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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
I. Call to Order
Mansfield Education Center, Billings, MT
July 21, 2006 - 10:00 a.m.
Chair Homer Staves called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Staves welcomed everyone and called for introductions. Commission members present included: Marcy Hamburg, Hal Stearns, Jack Lepley, Wyman McDonald, Darrell Kipp, Tootie Rasmussen, Doug Monger, Betsy Baumgart, Betty Stone, Homer Staves, and Richard Sims, new director of the Montana Historical Society. Mark Sansaver was unable to attend. Staff included Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright. Members of the audience included: Dick Alberts, Carla Wambach, Mike Oliver, Keith Petersen, Mark Baumler, Troy & Shirley Helmick, Lois Roby, Bonnie Hammer, Beth Merrick, Thelma McDonald, Ron Clark, Lisa Perry, Diane Brandt, Gregg Sartorius, Larry McClain, George Donnelly, Walt & Sharon Marten, Rob Bauer, Joe Maurier, Doug Habermann, Edythe McCleary, Lillian & George McCammon, George Heavy Runner, Becky Shay, Terri Purcell, Linda Wolff, Rose Oleson, Becky Douglass, Marilyn Short, Sandra Cahill, James Kelly, Christine Easton, Daniel Martin, James Parker Shield, Edythe McCleary, Dick Fichtler, Shannon Heath, Laurie Beck, Margaret Gorski, Kevin O’Brien, Jim Lynch, John Bohlinger, Bill Kennedy, John Ostlund, Jim Reno, Beth Merrick, Sue Lepley and Senator Conrad Burns.
III. Approval of February 16, 2006, Meeting Minutes
Mr. Staves called for approval of the February 16, 2006, meeting minutes.Ms. Baumgart made a motion to approve the minutes; Ms. Hamburg seconded and the motion carried.
IV. Director’s Report
Mr. Staves recognized Keith Peterson, Idaho state director. Mr. Peterson said it was his pleasure to attend the meeting, as Idaho and Montana have been great partners, and noted Montana had been a real leader in the Bicentennial. He read a letter from Joe Marshall, Chair of the Idaho Governor’s Lewis and Clark Trail Committee, and presented Mr. Blackwood with a commemorative Idaho license plate, noting Idaho copied Montana’s license plate program.
Mr. Blackwood was called on to deliver the Director’s Report and began by thanking Mr. Peterson for the recognition and gifts. He noted the Montana Historical Society’s L&C traveling trunk exhibit currently on that was display in the Mansfield Center, and the recent passing of Dave Walter, research historian for the Montana Historical Society, a good friend and long-time member of the audience during Commission meetings. His highlights of the Director’s Report included the following:
- The state Commission would receive recognition on the plaque for the bronze Clark bust to be dedicated on July 25 at Pompeys Pillar, as Mr. Blackwood worked with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles to help arrange funding.
- The Senate Art Project has experienced some recent maquette sales; Mr. Blackwood displayed the artwork during the Missoula and Lincoln Corps II events, and Rich Aarstad planned a display this week in Billings.
- Regarding events, Mr. Blackwood noted that Lincoln had a great Corps II event June 30-July 2 at Hooper Park and a July 4th parade that closed Hwy. 200 briefly. Corps II was also at Browning July 7-10 and Mr. Blackwood was a presenter in the “Tent of Many Voices.” A veterans’ salute and parade of honor were part of Corps II at Crow Agency, July 15-18. Mr. Blackwood estimated that 200 people attended the event at Big Timber, and passed around photos of the four recent events he attended.
- The Blackfeet were planning a commemorative event for the Fight Sight and Camp Disappointment titled, “Lewis and Clark in Blackfeet Country, July 26-29.
- A portion of the $18,000 PPL grant that was in turn re-granted to the Upper Missouri RBC for interpretive signs was returned to the Commission ($6,033.88). Mr. Blackwood noted that this topic would be addressed during the Grants Committee report later in the meeting.
- DESC re-enactors were at Travelers’ Rest on July 3, where Bryant Boswell portrayed Capt. Lewis, and then headed north into Blackfeet Country. Bud Clark headed south into the Big Hole, Dillon, Twin Bridges, the L&C Caverns, Headwaters State Park, Bozeman and Livingston.
- The L&C Honor Guard held their annual Encampment at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls, and also in Columbus and Three Forks. The First Squad was on the Trail, and the Travelers’ Rest Brigade fulfilled the role of re-enactors in western Montana.
- The Interpretive Sign Inventory remained incomplete, lacking reports from BOR, FWP and FS. The NPS had requested the state Commission prepare an asset inventory; however, Mr. Blackwood said he did not think the task fell within the mission of the Commission and deferred it instead to the MTRI Focus Team who has agreed to undertake the project.
- A reception was held March 31 at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls, for members of the Montana Congressional delegation regarding the possibility of extending the funding for the Challenge Cost Share Program through the NPS budget. Undaunted Stewardship also presented a program on their interpretive signs in Montana.
- Mr. Blackwood presented at the David Thompson Bicentennial activities on March 17-18 in Spokane, on lessons learned from the state perspective.
- A “Bicentennial in Review” 13-minute DVD program was produced by commission staff for airing during the Awards Luncheon, and would also become part of the Commission’s Legacy Document.
- Thanks were extended to the Montana National Guard for their great support of Corps II in Montana communities.
- A legal opinion was requested and received regarding how the State viewed license plate revenues received by the Commission. The opinion stated that the funds paid to purchase or renew Bicentennial license plates were considered private funds. Twenty dollars of each purchase or renewal was considered a donation.
- Mr. Blackwood appeared before the TAC during their June 5th meeting to thank them for their ongoing support of the Bicentennial in the amount of $200,000 annually for operations and $50,000 for grants.
