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

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – July 2023

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – July 2023

Board of Directors Meeting
July 25, 2023
12pm – Thee Garage Showroom

Members Present:  Jodi Varner (President), Sharon Gookin, Karol Zachmann (Treasurer),

Members Absent:  Krista Nemitz (Vice President), Kevin Dukart

Staff Present:  Vaughn Zenko (Executive Director), Shannon Johnson (Assistant)

Meeting called to order at 12:04pm by President Jodi Varner

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes:  The board reviewed the meeting minutes for the June 27, 2023 regular monthly meeting and the July 12, 2023 Special Meeting.  Sharon motioned to approve the minutes for June 27 as presented. Karol seconded.  All present in favor, minutes approved.  Karol motioned to approve the minutes from the July 12 Special Meeting as presented. Sharon seconded.  All present in favor, minutes approved.

Financial Report: 
Vaughn presented the monthly financial report prepared by Shannon Johnson.  SMART currently has $487,700.46 in total assets, an increase of $72,472.71 over June. SMART has $185,744.91 in the general operating fund, an increase of $76,323.76. The increase is largely due to the $50,000 grant SMART received from Grid United for the Visitor Center roof project.  No further discussion.

Director’s Report:  Vaughn told the board that the original September 30th date for the Pizza, Puzzles and Pints fundraiser would not work. He suggested a September 23rd date instead. No further discussion.  Vaughn brought up that he had been approached by both the School District and Fallon County about creating a low power public radio station that would be able to broadcast school, community and emergency announcements. These messages could be aired automatically via text message for those times when the local AM and FM radio stations do not have live personnel on hand. He looked into it and began the preliminary application process, which must be completed before any official board decision can be made. Karol asked questions as to whether the radio station was talked to about another FM station being started and also asked about SMARTS involvement in this project. Vaughn also noted that he and the Bank of Baker are partnering to cover Baker Spartan high school sports for the Bank’s website. In an effort to not compete with the local radio station, they will not be selling advertisements for the broadcasts, but any support that does come will be requested as a donation to SMART. Available space in the broadcasts can be filled with community announcements and promotions for local non-profits and other organizations.

Old Business:

Project Update:  Wild Roots Community Food Forest:  Upon receiving an environmental review of the land to be donated by the City of Baker for the project, Lacey Berg determined the City land was unsuitable for growing and approached the County Commissioners about any available land for the project. A new parcel was identified and to expedite the process, the County wishes to lease the land to EMEDA rather than enter into a land use agreement with SMART. SMART’s previous interlocal agreement with the City of Baker regarding the Food Forest will be terminated. SMART is still in charge of administering the remaining grant funds for the project.

Project Update:  Baker State Bank Building Roof:  Vaughn informed the board that the Montana Historical Preservation Grant for the roof had finally been signed by the Governor.  The Department of Commerce informed him that, since SMART already has a contractor on site working on the Visitor Center, the roof project can be added as an amendment to the Visitor Center and SMART can avoid the usual bidding process. This should hasten the timeline for the project, hopefully allowing for completion before the winter.

Project Update:  World’s Best Pocket Park:  Razor Edge Landscaping has accepted the bid alterations made by SMART at the July 12 Special Meeting. Work is expected to commence in early August, hopefully completed before the Fair. With the modifications, SMART will be responsible for supplying the planter boxes. It was brought up that Lance Shepherd has a good supply of wood for the project. Sharon also mentioned that Jimmy Gookin has a supply of both cedar and redwood that could be utilized for the project. Sharon motioned that SMART approach Jimmy about getting bids for both types of wood. Karol seconded. All present in favor, motion carried. Sharon will contact Jimmy Gookin about the planter boxes.

New Business:

               Discussion on hiring of new full-time employee at SMART:  Vaughn informed the board that the County Commissioners have dedicated another $50,000 to SMART for purposes of hiring a new employee to assist with projects and be director of the Visitor Center. After discussion, the board determined that the new position should be offered at $16.00 per hour for a six month probationary period, with 50 cent raises after six and 12 months. The board requested the advertisement stress that the applicant be personable and willing to learn things, with preference to those with an accounting mindset.  The application will remain open until the position is filled.

               SMART Partnership with the Bank of Baker for broadcasting High School Sports:  Vaughn informed the board that he will be broadcasting Baker High School sports on the Bank of Baker website this year. In lieu of selling ads, the Bank would like a situation where any money generated by the broadcasts come as a donation to SMART. There was discussion on a suggested donation. The board agreed that since SMART is not involved in the broadcasts, the Bank should set whatever rates they choose.

               SMART Attendance at Montana Nonprofit Association Annual Conference:  Discussion on whether any SMART board members, besides Vaughn, would like to attend the MNA Conference in Missoula. No board members could fit it in their schedules. Vaughn will attend the Conference and report back to the board.

               SMART application to Sample Foundation for grant funding:  A new grant opportunity with the Sample Foundation presented itself.  Vaughn suggested to the board that Pocket Park project may be a good fit for this grant, but opened it up to discussion amongst the board if there were other projects that may be better for SMART. The board agreed that the grant request should focus on the Pocket Park.

1:04pm  Karol Zachmann left the meeting

New SMART application to Grid United Community Investment Program Grant:  The next deadline for the CIP grant is November. Vaughn queried the board as to what projects they may want to address in this grant cycle. No ideas were immediately presented, though the board members will brainstorm ideas and bring them to the next monthly meeting.

Having no other new business, Sharon motioned to adjourn the meeting. Jodi seconded. Meeting adjourned at 1:10pm

The next scheduled meeting is August 22, 2023 at noon at Thee Garage Showroom.

Respectfully submitted:

______________________________                         _____________________________

s\ Jodi L. Varner, President                                          s\ Vaughn Zenko Jr, Executive Director