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BCDC Fall 2014 Pulse

February 23, 2015

The Bowman County Development Corporation strives to work towards achieving the goals laid out in our communities' strategic plans and provide service to our county on a large scale and within our daily operations. Here are a few things we have been focused on.

Community Development
•    RBEG: Met with ABLE, Inc. to evaluate the direction we wanted to take with the RBEG funds. USDA will allow us to modify the Scope of Work as long as the intent remains the same. The Sears Building is no longer a viable option but we have developed some other prospects. We will proceed with submitting a new Scope of Work and wait to receive approval from the USDA.
•    Community Foundation: Kevin Dvorak, from the North Dakota Community Foundation, spoke with Rotary and conducted a formal training with the established advisory committee. The committee has discussed initial donors and the 1st official donation has been received.  Marketing will be an important aspect of educating the public on the Foundation and its purpose and goals.  Materials from other foundations were received to provide ideas and work has begun on the Bowman/Slope Community Foundation logo and brochure.  Two ads, for end of year donations, ran in the Finder as well as a press release and a letter to the editor.
•    Housing Authority: Teran continues to be an active member of the Housing Authority and assisting on a variety of initiatives.  As of now the Vacant Homes Initiative can only be used for residential purposes, but we’ve had interest in removing homes for commercial use and approval was given to make this an available part of the program.  Also researching getting a proposal from a consultant on a housing pro forma for developing lots and putting them up for sale. 
•    Rec Center Expansion: Yard signs were placed throughout town to help get the word out, several newspaper ads were placed, postcards were mailed out, a public hearing was held on October 22nd and the vote took place on November 4th.  The 1% Sales Tax received a no vote.  The BCDC will continue to offer support where they can for this quality of life initiative.  
•    Leadership Development:
o    Civic Engagement Group – “Get Engaged” Articles continue to be featured in the Pioneer. Organizations featured: Bowman County 4-H, Saxy Brass and the School of Promise. 
o    Empowering Leaders: The steering committee determined a theme and layout for 2015 meetings.  We will focus on Engagement and plan to feature an extended learning opportunity in April. We highlighted the proposed legislative changes to the gross oil production tax distribution and the one time surge funding in October. Lyn James was able to provide a very informative summary of these subjects.  The November meeting focused on the successes of 2014.  Membership information, 2015 programs, and a flier will be prepared to help with promotion of this group and what it is trying to offer our community.  We look forward to bringing personal and professional development to our community over the next year.  We will focus on heavy promotion in January.  
•    Rhame City Commission: Attended a special meeting of the Rhame City Commission. They are hoping to do an overall infrastructure assessment and our office offered assistance with the process. They have contacted Brosz Engineering to begin the assessment.
•    Powder River Training Area: Two meetings were held in regards to this, organized by Heitkamp’s and Hoeven’s office. Representation from Ellsworth Air Force Base, Weathermod, as well as several key representatives from North Dakota were present. The meeting was very informational on what we can expect with the expanded training complex. A letter was sent asking for the FAA to make certain considerations for the safety of local aircrafts once the zone is active.
•    Healthcare Marketplace – a representative certified in the Healthcare Marketplace will visit Bowman on January 27 and February 5 at the library.  It will be informational meetings and assistance in finding appropriate healthcare through the marketplace.  Open and free to any interested individuals.

Business Development
•    Restaurants: We are excited to announce that the Uptown Bar & Grill has a planned opening of November 7th with a grand opening in the next few weeks.  
•    Workforce Campaign: Completed a budget and proposal for the workforce recruitment campaign. Currently the plan contains signage for the outside of the BCDC building, car decals, table tents, bathroom advertisements and local print advertising. We have begun to run the local ads encouraging High School students to join the workforce.  Upon direction provided by the board, we are working on additional details for the restroom ads portion of this campaign. Table tents have been completed and will be distributed.  Wells Fargo will be putting the black facing back on our sign until they have their new signs ready.  
•    VISA Work Program: We reached out to other communities that use the VISA workforce programs to learn more about what opportunities may be available.  The one identified at this time is the Federal J1 Visa Program.  Employees would be available for 2 seasons.  Employer must provide adequate housing, a cultural experience, along with a few other requirements.  Additional research is being done to see if there are additional VISAs that may work for this.
•    Industrial Park Proposal: An appraisal was requested and completed on adjacent property as part of the feasibility study. Brosz Engineering is working on the first phase of determining infrastructure costs. Ross Graves from Greenport Sustainable Communities Corporation is a planner with experience in Industrial Park Development. He presented a proposal for additional services that may benefit the project. Representatives from the BCDC, City, County, Brosz Engineering and the Airport Authority met with him to discuss the proposal.  Also attended the Airport Authority meeting to discuss the project. They passed a motion supporting the use of the existing property for economic development purposes. They will be making that recommendation to the county.  The County passed a resolution and signed it as well.  We have received some initial design options as well as some estimated infrastructure costs.  
•    Optometrist: Toured buildings with an interested optometrist. Sent additional information on the properties as well as programs that we have to offer. Very promising prospect!  We continue to assist an optometrist with plans to move forward with an office location in Bowman. Right now we are considering options for a possible location.  
•    Shop Local Campaign: Ads continue to run in the Finder.  We will be working with Christmas promotions that the Chamber is putting together and determining how to sustain momentum from this 8 month campaign.  Additional buttons were passed out to retail shops for distribution to their customers during the holiday season.  A 2015 outline for this campaign has been started.
•    Clients Update:  Clients have required assistance at all levels of preparing to run a business.  We worked with 4 new clients. Services provided to clients have included and basics of start-up, business planning, building pro formas, marketing, online commerce, financial analysis, and financial packaging.  We actively assisted 7 continuing clients as well as 3 community development clients.  Significant time was also spent reviewing all 2014 clients to be sure that information was accurate and up-to-date in Center IC (state tracking database) and on reports for the use in the 2014 Annual Report.  Impacts were also reviewed.
•    Completed paperwork for the approved PACE applications. The County approved the $15,000 release of the set aside funds for our funding programs.
•    QuickBooks Basics Boot Camp: We have partnered with the Strom Center to bring a QuickBooks class to Bowman early 2015.  Classes will be Thursdays throughout February. 