- The DOT pull-out at Sula was completed; however the interpretive signs were not yet produced. Jon Axline was attempting to contact Laurie Heupel and Scott Sproull to determine the status of the project. The Caras Park signs would be discussed later during the Grant Committee report.
- The U.S. Mint did give $1.5 million to the Trail Heritage Foundation for a Trail Stewardship Program.
- Rob Bauer was recognized as the author of the nearly completed Commission’s Legacy Document. Mr. Blackwood commended Mr. Bauer for his outstanding work to grasp in a short time the nuances of the Commission’s activities over the past 8 years.
- License plate revenues allowed the Commission to grant about $1.4 million in funds to Montana communities through 2006.
- The recent issue of “Montana the Magazine of Western History” contained an article on the Senate Art Project and artist Eugene Daub, as well as Tower Rock State Park.
- ITRR’s 2005 non-resident study indicated a 4 percent increase in visitation statewide, while visitation to Montana’s two national parks was down between 1-4 percent; winter activities were down 18 percent during that same time period. Mr. Blackwood suggested the 4 percent increase might be attributed to L&C activities.
Mr. Staves thanked Clint for his report. He then read the press release regarding Dave Walter’s passing, and asked for a moment of silence in Dave’s memory.
Tasks Completed This Year
Mr. Blackwood referred to the handout, “Tasks Completed in FY’06.” He noted that the number of press releases issued by the Commission declined as local communities instead issued releases on their community activities. He noted this as a success in reaching the goal of having local community involvement in the Bicentennial. The increase in Mr. Blackwood’s contact with TV, radio, newspaper and magazine reporters was greatly increased, however. He again thanked TAC for their ongoing funding, and the Board of Investments for the $250,000 loan that was paid off this past February exclusively with license plate revenues. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission continued to participate with COSA and the National Council, and noted his attendance at the Astoria, Oregon, meeting Nov. 8-10, 2005. Corps II visited 10 Montana locations through the Summer 2005, and would visit 7 additional sites through Aug. 2006.
B. Tasks to Complete in FY’07
Mr. Blackwood focused next on “Tasks to Complete in FY’07,” noting the Commission office would remain open through December 2006. A final “journal notes” newsletter would be issued in October or November. The Executive Committee was empowered through December 2007 according to state statute. Work on the Legacy Document would continue through the fall when the final document would be printed and distributed. Marketing of the Senate Art Bronze maquettes would also continue in an effort to raise funds for the casting and installation expenses, with installation expected prior to the 2007 Legislative Session. In conclusion Mr. Blackwood reviewed the Main Goals section of the document.
V. Committee Reports
A. Transition Committee - Hal Stearns
Mr. Staves called on Mr. Stearns to deliver the Transition Committee report. He noted the Commission would not sunset on December 31, 2007; however Mr. Blackwood’s position ends July 31, and Ms. Cortright’s position terminates December 31, 2006. The Transition Committee’s recommendations approved at the Febr. 16, 2006, Commission meeting included the migration of staff into the State’s 020 Pay Plan, which was now completed. Regarding the Commission’s website, the Montana Historical Society agreed to migrate the website from its current outside host to the Society’s website in Dec. 2006. The webpage would be copied onto CD and also made available in a static form for a period of time. The entire site has also been printed on paper for filing in the Society’s Archives. Mr. Stearns thanked Mr. Sims and Mr. Baumler for the past assistance of the Montana Historical Society. The final topic addressed by Mr. Stearns was future funding for MTTA. He noted that the FY07 Commission budget included $5,000 for MTTA but questioned whether the Historical Society or another source could continue to fund MTTA. Mr. Staves tabled the topic until the budget discussion.
B. Executive Committee - Homer Staves
Mr. Staves reiterated that the Executive Committee would function in lieu of the full Commission through calendar 2007; however, the full Commission would be convened if necessary.
C. Budget Review - Clint Blackwood
Mr. Blackwood first reviewed the FY06 Budget Worksheet. He noted that the NPS CCS grants on lines 11-16 reflected grants that were not completed prior to June 30. These grants would carry forward into the FY07 budget. Mr. Monger asked if the NPS grant funds were captured in the cash balance line 107 of the budget. Ms. Cortright explained that the NPS funds were not passed through to grantees until the funds were in hand from NPS; therefore the income and expenses were a wash on this budget. On line 18, the $6,033.88 represented PPL funds refunded by the Upper Missouri RBC. This amount was included in the carry-forward balance, as the funds were returned to the Commission and were in reserve, pending a decision by the Commission. Mr. Blackwood noted that June’s license plate revenue was $16,440, which was an increase from the month’s projected revenue. In April, line 26 reflected the receipt of $7,905, which included the grant refund of $7,500 from the Crow Tribe, funds that originally came from Bonneville Power. Those funds were then allocated in FY06 to satisfy Corps II community grants.
Under Expenses, Mr. Blackwood explained that Personal Services were higher than originally budgeted, as the Society’s Business Office had not included the 16% state share of benefit costs in their salary projections. On line 43, legal expenses were over budget by $1,513. Line 49, advertising, was under-expended by $1,250. Line 65, medallions for awards ceremony, reflected an expenditure of $3,444.50; $2,800 to the Society for medallions, and the remainder for items related to the Awards Ceremony. The medallions were purchased in FY06 to assist the Society with cash flow on the Senate Art project. Mr. Blackwood explained that $5,000 had been approved by the Commission and the FY07 budget reflected an expense of $1,824, the cost of framing the medallions. This resulted in an over-expenditure of $268.50 on this line item. Line 66 reflected the expense of producing the “Bicentennial in Review” DVD, for a total of $1,147.50, which was $147.50 over the amount approved by the Commission. He noted this expense would serve as a cash match for the Legacy Document, as a copy of the DVD would be included with each of the 350 printed reports. Program Grants captured on lines 71-81 included the total of $34,900 in Contingency Funds originally budgeted on line 100 which the Commission voted to reallocate during the February meeting. All of the FY06 Program Grant funds were issued as of June 30. The BOI loan repayment was $1,843.27 higher than budgeted, as interest costs were not known at the time the budget was drafted. The bottom line 107, projected a cash carry forward balance of $22,361.75 into the FY’07 budget. Mr. Blackwood noted a $574.41 discrepancy in the projected carry forward and the actual cash balance reported by the Historical Society’s business office. Ms. Cortright explained that she received the accounting reports yesterday and did not have time to reconcile the difference prior to today’s meeting. Mr. Monger commented that to be this close with year-end figures prior to the fiscal year end closing was great work. Mr. Staves said no action was needed on the FY06 budget report.
