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Lt. Governor Mike Cooney Presents Grant Funds for MCC Armory Project

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Lt. Governor Mike Cooney presented two grants for the MCC Armory purchase – a CDBG grant for $650,000 and a Coal Board grant for $50,000.

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Miles Community College to Purchase Former Armory Building

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Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, President of Miles Community College (MCC), announced recently that the final funding pieces were in-place to allow MCC to purchase the former Armory site in Miles City.

MCC teamed up with the regional economic development group, Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC), to identify, structure and secure funding for the purchase. SEMDC provided grant research, structuring assistance, and the submission of three (3) of the grants needed to secure the nearly $1.49 million dollar project. Other funding came from private sources and MCC.

Armory

“We are honored to receive the funding to secure the purchase of the former Armory,” states MCC President Klippenstein. “The Armory will enable us to strengthen our CDL and Heavy Equipment Programs to further meet the regional workforce demands. The partnerships formed between Custer County, the City of Miles City, SEMDC, as well as many other agencies and people were vital to this project. We are grateful to everyone involved in helping secure funding for the Armory purchase.”

The new site and building will provide much needed space for the expansion of MCC’s Heavy Equipment and CDL programs. These popular programs are intended to train students and help bridge the employment gap with regional heavy equipment, transportation, and construction operations.

Special thanks go out to not only SEMDC but also Custer County and the City of Miles City for teaming up to apply for a Montana Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $650,000. The Montana Coal Board also granted $50,000 to the cause. The Eastern Montana Brownfield Coalition contributed $21,000 for environmental assessments and the federal Economic Development Agency (EDA) rounded out the grants package with over a $529,000 award.

Other support and assistance came from the Miles City Area Economic Development Council (MCAEDC), Great West Engineering, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Montana Military Affairs and the Montana Job Service – Miles City Office. Also included in this list are Montana elected officials: Rep. Ken Holmlund, Rep. Geri Custer and Senator Duane Ankney. All three of the Montana Congressional Staffs also contributed.

“It was our pleasure to partner with MCC on this success story,” noted SEMDC Executive Director Jim Atchison. “Our Grant Administrator, Julie Emmons, deserves special credit as she did most of the heavy lifting on this very challenging funding structure. She found a way to make it happen and MCC, including the entire region, will benefit for years to come,” added Atchison.

For more information, contact Jessie Dufner at MCC, 874-6226 or visit their website at www.milescc.edu.

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Invest In Success Small Business Seminar March 15-16, 2016

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The Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network invites you to our 7th annual Invest in Success (IIS) small business conference March 15 & 16, 2016 in Havre at MSU-Northern! The IIS conference provides hundreds of Montana entrepreneurs essential business workshops on leadership, marketing, financial management, operations and technical training for specific industries. This year we are expecting over 200 attendees and 25 vendors. The 2016 conference will help you “Solve Problems by Creating Opportunities,” and learn how to meet business challenges with strategic solutions. Our goal is for you to come away with new ideas to set higher standards for performance outcomes. For more information on breakout sessions, our Shark Tank live pitch business plan competition, and our Keynote Speaker, visit sbdc.mt.gov/investinsuccess.

What’s happening this year?

Tuesday, March 15:

  • Tours of “Havre Beneath the Streets” and “Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump” – Starts at 2:00 PM
  • Evening networking reception featuring the Triple Dog Brewing Company – Starts at 6:00 PM
  • Opening Reception featuring Triple Dog Brewing Co., Vendor Tradeshow, Silent Auction for Montana Job Service Employer Committee (JSEC), and Networking with Montana business owners

 Wednesday, March 16:

  • Registration opens at 7:30 AM; Breakout Sessions Begin at 8:30 AM
  • Luncheon and Keynote Speaker Paul Leach of Loenbro 12:15 PM
  • “Shark Tank” Live Business Plan Competition Starts at 3:00 PM
  • Door Prize Winners Announced at 4:30 PM (Grand Prize: New Laptop for your Business!)

FAQs

Where can I find more information about the conference?
Visit sbdc.mt.gov/investinsuccess for more information on breakout sessions, the Keynote Speaker, Shark Tank and more.

How do I register for Shark Tank?
Registration for Shark Tank is live through Submittable. You cannot register for Shark Tank here. If you participate in Shark Tank, you will receive free admission. Do not register on this site if you are a Shark Tank participant! Please go to sbdc.submittable.com/submit to register. Applications close Feburary 19.

