10 W Fallon Ave Baker, MT 59313
Fallon County of Montana

EMEDA Commissioner Meeting – September 5th 2023

EMEDA Commissioner Meeting – September 5th 2023

EMEDA Eastern Montana Economic Development Authority

Commissioner Meeting

September 5, 2023 at 6:30pm

Plevna Bar Meeting Room

Members Present:
Chairman Steve Zachmann, Treasurer Karol Zachmann, Commissioners Melissa Higbeeand “Cookie” Zenko

Members Absent: Vice Chair Carson Beach, Commissioner Tasha Losing

Staff Present: Executive Director Vaughn Zenko

Meeting called to order: 6:41pm by Steve Zachmann

Approval of Last Meeting Minutes: Melissa motioned to approve the general meeting minutes from EMEDA regular monthly meeting on August 8 Cookie seconded.  All in favor, minutes approved. 
Karol motioned to approved the minutes from the Special Meeting regarding EMEDA acting as a pass-through for Fallon County to help fund the Baker Chamber Rec Department, on August 22, 2023 with one change noted. In the section where the minutes indicated that Chairman Zachmann had spoken to the “state” regarding the legality of the arrangement, the minutes will be amended to specify that Steve had spoken to the MSU Local Government Center. Cookie seconded. All present in favor, minutes approved, with noted change.

Public Comment Period (3 minutes per person):  none

Financial Report: EMEDA had a net income of negative $2,925.88 for the August-September period, all for reimbursement to SMART for assistance. There are $674,593.80 in total assets, of which $120,874.41 remains in the general operating fund, with the majority of the remainder in CDs and Savings at the Bank of Baker

Monthly Claim Forms Review: The board reviewed claims of $3,600 for the Executive Director’s hours and $300 in administrative assistance to SMART. Also Event Advertising Grants of $1,000 to the Chamber for Crazy Dayz, $800 to Friends of FMC for their 4th of July celebration, and $1,500 to the O’Fallon Historical Museum for Heritage Fest. Karol motioned to approve all claims. Cookie seconded.  All present in favor. Motion approved, July-August monthly claims totaling $6,900 will be paid.
No further discussion.

Director’s Report:  Vaughn will be attending and speaking at the Montana Child Care Business Connect Summit September 12-15. He will also be attending the Montana Nonprofit Association Annual Conference in Missoula on September 19-21. The on-line portion of the MNA is September 26-28 and EMEDA members can access the conference for free during those days.  Vaughn also mentioned that the Eastern Montana Rural Child Care Resource Roundtable will be coming up in Baker on October 12th, with several members of Zero to Five MT staff, as well as representatives from the Small Business Development Center, Job Service and EPEDC. He strongly encouraged EMEDA members to attend the event to get more information on child care. 
The FUSION conference is coming to Bowman on September 13.  Vaughn requested the EMEDA board pay registration fees for Melissa and Karol to attend. $186 for Melissa, and $93 for Karol, as SMART would pay for half. Cookie motioned to approve the expense, Melissa seconded.  All in favor, motion approved.  EMEDA will contribute $279 to pay for the registrations to FUSION.

Old Business:

               Baker Child Care Project:  Vaughn spoke with Shawna Sargent of Action For Eastern Montana (Head Start) and she informed him that she and Vesta Modulars would get back to him this week with a floor plan and cost estimate for a custom modular.  The question came up about the land work on the site to prepare for whatever potential option EMEDA chose. Discussion indicated that was not something that could be tackled until after a decision was made on the building. It was also agreed that something needed to be done soon in order to have a building in place before the winter. No further discussion.

            EMEDA Mission and Vision Statements:  As Steve and Vaughn could find no official mission statement on file for EMEDA other than that written in the resolution creating a Port Authority, Steve suggested that Vaughn and he and just written a radio ad seeking new board members and that the language of that ad would work well for a Mission Statement.  The ad copy read: “The Eastern Montana Economic Development Authority is a Government Entity dedicated to economic development in the region and is now accepting applications and nominations for one open Commissioner position. From affordable housing to childcare to helping develop new and existing local businesses, the EMEDA Commissioners are the economic development arm of County Government and working hard for the future of Fallon County. If you’d like to have a leadership role in keeping Fallon County great, send a letter of interest to…”
After discussion, it was decided that that accurately described the mission of EMEDA. No official action was taken.

New Business:  

               Review of Commissioners’ Obligations and Duties (deferred from previous meeting):   Vaughn presented the board with the resolution creating a Port Authority as a guide.  Chairman Zachmann said he has a Booklet for Government Boards, relating to this topic and will send it out to EMEDA Commissioners.  He added that EMEDA should revisit the time of day or day of the month that EMEDA meetings take place.  Several Commissioners have missed meetings lately due to scheduling conflicts and Steve suggested the board needed more people and more input to be effective.  No further action was taken.

               EMEDA Real Estate Investment Cooperative:  Vaughn brought up that the real estate investment co-op had stalled and the original steering committee had dissolved but were very close to completing their work. He requested that the EMEDA board pick up the steering committee’s duties to get the project off the ground, specifying that once the co-op was established, EMEDA would have no further obligations other than an interest in the co-op’s activities.  Melissa motioned that EMEDA board take over the duties of the co-op steering committee. Cookie seconded.  All in favor, motion carried.  The EMEDA Board will now act as the steering committee for the Investment Co-op until final incorporation and selection of a sitting board.

               Other New Business:

SMART Escape Room:  Vaughn reported that SMART would be doing an escape room instead of a Haunted House for Halloween this year. The cost of the escape room is $10,000, and he asked if EMEDA would be willing to contribute.  All funds from the escape room will go to SMART’s fund to restore the old 1915 Baker State Bank Building Clock.  Karol said $10,000 seemed like too much. She motioned that EMEDA contribute $500. Cookie seconded.  All present in favor. Motion carried.

Having no other business to attend to, Karol motioned to adjourn the meeting. Cookie seconded. All present in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 8:11pm

The next meeting date is October 10, 2024 at 6:30pm in the SMART Conference Room

                s\ Steve Zachmann, Chairman                                                                                 s\ Vaughn Zenko, Executive Director