The FY07 budget was reviewed next. Under Income, Mr. Blackwood began by reviewing the three NPS CCS Grants that remained open. There was also a BLM pass-through grant not completed in FY06 that was moved into FY07. Line 17 reflected the anticipated repayment by the Historical Society of the BOI loan amount of $51,912.02 for the Senate Art Project. License Plate income was projected at $69,440 through Dec. 2006. Line 20 under the August column projected a $2,000 refund from the Blackfeet Tribe for unspent Corps II funds. Mr. Blackwood cautioned that a decrease in any of the projected income would affect the projected cash balance.
Regarding Expenses, Mr. Blackwood noted the Personnel Costs were greater than originally projected as the Society’s Business Office had not included the 16% state share of benefit costs in their salary projections. Also, the RIF Insurance was not originally included in the Personnel Costs. He explained that the RIF Insurance expense would not be realized by the Commission in the event that staff was reemployed soon by another state agency. Mr. Blackwood noted that Line 32, Director Payout Balances, would be less than the $29,942 budgeted, as he intended to bank his vacation and sick leave balances, rather than receive the payout as budgeted. State policy allows for banking these hours for up to two years. If employed by another state agency, the vacation and sick leave balances would be assumed by the new agency. Line 52 reflected $730 in postage costs that were covered in the FY06 budget. Line 57 reflected $5,000 for the Awards Banquet, and of that amount $1,824 was budgeted for payment in July to cover framing costs. The $3,176 credit balance was actually utilized in the FY06 budget; therefore the total expense for the Awards was $268.50 over budget. Rent reduces by half effective August 1, once Clint’s office was closed. Line 65 reflected an expense of $106.25 for copies of the Society’s magazine containing articles relevant to the Senate Art Project and Tower Rock. Line 69, Legacy Document, reflected an expenditure of $10,611, a combination of grant funds from the NPS and the Commission’s cash match for the grant. Line 73 reflected the net of the PPL Grant funds from the Upper Missouri RBC in the amount of $4,833.88. Mr. Blackwood proposed re-granting those funds to the Little Shell Tribe to complete a portion of the original project at the Great Falls Airport, with the approval of PPL and the Commission. Line 75 reflected the $7,000 in grants to the remaining three Corps II sites, Billings, Miles City and Sidney. Ms. Cortright explained that the checks were to have been cut and mailed today. Line 76 reflected the $5,000 grant to MTTA, projected for payment in August. The bottom line of the budget projected a cash balance of $91,152.25, and included the expected repayment of the BOI loan from the Society. Mr. Staves said in reality there could be $41,000 available without the BOI loan repayment, and suggested returning to approve the budget once the remaining agenda items were covered.
E. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee - Tootie Rasmussen
5. Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri
Larry McClain, Executive Director of the DESC, was invited to address the Commission. He introduced Gregg Sartorius, DESC Chairman, and said the reason for attending today’s meeting was to thank everyone. He said DESC has followed the entire Trail, linked to other groups doing living history and wanted to extend a special thanks to Montana for doing such a great job. He said from their perspective, Montana captured the true spirit of the Bicentennial, and DESC was the recipient of incredible hospitality from the people of the State of Montana. He extended a special thanks to Clint Blackwood for his efforts to assist the DESC crew and members as they planned the logistics of their travels across Montana. He invited everyone to St. Louis and St. Charles to participate in the final Signature Event this fall. He spoke of plans to create a nationwide L&C Re-enactors’ Association to keep the standards alive and carry the legacy of the Bicentennial into the future. Mr. Stearns responded that he had probably attended more Signature and local events than anyone in the room, and commended the DESC for their efforts to portray the Expedition with such historical accuracy. He complemented DESC for being so professional, giving, and open, and especially for their manner in dealing with kids and the repeated questions from observers. Mr. Stearns commented that DESC supported the plans and efforts of local re-enactors groups. Mr. Blackwood noted that DESC went out of their way to participate in and cooperate with local programming.
