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

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – June 2023

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – June 2023

Board of Directors Meeting
June 27, 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)

Guests: Brandon Janshen, SDI Architecture + Design in Miles City. 

Meeting called to order at 12:01pm by President Jodi Varner

Approval of Previous Meeting:  The minutes for the May 23 meeting were presented by Vaughn. Sharon motioned to approve. Second by Karol. Minutes for the May 23 monthly meeting approved.

12:04pm: Brandon Janshen from SDI Architecture + Design joined the meeting via Zoom. President Varner moved to amend the agenda to delay public comment and place the Visitor Center Update as the first item. There was no objection.

Old Business:

Project update:  Visitor Center (with guest Brandon Janshen of SDI Architecture + Design):  Vaughn presented the board with the bid from Robert Parker Design & Construction in Bigfork. Vaughn pointed out that it was the only bid SMART received for the project. It originally came in at $179,000. After some value engineering modifications, the bid came to the board at $147,020.90.  Brandon stated he was worried about deleting bonding from the contract, as it protects the board from non-performance or not paying subcontractors.  After discussion, the board agreed that bonding should be included, taking the total of the project to $152,390.90. 

12:20pm: Rachel Brockel joined the meeting

Sharon motioned to accept the bid, with the addition of the bonding. Karol seconded. All in favor. Motion carried. The bid from Robert Parker was approved at $152,390.90. According to the presented timeline, construction will begin by mid-July.

12:24pm Brandon Janshen of SDI Architecture + Design left the meeting

President Varner moved to amend the agenda to open public comment and to move, under new business, Decision on SMART Payroll Provider / Accounting to the second item on the agenda There were no objections.

Public Comment:  Rachel Brockel, Rachel’s Accounting in Baker. Rachel explained to the SMART board that her employee, Debbie Veroye, had left to start her own accounting firm in Baker. Debbie had been in charge of SMART’s payroll for Rachel’s Accounting. Rachel assured the board that she and her existing employees would be capable of handling SMART’s payroll without Debbie.

New Business:

Decision on SMART Payroll Provider / Accounting:  Vaughn informed the board that Debbie Veroye had started a new accounting firm and had approached him about moving SMART’s payroll services to her new business. She quoted a charge as similar to that SMART had previously been paying Rachel’s Accounting for that service. After discussion, the board, by acclimation, decided to continue SMART’s relationship with Rachel’s Accounting for payroll and other accounting services. No motion was necessary.

12:27pm Rachel Brockel left the meeting

Financial Reports:  Vaughn presented the Financial report prepared as by Shannon Johnson.  SMART currently has $415,227.75 in total assets, and increase of $1,020.25 over May.  SMART has $109,421.15 in the general operating fund, an increase of $1,255.70.

Director’s Report:    Vaughn informed the Board that SMART had received a $5,000 grant from the Red Ants Pants Foundation for the “Women in Blue Jeans” photo project, highlighting rural Fallon County women in agriculture. In the history of the Red Ants Pants grant, only three projects have received the full $5,000 award.
Vaughn informed the board that, as approved in the May meeting, SMART had acquired a credit card through Charity Charge. The Montana Non-profit Association had recommended Charity Charge. The credit limit is $5,000 and the bills are expected to be paid, in full, monthly.

Vaughn updated the board on the status of EMEDA’s Baker Child Care Project. The Shepherd House is no longer an option, and EMEDA will proceed with purchasing modular buildings to be placed on donated land. EMEDA has received an official letter of commitment from Head Start to expand to Fallon County.
Vaughn also informed the board that he has been invited to be a featured speaker at the Montana Childcare Business Connect annual summit at Fairmont Hot Springs in September. As a speaker, his expenses to the summit will be paid for at no cost to SMART.

