Resource Team Assessment Report



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Resource Team Assessment Report


For




THE TOBACCO VALLEY
eUREKA, wEST kOOTENAI, rEXFORD, fORTINE, tREGO AND sTRYKER, mONTANA








OCTOBER 3 – 4, 2007




In Partnership with : Eureka Rural Development Partners, The Tobacco Valley Community Development Council, Montana USDA/RD, Montana Business Assistance Connections, Montana Department of Commerce, Sanders County Community Development Corp., Montana West Economic Development, Montana Economic Developers Association and the people of the Tobacco Valley.


INTRODUCTION
It was a privilege for the Tobacco Valley Resource Team to spend two days in your communities. Thank you for your hospitality, your time, and for sharing with the team the vision you have for the Tobacco Valley.
Before digging in to the report itself, I would like to thank Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) for its support of the Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA). It is a partnership between MDOC and MEDA that makes Resource Team projects available across the state.
Special thanks are due to Tracy McIntyre and Rose Kipp, or Eureka Rural Development Partners. Tracy and Rose served as the champions behind this entire project and will continue to be involved with the project through activities detailed in this report. Tracy and Rose had help from other people, agencies and businesses, but without their “Let’s do it” energy, the assessment would not have taken place.

In addition, I applaud each and every team member that dedicated hours of work and travel in order to participate on the team: Bill Barr, Cooperative Specialist for Montana USDA/RD; Carolyn Keller, Grant Writer and Planner for Montana Business Assistance Connection; Steve Simonson, Executive Director, Sanders county Community Development Corp.; Mike Strotheide, President, Montana West Economic Development and Charlie Wright, Western Regional Development Officer, Montana Department of Commerce.

Each team member’s contact information is provided in the following report. Please feel free to call on any of us for additional information or support. It would be our pleasure!
The stage is now set for the future of the Tobacco Valley. There are a number of short term and long term accomplishable recommendations that the resource team has provided in this report. Each of you individually must decide what it is that you want to do—what kind of project you want to tackle. It is also important for the entire community to be involved in finding ways to accomplish its goals. A few celebrations at the successful conclusion of an activity that has involved a large number of citizens will lead to a feeling of accomplishment that will carry over into other activities. Look through the suggestions, pick out one, and get started. It can be done. It is your choice, your decision; you can do it!
Gloria O’Rourke

Team Coordinator, MEDA


PROCESS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS REPORT
eaCAccording to Montana Department of Commerce program requirements, Resource Team Assessments are to be approved through the community’s Certified Regional Development Corporation (CRDC). Billie Lee, CRDC Executive Director for the Tobacco Valley area, gave the “green light” for the assessment. The board of Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) then approved the project. Eureka Rural Development Partners and the Tobacco Valley Community Development Council served as the local Resource Team coordinators for the project. Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) provided staff support for the coordination of a resource team to assist the Tobacco Valley in evaluating its assets and challenges and in developing suggestions for improving the environment, social and economic future of the area.

Tracy McIntyre and Rose Kipp, of Eureka Rural Development Partners, served as the local contacts and local team leaders for the project. Under their direction, an agenda was developed, logistics arranged, as well as budgeting and publicity for the assessment. Resource team members were selected to visit, interview citizens, businesses and community leaders to develop options for projects for the Tobacco Valley. The team members were carefully selected based on their fields of expertise that local officials indicated would be needed to respond to the problem areas identified.

The Resource Team interviewed and received written comments from over 150 people during October 3 – 4, 2007. All notes from all listening sessions as well as those submitted via email or handwritten are included in this report. The team was available for listening to the following groups: Local Officials/Town Councils; people of West Kootenai; Banks/Financial Institutions; Churches; Retail/Businesses; people of Fortine and Trego; Educators; Law Enforcement and Border Patrol; Civic Clubs and Non Profits; Water, Utilities, Co-ops; Students; and Senior Citizens and Health Care.
Each participant was asked to respond to three questions designed to begin communication and discussion and to serve as a basis for developing recommendations in this report. The three questions were:


  • What do you think are the major strengths and assets in your community?

  • What do you think are the major problems and challenges in your community?

  • What projects would you like to see completed in two, five, ten and twenty years in your community?

Upon completion of the interviews, the team met in a work session to compare notes and share comments. The team then agreed that each team member would carefully analyze the things said, synthesize what they heard with their knowledge of programs and resources, prepare their notes and suggestions, and forward these items to be combined into this final report to the people in the Tobacco Valley.


A preliminary oral report and a summary of group recommendations were presented to the people of Tobacco Valley the evening of October 4th.

Following the oral report, this formal written report was prepared and is presented to the people of the Tobacco Valley. Copies will be made available in print and electronically. The report is available on the MEDA website at http://www.medamembers.org/resourceteams.php A Town Hall Meeting is planned for Monday, December 3rd at 6:00pm, in the Lincoln County High School commons area. The purpose of the meeting will be to briefly review the report, identify projects and set priorities for action.



EUREKA REGION

MT RESOURCE TEAM ASSESSMENT

OCTOBER 3 - 4, 2007






Team Member: Bill Barr

Title: Cooperative Specialist

Agency: USDA/RD Montana

Address: P.O. Box 850

City/State/Zip: Bozeman, MT 59771

Phone: 406.585.2540

Email: bill.barr@mt.usda.gov

Web: http://www.mt.usda.gov


Team Member: Carolyn Keller

Title: Grant Writer, Planner

Agency: MT Business Assistance Connection

Address: 225 Cruse Ave.