VI. Old Business
A. Review Proposals for Interpretive Sign Maintenance Plan
Mr. Stearns called on Betty Stone to address the Grants Committee’s Recommendations for establishing a sign maintenance grants program. Ms. Stone referred to the handout containing the committee’s recommendations and explained that the Grants Committee met via conference call on June 25th and discussed the L&C sign maintenance program. Three entities had previously indicated their willingness to partner with the Commission in operating a grants program after the Commission’s sunset; MT Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Dept. of Transportation, and the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation. Carol Bronson, executive director for LCTHF, presented this proposal to their Executive Committee on July 11 and they were very interested in participating. Ms. Stone presented the Grants Committee’s recommendation to partner with the LCTHF for the following reasons; they are involved in Trail stewardship, they have an interest in the future of good interpretive signage, and the administrative overhead fee charged by the Foundation would support L&C activities. Ms. Stone also presented four requirements for consideration; 1) the grants program would require a 1:1 local match; 2) grants should be offered on a competitive basis; 3) grants should first be made available to Commission-funded, community-based, non-profit groups (agencies with L&C signage would then be considered as money was available); and 4) each year the amount of funds for distribution would be the interest accrued, plus 10% of the pool of funds. This would guarantee that all funds would be distributed in a 10-year timeframe. If for a given year no qualifying applications were received, then interest accrued, plus 20% of the pool of funds would be distributed in the next year. If no qualified applications were received in a given year, grant funds for that year would roll over to the following year. Mr. Staves delayed a motion on the recommendation until New Business on the agenda; however, he opened the floor to discussion and questions. Mr. Monger supported the fund distribution, but asked if the grants were restricted specifically to signs. Ms. Stone responded that it had always been the intention of the Grants Committee that funds would be restricted for interpretive sign maintenance. Mr. Monger suggested clarifying that intention in the final motion. Lisa Perry asked if PPL’s unspent grant funds would be a part of this grants program. Mr. Blackwood responded that it was not a part of this program; however, he did have a grant application in hand from James Parker Shield for the Great Falls Airport signs, sand if the Commission approved that application today, the funds would go to complete the airport project. Otherwise, PPL could have the option of rolling the funds into this program. Ms. Perry acknowledged that grant projects were being completed by volunteers; however she said the delay in completing interpretive signs had been somewhat problematic for PPL. She said at this point their preference would be to have the remaining funds returned to PPL and they would in turn grant them out. Mr. Blackwood said this issue would be acted upon following lunch during the Grants Committee reports and Ms. Perry agreed to remain in the meeting until that time.
Dick Alberts asked for the specifics of how the program would be administered by the LCTHF. Ms. Stone said any uncommitted funds in the Commission’s budget at the end of calendar year 2006 would be transferred by the Montana Historical Society to the LCTHF to establish the grants program. Mr. Blackwood clarified that the LCTHF was headquartered in Great Falls, and Carol Bronson would oversee the program. Ms. Stone clarified that only Montana projects would be eligible to apply. Mr. Blackwood noted that LCTHF had recently been awarded funds from the U.S. Mint and planned to establish a Trail-wide stewardship grants program; however, this pool of funds would remain separate and earmarked.
V. Committee Reports
H. Senate Art Legacy Project Committee – Mark Baumler
Mark Baumler began by introducing Richard Sims, the Montana Historical Society’s new director, and noted Mr. Sims’ skills and experience in the field of heritage tourism. At the time Mr. Sims was hired away from his position in Arizona, he was serving as the head of their Centennial Statehood Commission. Mr. Baumler then addressed the Senate Art Legacy Project, reporting that the final piece was currently under construction at the Kalispell foundry and was on schedule to be completed and installed hopefully in October. A dedication ceremony was being planned for November to include the Historical Society and the Bicentennial Commission. Mr. Baumler distributed a Cash Flow Report and Senate Artwork Summary, and referenced the worksheet mailed to the Commission prior to the meeting, noting the project was still in the black. He credited Gena Ashmore at the Society for her work to produce the reports and for managing the project. He reviewed the sales recap, noting that 39 maquettes had been sold; and 643 bronzes had been sold, in addition to the 25 silver medallions. Since the report’s printing, one more maquette had sold, bringing the total to 40, with sales mostly instate. He encouraged those interested in purchasing to do so as he expected they would sell out quickly once the large piece was installed in the Senate Chambers. Mr. Baumler referenced the back cover of the Society’s magazine that displayed a color photo of the maquette. Next he reviewed the Cash Flow Report – July 2005, noting that $11,560 was currently on hand and projected a $12,081 net profit upon completion, including repayment of the Commission’s $51,912 loan. He explained that maquetts could not be cast quickly enough for sales to satisfy the cash flow needs of the project. September’s expenses were projected at $25,400, leaving a deficit of $1,879. By October, the negative balance was projected at $61,046. To satisfy a portion of this need, the Society had committed a loan from their art acquisition fund of $30,000, bringing the balance to a negative $31,046. At the point when all maquettes and medallions are sold, the piece installed, and loans to the project repaid, the net profit of $12,081.85 is expected. He proposed discussion on a possible second loan by the Commission to the Senate Art Project to help get past the cash flow shortage. Mr. Blackwood suggested discussing whether the Commission would consider loaning license plate revenues to the project. Mr. Stearns addressed how to increase the marketing efforts, and felt that personal calls to targeted Montana businesses would result in sales. He noted that his earlier sales calls with Mr. Blackwood resulted in maquette sales, and said he would personally commit some time in September to make sales calls. Mr. Blackwood agreed there was no substitute for knocking on doors, but also inquired regarding the Society’s plans implementing the web-based sales through E-bay. Mr. Stearns recalled the campaign to buy an inch of the “Exaulted Ruler.” Mr. Baumler credited the recent sales progress to the efforts of Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Stearns, and said there was no question that one-on-one sales were effective.