Where can I find out more about the presentations?
Download the PDF here.

Can I change my mind about the breakout sessions later?
Yes. If you select a breakout session you no longer wish to attend, please feel free to change the day of.

Where are the conference accomodations?
The BestWestern Plus Great Northern Inn (406) 265-4200(406) 265-4200 has a conference rate of $89/night for one or $99/night for two. The room block closes on February 23, 2016.

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2015 Energy Open Scheduled for August 20th and 21st

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The 12th Annual Energy Open Tours and Golf Tournament will be held on August 20th and 21st, 2015 in Colstrip, the “Energy Capital of Montana.”

 

Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) and Montanans for Responsible Energy Development (MRED) cordially invite the public to participate in this unique opportunity which “showcases the economic benefits of responsible energy development.”

The Energy Open starts at 10:00 am on Thursday August 20th at the Colstrip High School Auditorium with registration and networking opportunities. Lunch will be served prior to the attendees departing on two different Tours. The two Tours which run concurrently, will feature the Colstrip Power Plant, formally PPL MT (coal fired power generation), the Boilermakers Training Center (workforce training), Castle Rock Lake (environmental and quality of life benefits) and the Western Energy Rosebud Coal Mine (mining, safety and award winning reclamation efforts). The first day will conclude with a dinner at the Moose Lodge featuring Keynote Speaker, State Senator Duane Ankney.

On Friday August 21st, the Ponderosa Butte Golf Course in Colstrip will host the Energy Open 18-Hole Golf Tournament with lots of prizes, a shot at the “Coal Cup” Corporate Trophy and the $20,000 Hole-In-One prize. The golf teams will be treated to a breakfast prior to the tee time of 10:00 am.   The day will conclude with a scholarship raffle and the tournament awards presentations. This is a great opportunity to network with energy leaders, decision makers, legislators and golf one of Montana’s most challenging public courses.

The Energy Open is free to the public but prior registration is required. For more general information, please contact SEMDC at (406) 748-2990 or email jatchison@semdc.org or prhill@semdc.org. Additional information is available at www.semdc.org.

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Numerous Coal Board Grants Awarded in Southeastern Montana

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(Hardin) The Montana Coal Board met last week in Hardin and awarded numerous grants into Southeastern Montana.   “We are very appreciative and certainly excited to have been awarded these funds which will bring additional assistance to communities that have been impacted by coal,” stated Jim Atchison, Executive Director of Southeastern Montana Development (SEMDC).

Four (4) Applications that SEMDC was involved with were awarded $880,068.  “SEMDC directly assisted three of the four and supported the fourth application,” noted Atchison.

“This is an excellent state program for returning limited dollars back to coal impacted communities to improve the quality of life,” he added.  Applicants awarded funds were:

* City of Colstrip: $500,000 for a portion of a major waste water rehabilitation project,

* City of Miles City: $166,118 to assist with an airport runway paving project,

* Treasure County: $73,950 to help purchase a new ambulance and

* Town of Hysham: $140,000 to assist in paying for replacement of the town’s water tower.

Atchison also gave credit to the area state legislators in securing these addition Coal Board funds during the session.  “Senator Ankney and Representatives Berry and Custer were key drivers and supporters during the legislative session in which HB-228 was passed,” Atchison noted.  “These funds give the Coal Board additional leverage to assist these communities.”

SEMDC is a regional non-profit economic development group that was established in 1997 to stimulate and encourage economic activity in the four (4) Counties of Custer, Powder River, Rosebud, and Treasure.  Today, SEMDC continues to work with the private, public, and non-profit sectors to help create and retain jobs in these four counties.  Their track record has documented over 986 jobs created or retained and over $35 million dollars in project assistance since 1997.  Since 2005, SEMDC has been designated by the State of Montana as a Certified Regional Development Corporation (CRDC) and the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) as an Economic Development District.

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County Receives Tentative Approval For Federal Funding For Ranch Creek Road Improvements

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(Broadus) Powder River County recently applied for and received approval for programming through the 2014 Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) in the amount of $7.2 million. With support from Bureau of Land Management and Montana Department of Transportation personnel, Powder River County Road Supervisor, Ty Gee and SEMDC Grant Administrator, Julie E. Korkow, teamed up to submit an application to pave a portion of Ranch Creek Rd near Biddle, MT.  The Montana Department of Transportation also pledged matching funds of over $1 Million to the project.  The portion of Ranch Creek Road that will be improved would start at Highway 59 and travel east for 4.5 miles.  The majority of work will include minor culvert and drainage work, over excavation of soft spots, shoulder work, stabilization of subgrade, new base coarse and paving meeting specifications of a standard secondary state highway.