City/State/Zip: Helena, MT 59601

Phone: 406.442.4986

Email: ckeller@mbac.biz

Web: http://www.mbac.biz




Team Member: Steve Simonson

Title: Executive Director

Agency: Sanders Co Community Dev Corp

Address: P.O. Box 1326

City/State/Zip: Thompson Falls, MT 59873

Phone: 406.827.6935

Email: simonson@ronan.net

Web: http://www.sanderscountycdc.org

Team Member: Mike Strotheide

Title: President

Agency: MT West Economic Development

Address: 490 West Reserve Dr., Suite B

City/State/Zip: Kalispell, MT 59901

Phone: 406.257.7711

Email: mike@dobusinessinmontana.com

Web: http://www.dobusinessinmontana.com





Team Member: Charlie Wright

Title: Western MT RDO

Agency: MT Dept. of Commerce

Address: 1121 E. Broadway, Suite 126

City/State/Zip: Missoula, MT

Phone: 406.532.3222

Email: chwright@montana.com

Web: http://www.commerce.mt.gov



Coordinator: Gloria O’Rourke

Agency: MEDA

Address: 118 E. Seventh St.; Suite 2A

City/State/Zip: Anaconda, MT 59711

Phone: 406.563.5259 Fax: 406.563.5476

Email: gloria@medamembers.org

Web: http://www.medamembers.org









RESOURCE TEAM AGENDA
EUREKA AND THE TOBACCO VALLEY

October 3rd and 4th 2007

Tuesday, Oct 2nd Meet at Ksanka motel 6:30 pm then Dinner/Orientation and short tour of Rexford area.



Wednesday, Oct 3rd Listening Session Group Location

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast/Orientation Four Corners Restaurant

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Short tour of North Eureka area

10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Local Officials/town councils “ “

11:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. Tour/Lunch West Kootenai/N. of Town

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 pm Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Banks/financials Archive Room LCHS

4:10 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Churches “ “

5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Retail/Businesses “ “

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tour Fortine & Trego area Trego/Fortine area

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Dinner @ Molly Browns Molly Browns

8:15 p.m. .- ? Meet @ Trego civic center

Thursday, Oct 4th Listening session group Location

7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Pastries & coffee with Educators Archive Room LCHS

8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Law enforcement & Boarder Patrol “ “

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Civic Clubs & Non Profits “ “

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Water, Utilities, Co-ops “ “

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Working Lunch W/students Von’s Cafe

12:30 p.m. – 12:50 p.m. Break

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Senior citizens/health care Senior Center

2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Team prepares for Town Meeting Archive Room LCHS

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Team working Supper

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Town Meeting/Team presentation Auditorium LCHS

If you have any questions Please call ERDP @ 406-297-7374

MAIN TOPIC LIST
EUREKA/TOBACCO VALLEY RESOURCE TEAM ASSESSMENT

OCTOBER 3 – 4, 2007

The following list is a summary of main topics and issues that result from the Tobacco Valley Resource Team listening to the communities address strengths, challenges and their vision for the Tobacco Valley. This list will serve as the outline for the Resource Team Assessment Report which will be available the second week of November. There will be a Tobacco Valley Town Meeting held the evening of December 3rd to identify and prioritize projects.


MAIN TOPIC: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


  • Workforce

    • Higher Paying Jobs

    • Seasonal employees

    • Aging workforce

  • Tourism

    • Year round

    • Motels, restaurants, hours of business

    • Marketing

      • Finding a balance between a sustaining economy and maintaining our quality of life

      • Support of local businesses

  • Value-Added Opportunities


MAIN TOPIC: HOUSING


  • Workforce

  • Senior

  • 1st Time Home Buyers

  • Affordability

  • Rental

  • Density

  • Second/Vacation Homes


MAIN TOPIC: INFRASTRUCTURE


  • Planning

  • The “Z” Word

  • Comprehensive Growth Plan
  • Water and Wastewater


  • Annexation – pros and cons

  • Inability to deal with growth challenges

  • Spring breakup


MAIN TOPIC: PROPERTY ISSUES


  • Property Tax Base

  • Affordable Land

  • Land Use

    • Access

    • Utilization of resources

  • Annexation/taxation without representation

  • Municipal vs. County Services

    • Response time

    • Quality


MAIN TOPIC: COMMUNITY FACILITIES


  • Eureka Senior Citizen Center

  • Need for enhanced medical services

  • Youth center – comprehensive, include swimming pool, recreation

  • County Fair Grounds

  • Justice Center

  • Chamber Building



MAIN TOPIC: MISC. ISSUES


  • Over-subscription of resources”

  • Resistance to change

  • Community attitude

  • Substance abuse

  • Vandalism

  • Haves and Have-Nots”



MAIN TOPIC: WEST KOOTENAI


  • Fire Department

    • Equipment, protective clothing

    • Winter fire fighting need

    • Aging fire force

    • Emergency services

    • Tender/water transport

    • Building to house equipment


  • Other Issues

    • Isolation

    • Lifestyle differences


MAIN TOPIC: TREGO AND FORTINE


  • Upgrade Civic Center

  • Maintaining schools

  • Maintaining quality education with declining enrollment

  • Forest Use Management




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