Mr. Staves called on Ron Clark for comments. Mr. Clark said he hated to throw cold water on the party, but today’s discussions were the same as those of two years ago. He felt it was a huge mistake to commission an out-of-state artist and credited the Commission with that decision. Mr. Staves explained that the Commission was not in charge of the artist selection process; it was a decision of the Senate Art Committee. Mr. Clark noted that Mr. Daub had agreed to provide a list of potential purchasers of his art, which did not happen. He said he admired the group’s optimism, but noted it had taken 2 ½ years to sell half of the maquettes. Mr. Staves asked Mr. Clark if he had a positive suggestion on how to sell the maquettes. Mr. Clark answered he would be glad to sit down with people to discuss ideas. Mr. Clark asked if he could raise some other questions he felt needed to be answered. He asked Mr. Lepley why in all of the meetings and minutes there was never a single mention of the silver medallions, and how they came to be a part of the project. Mr. Lepley explained it was added to provide a middle piece, more expensive than the bronze medallion; adding the only error was in not casting more silver medallions. Mr. Clark asked if production of the silver medallion ever received the approval of the Senate Art Committee. Mr. Lepley responded that he thought so, but would have to ask Arnie Olsen for the answer to that question. Mr. Clark said the first information he received on the silver medallion was when the promotional brochure arrived in the mail with the words “sold out” stamped across the silver medallions. He inquired and received a list of purchasers, and said it was curious that the people who received the privilege of buying the silver medallion were almost exclusively a member of the Historical Society staff, a member of the Montana History Foundation, or had some connection to the Commission. Mr. Staves said he felt this discussion was off base, as this Commission did not run the project; the Historical Society was the lead on the project and signed the contracts. He said Mr. Clark was asking questions the Commission did not have the answers to. Mr. Clark asked to whom should he ask the questions and Mr. Staves responded that Mr. Clark had submitted written questions to the Commission previously that were answered, and if he wanted to submit another series of questions, he was welcome to do so. Mr. Clark said Mr. Staves was indicating that the Senate Art Project was not a project of the Bicentennial Commission. Mr. Staves said the Commission did not sign any contracts; their role was one of assisting with the project and loaning funding support. Mr. Lepley said the Senate bill mandated the management of the project to the Montana Historical Society. Mr. Staves again suggested that Mr. Clark submit written questions to the Commission. He then tabled discussion until the Budget discussion. Ms. Baumgart asked for assistance in interpreting the Cash Flow report and Ms. Stone provided an explanation that it was a running balance.
Mr. Kipp commented that through the years one of the merits of serving on the Commission was there was much open discussion and optimism. He said today’s activities were meticulous and devoid of any energy. He personally wanted to remain optimistic coming out of the Bicentennial and felt it was worthwhile to mention Mr. Lepley’s optimistic predictions regarding the sale of the maquettes. He did not feel there was any point in denigrating the many good ideas that had developed and worked well over the past years. He said it took a certain amount of courage, optimism and confidence in our fellow Montanans to pull of these plans. He closed by saying this was a valid effort and it would be completed. The audience applauded.
Mr. Blackwood introduced the recently produced 13-minuted DVD, and explained that one of the reasons he developed it was because he knew the meeting would be at the Mansfield Center, and wanted to take advantage of their wonderful A/V system. He credited Ms. Cortright with producing the PowerPoint presentation; Mr. Blackwood subsequently scripted and recorded the narration and the two were recorded on a DVD that was played for the audience.
The meeting adjourned for lunch and an awards ceremony. Mr. Staves recognized all of the volunteers statewide who helped with Montana’s Lewis & Clark Bicentennial and went on to recognize the exceptional assistance from the Office of the Governor through governors Mark Racicot, Judy Martz and Brian Schweitzer. He called on Lt. Gov. Bohlinger to deliver brief remarks and accept an award on behalf of Gov. Schweitzer. Mr. Staves recognized the support received from Senator Burns, Senator Baucus and Rep. Rehberg. Only Senator Burns was in attendance and Mr. Staves invited him to deliver brief remarks and presented him with an award from the Commission. Mr. Staves next recognized Mike Oliver and Terri Purcell who have served as Congressional Liaisons. All past and present members of the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission were recognized next and presented with framed bronze medallions. Mr. Kipp, Mr. Lepley, Ms. Stone, Mr. Monger and Mr. Stearns were invited to deliver remarks as they had served on the Commission since 1997. The next group recognized and presented with awards were the Tribal L&C Bicentennial Representatives, followed by Montana Tourism Recreation Initiative agency partners. Members of the Army National Guard were recognized next, followed by Regional Bicentennial Commission representatives. The last group recognized were Signature Event planners, Peggy Bourne, Robbie Carpenter and Melody Dobson. Mr. Stearns thanked Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright for their service to the Commission and presented each with a gift. Clint Blackwood presented Rita Cortright with a Crow blanket and thanked her for her support.
The meeting recessed for a 10-minute break.
G. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee
3. Blackfeet Event – George Heavy Runner
George Heavy Runner reported on plans for the symposium, “Lewis and Clark in Blackfeet Country,” July 26-29 in the Browning area. An opening ceremony was planned for July 26 at the Plains Indian Museum, and included the local Color Guard, welcome remarks, and a presentation by Darrell Kipp. That afternoon Curly Bear Wagner would lead a trip to Camp Disappointment. Bryant Boswell also planned to participate as Captain Lewis. On July 27, a contingency of Blackfeet elders would travel to the Fight Sight to conduct a traditional ceremony commemorating the deaths and actions of 200 years ago. Mr. Heavy Runner said this was historic in the sense that this would be the first time the Blackfeet Tribe officially commemorated the historic events. The DESC members planned to participate in the ceremony of reconciliation. A series of panel discussions would be presented on July 28 dealing with historic events related to Tribal history, from the 1855 Lame Bull Treaty, to the Massacre on the Marias, and the Starvation Winter of 1895, among other topics. The final day will focus on traditional games, arts and crafts and a film festival. Tours of historic areas on the Blackfeet Reservation would also be offered. Mr. Heavy Runner recognized COTA for their efforts in ensuring that as the Bicentennial Commemoration moved up and down the river that the tribes participated in a meaningful and respectful manner. He also spoke on the changes that have taken place in Montana in the form of bridge building with the Tribes and communities, and closed by saying he hoped the Legacy would be that the corner had been turned and we could all truly be Montanans.
Mr. Blackwood reminded RBC reps to submit their list of names to receive Certificates of Appreciation for local presentation.
D. Grants Committee – Betty Stone
Ms. Stone called on Ms. Cortright to deliver the grants report.
