pine tree seedling to plant in celebration of Arbor Day, and the poster contest winners will receive a larger tree for planting on their school grounds. Carla Wambach developed a curriculum titled, “Celebrating Trees,” that was posted on OPI’s web page, ‘www.opi.sate.mt.us/lewis& clark”. Mr. Stearns said a tree planting event would also take place at the Confluence gathering on April 29 or 30, and hoped that Gov. Schweitzer would be able to attend.
G. Fundraising & Promotion Committee
Mr. Olsen reported on the Legacy Campaign, noting that income from pledges for the period Oct. 2004 – Jan. 2005 was $23,450. Expenses for the same period totaled $1,607.64. Seven pledges for just over $9,000 have been written off the Campaign records, as the donors wished to redirect their pledges to one of the Campaign partners. He said the Steering Committee would meet via conference call in the near future to discuss distribution of undesignated funds currently held in the Campaign’s bank account. He closed by saying the Campaign partners signed a new 2-year MOU representing the downsized version of the Campaign.
I. Senate Art Legacy Project Committee
Mr. Olsen distributed a handout on the Senate Art Legacy Project, and delivered an update on the project. He spoke yesterday to artist Eugene Daub and learned that the artist thought he would have the cast of the small piece done in a week or two. This cast will be done in plastic and painted to resemble bronze, and would be used as the model to market the miniature bronze piece. Thirteen miniature bronzes have been pre-sold; about 260 bronze medallions all 25 silver medallions have been sold. The medallions are being sold at the Society, the Ag Center in Fort Benton, Fairmont Hot Springs and the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. Mr. Olsen reported the Society’s expenses to date at about $4,300. He reviewed the budget handout noting that revenue totaled $77,260; expenses totaled $77,575. The revenue figure included the $50,000 BOI loan; the projected income from the 13 presold miniatures totaled $45,500. Because of the current schedule, he said the projected Oct. 05 payment of $41,667 to the artist would be delayed until next year. He said it was taking longer than hoped for to get the cast of the miniature, but the artist was working at his own pace and the work was very high quality. Mr. Olsen said he hoped to have some miniatures cast prior to the end of this legislative session. Mr. Blackwood asked about the projected install date in the Senate chambers and Mr. Olsen said it would be in ’06, not ’05, and that he had stressed to Mr. Daub that it had to be installed no later than June 2006. Mr. Blackwood clarified that the Commission took out the $50,000 BOI loan and loaned the funds to this project; the Commission would be repaid as sales generated revenue. Mr. Olsen said medallion sales were steady and they planned to market the artwork at both signature events. He welcomed ideas on marketing. Mr. McDonald asked what the artistic reaction had been and Mr. Olsen said Mr. Daub participated in and gave a presentation during the 2004 Western Rendezvous of Art in Helena and his work was well received.
VI. Old Business
A. Allocation of 2005 PPL Funds
Mr. Blackwood noted this topic was covered under the Transition Committee discussion, but restated that PPL would make an annual pledge payment of $20,000 in Sept. or October and he was working with the Yellowstone Corridor for placement of signs from Livingston eastward. He said PPL’s representative has been very agreeable to the past suggestions for investing their funds and the RBCs have also cooperated well.
Lemhi Pass Name Change
Mr. Blackwood reported on receiving a letter from the Board of Geographic Names regarding the denial of a request to officially change the name of Lemhi Pass to Disappointment Pass.
VIII. New Business
A. Nominating Committee for June Elections
Mr. Blackwood said the Bylaws called for the chair to appoint two members to serve on the Nominating Committee. He spoke with Mr. Staves prior to the meeting and Mr. Staves said he would take care of the nominations when he was back instate next week. Mr. Monger asked if the vice chair needed to be filled in the interim. Mr. Blackwood felt it was up to the Commission to decide. Ms. Rasmussen asked if this was addressed in the Bylaws. Mr. Blackwood said the bylaws stated that in the absence of the chair, if the vice-chair was also unable to assume the role of the chair, then a temporary chair was to be elected by the Commission. Mr. Olsen suggested deferring the matter until the June meeting. Mr. Blackwood said it left the Executive Committee short one member, which was the Native American position, and asked if the Commission was okay with that decision. Ms. Stone responded that Mr. Staves could appoint someone to the position prior to June if he felt it was necessary.