Tourism
•    Created several more marketing pieces for the Friends of Bowman Parks & Rec, further developing workforce recruitment ads, and working with the museum on developing their rack brochure for rest stops across North Dakota. Continue to work on access channel, fairgrounds sign, website updates and monthly events calendars. 
•    Concept work for a redesigned community profile and possible visitor guide.  
•    Created a logo for Tax & Tourism 
•    Working on a new Bowman Slogan

Marketing
•    Growing Bowman Facebook page is up to 365 likes.  The page has been used to promote our business articles, local events, business development opportunities and local tourism activities.
•    Growing Bowman Twitter page is active and tweets are put out daily and increased by 10 followers. This platform is primarily for workforce recruitment and tweets reflect that mission.  We post specific jobs as well as career related articles and always drive them back to our website.    
•    Website:  We have worked hard on expanding our job listings and reaching out to employers that may not be advertising their openings.  We also set-up City pages for Rhame and Scranton and plan to meet with their auditors to train them on adding/changing their pages as they see fit. 
•    Partners in Marketing Grant: Final invoices for the website from KK Bold were received and reviewed for the website.  We have went slightly over budget, but have also requested and were awarded additional funds from the Grant program to assist with covering the cost. 
•    E-Newsletter continues to be delivered every quarter reviewing the many happenings of the BCDC.
•    The Pioneer interviewed Teran in regards to the workforce recruitment campaign and it was published in the January 2nd addition.  
•    Teran was featured on the Jim Thompson Live Radio show December 17.  She was asked to share what Bowman County wanted for Christmas and talked about workforce needs.

Meetings/Tasks/Other
•    Laura attended the Childcare Convening hosted by the Strom Center.  It was an opportunity to meet with others resources and agencies that assist with getting a daycare started. 
•    Aurora worked on an Empowering Leaders Membership hand-out, as well as Community Foundation Logo options and the 2014 Annual Report redesign and images.
•    Review of books has started to make sure all end of year payments are scheduled to come in on time so we are on track to make a clean end of year close out. Debbie Bucholz provided consultation on our QuickBooks and making the reports more functional. The books have been taken to Bob for our end of year financials. 
•    Purchased In-Design Program. This program is what KK BOLD uses for designing all of our marketing materials. The program is $20/month and we are hoping to do our own design of our annual report and community profile piece. The program should more than pay for itself by saving on design costs.
•    Sponsored $200 in Bonus Bucks for the upcoming Bowman County Career Fair. 
•    Attended Scranton City Commission. Provided an update. They have approved the BCDC funding for 2015.
•    Attended the Bowman City Commission meeting. Presented the Funding Resolution for approval as well as a BCDC update. The Commission approved the resolution as well as requested an Activity Report each month.
•    Teran attended the EDND Conference in Grand Forks, November 17 – 20.
•    Teran attended the Scranton Equity Annual meeting.
•    In the interest of diversifying our BCDC board into different business sectors, Teran spoke with Doug Archer and Ali Engelhart. Both are interested in running for the BCDC Board. We will also advertise the open positions.
•    Reviews of staff have been completed as well as the Executive Board meeting to discuss the policy manual, reviews, 2015 budget and employee wages. 
•    Completed another in-office Strategic Planning meeting.  Staff outlined completed projects since the July session and identified goals for 2015. 
•    Aurora developed new postcards for the poker tournament. The charity, with approval from the All Seasons Arena, has been changed to the newly formed Bowman/Slope Community Foundation.  The Poker Tournament was held with 44 players signed up. Overall, there was 22 re-buys. Not all expenses have been reported yet but the total charity amount at this time is $1433.  Windy’s has shown interest in having the poker tournament located there. The BCDC is only legally allowed to host two/year.
•    Bid requests were submitted to Woodley’s, Cashway, and R&L Contracting for the bathroom remodel.
•    Attended the Bowman City Commission to request permission to place a gaming machine beginning January 1st in the Uptown Bar & Grill. Permission was granted.
•    Content development for the 2014 Annual Report
•    The Department of Commerce sent two representatives from ED&F for a community visit. We discussed Bowman County and several of the projects we are currently working on. We also took them on a tour to show them several of the projects that have been completed or that are in progress.
•    Attended a Vision West meeting in Killdeer. The grant has now run out but they are seeking additional funding to keep working on the top 5 issues that were most identified by the 19 counties that were included in the grant. The County supported their application for Impact Funds to do this.
•    Bowman County School will be hosting a pilot OSHA training for students.

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