Ms. Cortright reported that only two project reports remained open following the February 2006 meeting. Grant #2002-005 to the Crow Tribe was fully refunded to the Commission in April in the amount of $7,500 and those funds were utilized to fulfill support for Corps II projects. The second open grant was #2002-009 to the Ft. Benton Community Improvement Assn. for $7,500. This grant was completed and the final report was received July 10, 2006. The 2004 Project Grants were reviewed next. The final report for #2004-001 to the Montana Historical Society was finalized on July 7, 2006. Grant #2004-002 to the Mineral Museum requested and received an extension until November 1, 2006. The grant to the Western Montana RBC for Caras Park Interpretive Signage was due July 4, and reporting was delinquent at this time, as an extension had not yet been requested.
2006 Organization & Planning Grants
Ms. Cortright reported that 15 groups received 2006 O&P Grants and the final reports would be due Oct. 31, 2006. The application from the Little Shell Tribe was received in late March; however, required information was missing and to date had not been provided. Therefore, the $1,000 in grant funds had not been issued. James Parker Shield was in the audience and Mr. Blackwood clarified with him that the support letter had not been received.
Corps II Grants Report
The list of Corps II grant recipients was reviewed next. Funds were issued for Missoula, Lincoln, Browning, and Crow Agency. Checks were requested on July 10 for Billings, Miles City and Sidney, completing the Commission’s obligations to Corps II host communities. The final reports were due from each community 45 days following their respective events.
The status of the FY’04 program grant made to the Upper Missouri L&C RBC was discussed. PPL had granted funds to the Commission through the Legacy Campaign for interpretive signs, and $18,000 had been passed on to the Upper Missouri RBC for signs at Fort Benton, Ryan Dam, the Great Falls International Airport, and Tower Rock. According to contract the projects were to be completed July 1, 2005; however an extension was granted to April 1, 2006. Of those projects, the airport sign remained unfinished and $6,033.88 was returned to the Commission; however the final report was not yet submitted.
Mr. Blackwood explained that both James Parker Shield and Lisa Perry were here today so the Commission could come to a conclusion on the situation. Of the $6,033.88 refunded, an outstanding invoice of $1,200 from SeaReach was paid, leaving a balance of $4,833.88. Ms. Baumgart recapped that on behalf of PPL, Lisa Perry had requested those funds be refunded for their grants program. She then made a motion to allow for the refund of $4,833.88 to PPL. Doug Monger seconded. Mr. Staves called for discussion and Ms. Perry explained PPL’s reason for the request and added that PPL was supportive of the L &C legacy. She noted that PPL had purchased a maquette for display in their office, and had made a $10,000 donation to “Clark on the Yellowstone.” Mr. Monger stated he was confident that PPL would reinvest the grant funds in Montana communities through their own grants program. Mr. Lepley added that PPL had granted $10,000 to Fort Benton to extend the levy walk. Mr. Staves called for the vote and the motion carried.
Ms. Cortright concluded her report by noting that all of the committed Program Grant funds identified during the February meeting had been issued to grant recipients with most reports coming due either Sept. 1 or Nov. 1, 2006. The $5,000 FY07 Grant to MTTA was in process with payment scheduled in August.
Carla Wambach asked that the minutes reflect a tribute to the Montana Committee for the Humanities, as they had financially supported many L&C speakers through the Speakers’ Bureau program over the course of the Bicentennial.
D. License Plate Committee – Betty Stone
Ms. Stone reviewed the handout, “L&C License Plate Sales Recap – Calendar Year,” noting that through June, 2006, the actual revenue was about $2,000 less than projected, and suggested keeping this trend in mind when considering the budget.
E. Education Committee – Hal Stearns
Mr. Stearns noted the number of people who had stepped forward to go into schools, before civic and public groups to further the educational effort related to Lewis & Clark. He recognized the following list of educational materials that resulted, such as the Native Waters, Project WET, the proceedings from the “Confluence of Cultures” symposium, the hundreds of websites, LCTHF curriculums, the Teaching Teachers program at MSUB, the statewide network of interpretive signs, and the work of the Montana Historical Society. He highlighted the native plant exhibit at the Crazy Mountain Museum that currently displayed four of the original plants collected by Lewis & Clark. He closed by saying he expected that there would not be a teacher across Montana who would not have a L&C component in their education program from this point on.
G. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee – Tootie Rasmussen
Ms. Rasmussen said small town events all along the Trail have been truly amazing and commended them for their efforts. She attended two events in the Big Hole Valley, noting that 200 people attended the dinner where Mr. Stearns spoke.
1. Lewis & Clark in the Rockies Bicentennial Festival
Mr. Blackwood said the event went very well and experienced great attendance. He noted the John Fisher artifact display at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, great attendance at Corps II and Travelers’ Rest.
2. “Clark on the Yellowstone” Signature Event
In Bill Kennedy’s absence, Mr. Blackwood announced the evening reception at the Yellowstone Art Museum as the kickoff to the 4-day event and encouraged everyone to attend.
4. Corps II Host Communities Update
Mr. Blackwood note that following Billings, two communities remained as host sites for Corps II; Miles City, July 30-August 3, and Sidney, August 8-12. Linda Wolff spoke briefly on the Lower Yellowstone RBC’s plans for their golf tournament, “A Slice of the Trail.” Thirteen golf courses from Livingston to Sidney were participating and she reviewed the details on how to participate, noting brochures were also available. On July 29, lessons were planned for the Grand Ball, which would take place at the Range Rider’s Museum the night of July 30, with dancers in period dress and costumes from the 1850-1900. Free activities included Corps II, DESC, 5th Infantry re-enactors from Miles City, a Mini-Mountain Man Rendezvous, a Black Powder Shoot, and bluegrass music.