 

The legislation Congress passed that implements the Federal Lands Access Program only authorizes the program for the fiscal years 2013 and 2014.  Therefore, funds from the Access Program for this project are not guaranteed.  Funding is dependent on the availability of appropriations from Congress.

 

The next step in the process is for the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) to develop funding agreements with the state and local agency partners.  The funding agreement will indicate the year that funds may be available for the project.

 

According to the grant application submitted Ranch Creek Road (Route 544) needs to be reconstructed and paved due to the heavy amount of oil field traffic deteriorating the current road conditions.   Powder River County is responsible for maintenance but does not have the budget to fix this road because gravel and other materials are not readily available in this area.  Paving this route would make it an all-weather road and make it safe for all to use.  During inclement weather the surface turns to muddy slurry that is almost impossible to navigate and at dry times dust clouds the entire valley.

 

Ranch Creek Road (Route 544) serves the oil field at Belle Creek, local ranchers, recreationalists accessing BLM land, and traffic traveling from Biddle to Boyes, Mt. The Belle Creek oil field employs hundreds of workers and subcontractors that use this route for access.

 

Present road conditions restrict the ability of Denbury Resources, Inc. getting equipment, materials, and personnel to the site in wet conditions.   The dust created from the road in dry conditions creates concerns for the health and safety of local residents and area ranchers trying to prevent dust pneumonia in livestock.  Dust treatments have been applied to this area in the past with little benefit since the current quality of the road topping material does not accept the treatment to prevent dust and stabilize the road.

 

The past four (4) years of heavy oil field traffic has substantially increase the County’s maintenance requirements on Ranch Creek Road extracting equipment and resources from other parts of the county.

 

For additional information, please contact the Powder River Commissioners at 406-436-2657.

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RID 1A Sewer Replacement Project Completed in Miles City

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DSC01130The RID Sewer was first constructed in 1900.  It was a series of clay tiles that traveled a direct route from the Pine Hills State School to the slough in Miles City.  It had been in serious decay for some time and needed replacement.  Custer County had limited funding to afford such a project.  Efforts began as early as 1992 to address the problem.  The Custer County Commissioners had at one time secured a Congressional appropriation for the project but were unable to provide the matching funds needed to complete the project.  At that time, an assessment was instituted to build a reserve fund up to have matching money to pursue grant funds with.  Gary Matthews picked the project back up in  2009 when that fund reached approximately $100,000 and together with Southeastern Montana Development Corporations’ grant administrator, Julie Korkow, the two submitted a CDBG application and TSEP application in 2010.  The grant applications were successful and notification that funding was received came in 2011.  Applications for additional funding were then submitted to USDA, Rural Development.  These too were successful.  In late fall of 2013, the project was advertised for bid and all of the bids received exceeded the budget.  Custer County did not have additional funding to put into the project.  It was feared that the project would be lost again, but USDA, Rural Development stepped up to the plate and provided more grant funding to help the project come to fruition.  The total project cost was $2.463 million.  RID residents provided $123,000 through their reserve fund and incurred a loan for $288,000.  $2.052 million was received in grant funds.  The project is now complete, the moratorium on hookups has been lifted, and ownership of the area is being transferred from Custer County to Custer County Water and Sewer District.  Residents of this area now have a safe and reliable sewer system and the project has opened up vacant lots that can be used for development.

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2014 Energy Open Scholarship Awarded at Miles Community College

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Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) announced last week that it has awarded the 2014 Energy Open Scholarship to Ms Sandra Moller of Volborg.

 

The Scholarship is sponsored by Southeastern Montana Development for Miles Community College (MCC). It is intended to be used with the Heavy Equipment program at MCC, which is in its 8th year.  The $500 Scholarship is used to off-set the cost of books and tuition. The very popular program is intended to train students and help bridge the employment gap with regional heavy equipment operations.  Courses in this program are instructed by Jerry Forman and Dale Marcil.  For more information on the Heavy Equipment program contact MCC at 800-541-9281 or online at www.milescc.edu.