B. Review Committees & Chair Assignments
Mr. Blackwood noted it was time for Betsy Baumgart to rotate off the Grants Committee. Marcy Hamburg agreed to serve on the committee and Betty Stone accepted the committee chair position. Darrell Martin’s resignation left a vacancy on the Events/Calendar Coordination Committee that was left unfilled.
C. Maintenance & Upkeep of Interpretive Signs
Mr. Stearns opened discussion on the maintenance and upkeep of L&C interpretive signs. Ms. Stone began by reviewing the provisions of the Commission’s draft license plate bill known as HB 164, noting that one of the provisions was that the MT Historical Society would receive 50% of the revenue and the remaining 50% would go to fund a grants program for L&C projects administered through the Historical Society. House Bill 301 was also introduced and eventually HB 164 was tabled. HB 301 was amended to include a 25% spilt to four entities, the MT Historical Society, the L&C Interpretive Center, Pompeys Pillar, and Travelers’ Rest, with the elimination of the grants program. Ms. Stone said one of the main reasons she desired to see a grants program was to provide for interpretive sign maintenance. She noted that the Commission developed the Interpretive Sign Strategy, encouraged communities to do signs, and helped fund sign projects statewide. Many signs were developed by agencies that might have a mechanism to provide for future maintenance, but some were developed by local communities in cooperation with RBC’s and Chambers of Commerce. She felt this was one of the Commission’s greatest legacies, and in light of that, suggested the Commission had a responsibility to provide some type of funding mechanism for future sites and signs maintenance. She asked the Commission to consider establishing an alternative source of funding for sign maintenance. Ms. Stone proposed earmarking funds from the Commission’s budget over the next two years to be set aside in a fund. If the Commission agreed in principle, the details could be worked out and presented at the June meeting. She said the FY05 Contingency Fund could also be considered as a funding source. She suggested investigating to determine if PPL would consider designating future pledge payments to sign maintenance. Mr. Olsen said he and Ms. Stone had discussed this prior to the meeting. He offered that the Society or another state agency could set up a trust where the principal was inviolate and the interest could be used. He suggested the amount of $50,000, with 5% interest earnings of $2,500 annually. The interest could be reinvested for the first 6-8 years, and at the point there was a need, the interest could be spent. He said the Society already had a sign program for the National Historic Register, managed by Ellen Baumler, and these funds could be added to her program. Mr. Monger felt that managing a trust for $2,000 of annual income was more hassle than simply setting $50,000 aside, and spending $2,000 per year. The fund would last about 20 years at that rate of expenditure. He supported the concept of providing for sign maintenance, but felt that spending down a lump sum was easier than establishing and managing a trust of about $50,000. Ms. Stone felt that unless signs were vandalized, they would not require any maintenance funds for five years and estimated that $500 to $1500 per sign would be sufficient. Ms. Baumgart said she appreciated Mr. Olsen’s offer, and felt that this would be a natural tie in with his existing signs program; however, she recommended conducting a sign inventory to identify which signs would fall under this maintenance plan. Mr. Lepley asked if it would be possible to direct future license plate funds to sign maintenance. Mr. Olsen said the Commission controlled the funds only until July 1, 2007 and could not control future use of the funds due the pending legislation. However, he said funds could be set aside between now and Jan. 2007. Mr. Lepley said he did not support the bill because it takes money from the people of Montana and puts it into three places rather than utilizing it statewide. Mr. Stearns suggested establishing a matching program to include Montana’s tourism regions, chambers of commerce, and L&C Trail Heritage Foundation