Marcy Hamburg spoke on plans for Sidney’s event, “The Best, Last Stop.” She highlighted the Floater’s Guide, a waterproof map produced in partnership with the BLM that contained information on Lewis & Clark, various communities, river safety, and public access points. Their RBC received a NPS CCS Grant to produce a Yellowstone River access brochure that also addresses L&C and public access points. She announced that Sidney would host Corps II from Aug. 8-12, with the Great Falls L&C Honor Guard performing in the Opening Ceremonies. The Army National Guard planned a Veterans’ Recognition and several speakers were also invited. An evening “Odyssey West” concert was slated for Aug. 8. The BLM planned to have three exhibits on-site, and the Army National Guard tent would also be included. A military recognition booth will be set up in the Trading Post at the fairgrounds, where community members were encouraged to post information on their past and present military family members. To encourage student participation, a school art exhibit was planned. Admission to all of the events was free and Ms. Hamburg encouraged everyone to attend.
Mr. Blackwood asked which Commission members planned to attend events at Miles City and Sidney; Mr. Stearns planned to attend both, Betty Stone and Marcy Hamburg planned to attend Miles City, and Marcy Hamburg would be at Sidney’s events.
Richard Alberts wanted the record to reflect the great support received from the Helena National Forest, U.S. Forest Service and the community of Lincoln for their Corps II event, June 30-July2, 2006.
Marcy Hamburg thanked everyone involved in helping with their area’s events as well. She said if it had not been for the state Commission, USFS, BLM, the Army Guard and their community sponsors, the Miles City and Sidney events would not have happened.
Jack Lepley noted that they brought Lewis back to the Missouri River during Fort Benton’s summer celebration, with participation by the Great Falls L&C Honor Guard.
Mr. Staves recapped the items that remained to be acted on: the Sign Maintenance Plan, the Senate Art Project, the FY07 Budget, and a report on the Legacy Document by Rob Bauer.
The meeting recessed for a brief break.
VI. Old Business
A. Review Proposals for Interpretive Sign Maintenance Plan
Mr. Staves called on Ms. Stone for a motion on the Interpretive Sign Maintenance Plan. Ms. Stone made a motion that the Commission adopt the Grants Committee recommendation as stated in the handout, with the addition of two items: 1) restricting the grants to Montana projects, and 2) the stipulation that if any funds were not distributed as specified in item 4, or if for some reason LCTHF ceased to exist, the remaining funds would revert to the Montana Historical Society. Mr. Lepley seconded the motion. Mr. Staves called for discussion. Mr. Monger offered two clarifications; 1) that the agreement with LCTHF restricted funds to L&C Interpretive Signs, and 2) and if funds reverted to the Montana Historical Society they would be restricted to L&C projects. Ms. Stone agreed to amend the motion to include the two points. Ms. Stone noted it would be up to the Executive Committee to draft the agreement with the LCTHF. Mr. Stearns suggested including language in the agreement that stated, if there were a Montana member on the LCTHF board, that person should serve on the grant selection committee. Mr. Staves called for the vote and the motion carried.
V. Committee Reports – continued discussion
H. Senate Art Legacy Project Committee
Mr. Staves noted that during earlier discussion Mark Baumler did not make a specific request, but his report stated $30,000 was needed to satisfy the deficit. He opened the floor to discussion. Mr. Lepley made a motion to increase the current loan by $30,000 to the Senate Art Legacy Project, as money becomes available in the Commission’s budget. Betty Stone seconded the motion. Mr. Staves asked Mr. Baumler for clarification of the amount of funds needed by October, and Mr. Baumler stated the need was $30,000. Mr. Monger expressed deep concern with extending the additional loan without considering other options. He noted the installation costs had not been included previously in the project budget. He said the Senate and Legislature had not contributed any funds to the project, nor had General Services or the Capitol Restoration Program. He said for the long-term legacy this would provide in the Capitol, no one had stepped up to assist with the project. He suggested considering other alternatives, such as delaying the final payment to the artist until the art was installed in the Senate; not hanging the artwork until cash was in hand. Mr. Lepley said from the beginning the installation costs were not a part of the project, and he felt it was the responsibility of the State of Montana to cover those costs. Mr. Blackwood asked Mr. Sims and Mr. Baumler to comment on the status of discussions with General Services. Mr. Sims responded saying he was not concerned with the installation costs and would strive to have General Services absorb them. His main concern was paying both the artist and foundry; then getting the panel up in the Senate and selling the remaining maquette. He said the Commission’s $30,000 contingency loan would provide the necessary cash flow. He was confident the project would be completed and planned to involve both the Senate and General Services. He viewed the motion as a friendly one, and said if the Commission chose not to extend the loan he would find another source of funds. Mr. Staves suggested loaning “up to” $30,000 as there was no way to guarantee available funds in October and Mr. Sims agreed. Mr. Monger suggested delaying the dedication from November caucus until the transmittal break ribbon cutting to leverage funding from the Legislature. His view was that the Senate Art Project was a giant Legacy, but so was the Interpretive Sign Maintenance Program, and if plans fell apart, the Sign Maintenance Program could also be lost. He reiterated the need to consider the various alternatives. Mr. Sims asked him to define ‘other alternatives,’ and Mr. Monger replied that it could be part of House Bill 1 as a line item for Senate Art Installation to allocate general funds. He noted that final payment was not due until the piece was installed, and there was no date certain for installation. Mr. Staves said the worst-case scenario would be that the $30,000 would not be repaid if no further sales were made, the Sign Maintenance Program would disappear, and the Commission would close with about $10,000 in the budget. Mr. Blackwood felt it was appropriate to extend the loan. Ms. Baumgart said legislation would be necessary to obtain funds from HB1. Mr. Monger suggested the original legislation could also be amended. Mr. Staves felt it was important to resolve the issue at this final meeting, and said by October sales of maquettes might have solved the problem. Becky Douglass spoke briefly on their bronze statue project, funded by the sale of maquettes. They also experienced a cash flow problem and solved it by pre-selling a certain number and putting them on reserve until outside sales were made, when the lender was repaid. She also suggested putting pressure on members of the Senate to purchase maquettes. Mr. Staves said two, concurrent but separate issues existed; marketing and cash flow. Ms. Stone expressed confidence that the art would sell and the loan would be repaid for use in the Interpretive Sign Maintenance program. She said the only problem was in providing $30,000 by October, and suggested identifying an alternative source for the installation costs. Ms. Baumgart asked to have the motion restated, and Ms. Cortright read, “Mr. Lepley made a motion to increase the current loan up to $30,000 to the Senate Art Legacy Project, as money becomes available in the Commission’s budget. Mr. Sims offered an amendment to include repayment of the $30,000 by December 31, 2007. Ms. Baumgart seconded and the amendment carried. Mr. Staves called for a vote on the original motion and the motion carried with Mr. Monger voting no. Mr. Monger asked Mr. Sims how the $50,000 loan, the Society’s $30,000 loan and the Commission’s additional $30,000 loan stood in order of propriety for repayment. Mr. Sims responded he would expect to repay the outside loans first; however, he was only two weeks into his position, and would be hiring a replacement Business Office manager soon.