 

“It is our pleasure to partner with MCC on the Heavy Equipment Program and assist deserving students with their education through this Scholarship. It’s good to see such committed and dedicated students as Sandra,” noted SEMDC Executive Director Jim Atchison.

 

The funding for the Scholarship is made available through SEMDC from the Energy Open Conference and Golf Tournament. The Energy Open was created to “showcase the economic benefits of responsible energy development.”  The 11th Annual Energy Open was held August 21st and 22nd.

 

SEMDC is a regional non-profit economic development group that was established in 1997 to stimulate and encourage economic activity in the four (4) Counties of Custer, Powder River, Rosebud and Treasure. Today, SEMDC continues to work with various groups and individuals in the public, private and non-profit sectors to help create and retain jobs in eastern Montana.  Since 1997, the Colstrip based group has documented assistance in creating or retaining over 925 jobs and over $33 million dollars in totalprojectscompleted.For more information contact SEMDC at 748-2990 or visit their website at www.semdc.org.

 

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Energy Open Scheduled for August 21st and 22nd

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The 11th Annual Energy Open Conference and Golf Tournament will be held on August 21st and 22nd, 2014 in Colstrip, the “Energy Capital of Montana.”

 

Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) and Montanans for Responsible Energy Development (MRED) cordially invite the public to participate in this unique opportunity which “showcases the economic benefits of responsible energy development.”

 

The Energy Open starts at 8:00 am on Thursday August 21st at the Colstrip High School Auditorium with registration and networking opportunities.  The morning program includes a presentation on the

“War on Coal” from PPL Montana and a Panel Discussion: “The War on Coal – An Industry Perspective.”  The program will also feature a Candidates Forum where invited state and federal candidates will be given a set time to share with the attendees their response and outlook to the statement: “Responsible Energy Development Opportunities in Montana.” Lunch will be served prior to the attendees departing on two different Tours.  The two Tours which run concurrently, will feature the Rosebud Power Plant (coal fired power generation), the Boilermakers Training Center (workforce training), Castle Rock Lake (environmental and quality of life benefits) and the Western Energy Rosebud Coal Mine (mining, safety and award winning reclamation efforts).  The first day will conclude with a dinner at the Moose Lodge featuring Keynote Speaker, State Senator and businessman, Taylor Brown.

On Friday August 22nd, the Ponderosa Butte Golf Course in Colstrip will host the Energy Open 18-Hole Golf Tournament with lots of prizes, a shot at the “Coal Cup” Corporate Trophy and the $20,000 Hole-In-One prize.  The golf teams will be treated to a breakfast prior to the tee time of 10:00 am.   The day will conclude with a scholarship raffle and the tournament awards presentations.  This is a great opportunity to network with energy leaders, decision makers, legislators and golf one of Montana’s most challenging public courses.

 

The Energy Open is free to the public but prior registration is required.  For more general information, please contact SEMDC at (406) 748-2990 or email jatchison@semdc.org or prhill@semdc.org. Additional information is available at www.semdc.org.

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NorthWestern Energy Seeking Carbon Offset Projects

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NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy is looking to fund cost-effective carbon offset projects in its Montana service area.

Eligible conservation projects must either reduce carbon emissions or promote the incremental absorption of carbon from the atmosphere. The Request for Proposals (RFP) is issued pursuant to the Montana Public Service Commission (MPSC) Order No. 6943a that authorized construction of the Dave Gates Generating Station.

“Montana law requires us to offset the new carbon generated by the DGGS plant by funding projects that reduce carbon in the atmosphere,” said John Hines, Vice President – Energy Supply. “We worked through the details of the carbon offset plan with the Montana Public Service Commission to fund eligible projects that comply with the spirit and intent of the law.”

NorthWestern intends to provide a total of $146,000 in funding for eligible projects that:

a. Increase energy efficiency in buildings (e.g., heating, cooling or lighting);

b. Retrofit buildings to improve energy efficiency;

c. Increase efficiency of energy used in manufacturing;

d. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing processes;

e. Combust or contain methane gases from landfills or other industrial wastes; or

f. Meet the criteria for Utility Energy Loss Reduction Projects.

Additional types of energy conservation projects may be considered at NWE’s discretion if they do not conflict with other parts of the plan. Projects must be completed in 2014.

Further qualifications may apply. For a complete description of the eligibility requirements and to download the plan and/or an application, please visit http://www.northwesternenergy.com. Applications are due by 5 p.m. February 28, 2014.

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