Chapters. The Commission could establish a fund with license plate revenues, and challenge local groups to match funds for use in their local communities. Mr. Olsen suggested directing Mr. Blackwood to consider the suggestions and bring options to the June meeting in conjunction with the proposed FY06 budget. Ms. Stone supported Ms. Baumgart’s suggestion of contacting RBCs to determine which signs would potentially fall under this maintenance plan. Dick Alberts said in L&C County there were a number of signs on state, federal and private property, and some had maintenance plans in place. He agreed that information needed to be collected. Mr. Blackwood said there was no way to compile a detailed inventory between now and June; however, he offered to build in a sign maintenance line item on future budgets and work to gather more information. Mr. Olsen supported Ms. Stone’s concept of contacting the RBCs to determine if there was sufficient interest, but felt it was up to each local area to sort out the details of ownership and maintenance needs. Mr. Monger agreed and suggested sending a memo to RBCs notifying them that the Commission was considering the action of setting aside some funding for the long-term maintenance of interpretive signs and asking for their opinion of the concept. At the same time the Commission could consider the reserved and unreserved cash balances to determine what would be appropriate for instantaneous expenditures and long-term set aside. Mr. Monger volunteered to help Ms. Baumgart develop high-level criteria for sign replacement in five to seven years, based on the TIIP Grant program. Mr. Lepley said it was vital to help maintain sites and signs after the Commission sunsetted. Mr. Blackwood agreed to draft and issue a memo to RBCs and Chapters to determine the interest in a replacement/maintenance program for interpretive signs and would look at future year budgets to determine what could be allocated to the program. Mr. Fichtler said the federal agencies had a maintenance plan in place for signs and also had replacement standards, and agreed to provide them to Mr. Monger. Mr. Stearns suggested that Mr. Blackwood also contact Carol Bronson with the LCTHF to determine if there was trailwide consideration being given to interpretive sign maintenance. He suggested that grants might be available from historic preservation groups on the national level.
D. Future Meeting Dates & Locations
Mr. Stearns proposed the dates of June 2 in Great Falls and June 3 in Fort Benton for the next Commission meeting. Mr. Blackwood noted that meeting arrangements had been made at the Holiday Inn in Great Falls from 1-5 p.m. for June 2 and at the Ag Museum in Fort Benton from 9-12 noon on June 3. Ms. Cortright announced that a room block had been reserved at the Holiday Inn and said the owner of the Charlie Russell Manor had also agreed to honor state rates. She agreed to send a memo detailing lodging options at both locations. Mr. Blackwood said COSA planned to meet on the afternoon of June 3 in Fort Benton, and suggested the Commission and COSA could share a catered lunch at the Ag Museum. The Opening Ceremony was planned for 4 p.m. in Fort Benton. Mr. Maatta reminded people of the events at Chester on June 4 and 5.
The October meeting was considered next. Following discussion, October 11 was agreed on, and several locations were suggested. Marcy Hamburg made a motion to meet in Big Timber on October 11. Mr. Monger seconded and the motion carried. Tentatively, the February 2006 meeting was scheduled in Miles City.
C. Budget Review – cont’d.
Mr. Blackwood returned to the discussion of allocating the projected Contingency Fund balance. Ms. Stone said there were several unknowns at this point, such as the possible need for some extra personnel funding discussed during the Executive Session and the potential of setting aside funds for interpretive sign maintenance. Ms. Stone made a motion to adopt the revised budget and leave the Contingency Fund unallocated until the June meeting when further figures would be available for assessment. Mr. Lepley seconded and the motion carried.
X. Public Input
Dick Fichtler announced that he just received word that BLM’s 2005 L&C budget had been reinstated.