Mr. Stearns addressed marketing strategy for the Senate Art Project, and listed several businesses and organizations that should be approached. Mr. Staves noted the upcoming National meeting, noting it would be a great venue for displaying the maquette. Mr. Stearns offered to meet with Mr. Sims to discuss the topic and said if travel expenses could be provided he would be willing to make sales calls. Marcy Hamburg offered a free booth space in Sidney for marketing the maquette. Mr. Staves asked Mr. Sims for the name of the project’s point person at the Society and he responded that Gena Ashmore was fulfilling that role. Mr. Staves noted that a charge at the last meeting was to have a marketing meeting with the Society and Mr. Blackwood responded that the meeting was conducted. Ms. Baumgart asked if the marketing budget already identified in the project budget had been utilized, and Mr. Baumler noted the current cash flow did not include marketing funds. Mr. Sims agreed to meet with Mr. Stearns next week. Mr. Monger asked about utilizing art dealers, and Mr. Staves said the lack of on-hand maquettes hindered that effort, in addition to the fact that art dealers generally charge 50% commission.
C. Budget Review – discussion continued
Mr. Staves reviewed the following changes made to the budget during the meeting; the repayment of PPL funds in the amount of $4,833.88, and the loan to the Senate Art Project of up to $30,000.
Mr. Stearns raised the topic of honoring Dave Walter in some way, possibly with a plaque at the Society or a maquette in his honor. Mr. Staves suggested dedicating the Legacy Document in Dave’s memory. Mr. Sims suggested waiting to see what Dave’s widow, Marcella Sherfy, would like to see done, but said they were considering a fellowship or scholarship, or possibly dedicating the upcoming History Conference in his honor. Ms. Stone suggested leaving the decision to the Executive Committee.
VI. Old Busienss
B. Report on Status of Legacy Document – Rob Bauer
Mr. Bauer, author of the Legacy Document, delivered a status report. He acknowledged the assistance provided by Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright in researching information. He noted that a few biographical comments were still outstanding from past and current Commissioners, and encouraged them to submit information before his departure date of July 28. Work was currently under way with graphics designer Kathy Fehlig and he planned to provide her with the final document draft next Monday. Descriptions of future events remained to be drafted into the document. Mr. Bauer noted inclusion of the DVD in the Legacy Document, noting he had saved the Commission the expense of having 350 copies make by producing them with his computer system. An Executive Summary of four pages was also being drafted and images selected for a color insert. Mr. Bauer said he was attempting to make the Legacy Document the very best product possible, one that would be a fitting legacy to the efforts of everyone involved in the Montana Bicentennial. Ms. Cortright added that 350 copies of the document would be printed by November and distributed statewide to libraries, past and current members of the Commission, RBC and Tribal representatives, Foundation chapters and agency partners. Mr. Monger asked if the DESC comments would be captured for the Legacy Document, and Ms. Cortright noted it was on tape. Mr. Stearns asked for a round of applause for Mr. Bauer’s work on the document.
VII. New Business
A. Nominating Committee Report – Betty Stone
Betty Stone delivered the Nominating Committee’s report, recommending that Homer Staves remain a chair and Hal Stearns be retained as vice-chair until the Commission’s sunset of Dec. 31, 2007, and so moved. Ms. Baumgart seconded and the motion carried.
B. Review Committees & Chairs
Mr. Staves said at this late date, he did not see the necessity of making changes to the committee list. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the membership of the Executive Committee; Homer Staves, Hal Stearns, Darrell Kipp and Betsy Baumgart. Mr. Staves appointed the current members of the Executive Committee to serve through December 31, 2007, and noted that a conference call of the full Commission might be necessary in the future.
VIII. Public Input Time
Mr. Alberts spoke about U.S. Forest Service’s dedication ceremony of the trailhead at Alice Creek on July 7, 2006, which was the 200th anniversary of Lewis crossing over what is today Lewis & Clark Pass.
Mr. McDonald spoke about the Legacy Document produced by the Nez Perce and said it was his hope that Montana’s tribes would also undertake a similar project. Mr. Staves said that would be a good project for MTTA to consider. Mr. McDonald said it had been a joy to serve on the Commission.
Mr. Kipp highlighted the differences between working with non-profit organizations and state government. He said his desire to serve on the Commission came from wanting to see how the Commission conducted itself, and to observe a different brand of management style. He said it was an energizing, entertaining, rewarding and enlightening experience to serve on the Commission.
Mr. Monger said he has served on other boards and commissions and thanked the staff for helping Commission members to fulfill their role by assuring they were well prepared and not involving them in the day-to-day business, but instead utilizing them for policy-making decisions.
Mr. Blackwood commented that it has been a roller-coaster ride with no parallel. He thanked Ms. Cortright for her work on behalf of the Commission, and thanked the Commission for working with him.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
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