Vaughn informed the board that, as mentioned in previous meetings, he is now prepared to start the SMART Digital Project, digitizing old VHS tapes or record albums. The board discussed possible pricing for this service as a fundraiser to SMART. It was agreed that there should be no charge to the public, although a “suggested donation” of $10 for an album and $20 for a full VHS tape should be noted to anyone taking advantage of the new service.
Vaughn also mentioned that the OS Brew Pub has agreed to place a turntable in their business to allow customers to play their own record albums while there, and that SMART may place a donation box for anyone who wishes to donate for the service.
Vaughn also presented the board with the custom puzzles he had made by Shutterfly for purposes of the proposed SMART “Pizza, Puzzles and Pints” fundraiser event.  The board decided that Fall is more of a “puzzle season” than summer and that the fundraiser should be held then. A tentative date of September 30th was set, to be in conjunction with the Baker Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture’s Fall Festival that afternoon.
Vaughn also informed the board that the Grid United Community Investment Program grants, in association with the Montana Community Foundation, will be awarded on Thursday. SMART has applied for $50,000 for roof renovations on the Visitor Center.

Vaughn also let the board know that, as part of the Red Ants Pants Foundation grant, SMART has received four tickets, valued at $170 each, to the music festival the last weekend of July. SMART was unable to sell any of those tickets during the community theater event, so all four tickets are still available to any board members who may wish to attend.

Old Business:

Project Update:  Baker Arts & Culture (Community Theater Preliminary Impact Review):  Vaughn reported that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was a rousing success. Attendance for the four nights was 383 people. SMART received $3,752.47 in ticket sales, $1,162 in merchandise sales, and $67.78 in additional miscellaneous income (from on-line purchasers agreeing to pay handling fees). SMART reported $12,326.29 in expenses for the production and $14,400 in community donations. Meaning the total income from the production was $21,596.72 with a gross profit of $9,270.43. Vaughn did note there were still some expenses yet to be paid which would likely take total profit just under $9,000. President Varner asked is that money needed to be set in a separate account specifically for the Community Theater. Vaughn said that, at this time, that’s likely not necessary and the money could go into the SMART general fund, with the board making a budgetary decision on how much to dedicate to the next production when the time comes. There were no objections.

Project Update:  Baker Arts & Culture Council (Art Walk):  Vaughn informed that board that the Arts & Culture Council has decided to cancel this year’s Community Art Walk due to lack of artist availability on the day of the event. There was plenty of art, but not enough artists that would be present in the local businesses. Instead, the O’Fallon Museum will host a Community Kaleidoscope event on July 15th, showcasing the art but not requiring the artists to be present. The Arts & Culture Council hopes to hold the Art Walk again in 2024 and secure artist availability sooner in the year.

Project Update:  Wild Roots Community Food Forest:  Lacey Berg has taken her first draws from the grant fund provided by EPEDC. Of the original $4,000, she now has $148.95 left in the account yet to be distributed. She plans on beginning work by the end of the month.

Project Update:  World’s Best Pocket Park:  The only bid SMART has received on the Pocket Park is from Razor’s Edge Landscaping of Dickinson, ND. There was a pre-bid walk-thru on the site and an official estimate of costs is anticipated soon.

               Project Update:  “Women In Blue Jeans” Photo Essay / Exhibit:  As noted in the Director’s Report, SMART has received a $5,000 for this project. Leslie Bohle of Bohle Images has partnered with SMART for this project and has begun scouting participants and locations. The plan for the project is to have it substantially done by the Fall, with a debut of the photos planned as an exhibit in March of 2024 as part of National Ag Month and Montana Beef Month.

New Business

SMART’s Attendance at Montana Non-Profit Association Annual Conference:  In the interest of time, Vaughn suggested this topic be tabled until a future meeting. There was no objection.

EMEDA Event Marketing Grant Reviews (Chamber of Commerce and Friends of FMC):  As part of EMEDA’s Event Marketing Grant Program, SMART has previously agreed to review all grant applications. Applications from both the Baker Chamber of Commerce and Friends of FMC were presented by Vaughn and reviewed by the board.  Sharon motioned to approve both applications for full funding. President Varner seconded. Motion approved. Both Event Marketing Grants receive SMART approval and will be finalized by the EMEDA board at their next meeting.

Having no other new business, Karol motioned to adjourn the meeting. Sharon seconded. Meeting adjourned at 1:01pm

The next scheduled meeting is July 25, 2023 at noon at Thee Garage Showroom. Krista has noted that she will not be able to attend in person.

Respectfully submitted:

______________________________                         _____________________________

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