Mr. Clark asked Mr. Olsen if he applied to the NPS CCS Grant Program for the Legacy Project. Mr. Olsen said he looked the criteria and the project did not qualify. Mr. Clark asked at what point in the project the large bronze would be paid for and Mr. Olsen said he could not answer that question yet; however he hoped that all of the miniatures would be sold, making the sale of the bronze medallions less critical as those funds were considered as a bonus to the project. Mr. Clark asked if the legislators were showing interest in purchasing the miniature bronze and Mr. Olsen said at this point three had reserved miniatures. He said the artwork had not yet been marketed directly, as he was awaiting the arrival of the small cast that would be photographed for use in the brochure. He said Senator Grimes was assisting with promotion of the artwork in the Capitol. Mr. Clark asked if the price increase from Kalispell Art Castings affected the project dramatically and Mr. Olsen responded that he did not know and had not spoken with them recently as the piece was not yet ready for casting.
Mr. McDonald asked about the Commission’s role in the upcoming Great Falls Symposium and Mr. Blackwood explained that he and Hal Stearns were asked to serve on a committee, but the Commission was not a co-sponsor.
Ms. Baumgart announced that the Feb. 15 hearing for HB 417 had been cancelled and would not be rescheduled until after February 24th transmittal.
Mr. Blackwood asked for comments from the Commission on Mr. Dietz’s suggestion of staging a “L&C Day at the Capitol.” Mr. Dietz had suggested some type of rally, public event or media day to support HB 417 that would include the Honor Guard, Indian lodges, drummers and dancing, etc. Mr. Blackwood asked if the Commission wanted him to explore the possibility. Mr. Kipp felt the Commission should take its lead from the sponsors of the bill, Great Falls and Billings. Mr. Blackwood agreed, but said both groups were heavily involved in event planning. Mr. Olsen replied that securing funding should be their first priority. Mr. Blackwood asked for clarification that the Commission would assume a supporting role, but Great Falls and Billings would be responsible for organizing the event. He suggested contacting the bill sponsor, Monica Lindeen. Ms. Baumgart responded that she had been informed during today’s meeting that Ms. Lindeen definitely desired the media day, including participation by RBCs and tribes, and was looking to the Commission to take the lead. Mr. Blackwood said he wanted to help Great Falls and Billings, but said it involved a lot of time and effort to pull off this type of event. Diane Brandt said she saw this as two-fold; 1) a L&C Media Day to promote HB 417, and 2) a L&C Day to promote and celebrate Lewis and Clark. She recommended holding the Media Day at the Capitol and letting the event planners go off on the side to do their lobbying. Mr. Blackwood asked Mr. Alberts if he felt this was something the RBCs could get behind and support. Mr. Alberts responded that three months of planning went into the January 2003 event at the Capitol. He said their local RBC might grumble a little about helping, but felt they would. Ms. Hamburg said she supported the efforts of the signature event planners and HB 417, but questioned whether the Media Event would take away from the Confluence Event at the end of April. Mr. Olsen said the most effective time would be 2-3 weeks after transmittal scheduled for Feb. 24, and said there was talk of ending the session by March 15. Mr. Monger felt that this was a budget- balancing bill that would be held until April 23rd, and thought the event would be best scheduled the last week of the Session. He suggested that Mr. Blackwood check the legislative calendar and also contact the RBCs to see if there is interest in supporting the event. Mr. McDonald thought that a two-hour event with a few good speakers, the Veteran’s Warrior Society and the Honor Guard would get the legislators’ attention and felt the Commission needed to be a part of the activity. Mr. Blackwood cautioned that the event might have implications to the Commission’s budget. Mr. Clark said the legislators would be looking for a show of public support and cautioned that without it, they would not take the event seriously. Mr. Blackwood said the L&C Honor Guard has presented colors in the House and Senate chambers and maybe this could be built upon with the Blackfeet Honor Guard, much like what was done on Jan. 18, 2003, but said he did not think there was time to plan for vendors and displays. He asked for a couple of volunteers to help brainstorm ideas and Betsy Baumgart, Doug Monger and Hal Stearns agreed to serve.
The meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.
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