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Hope everyone is having a great summer and beating the heat. The newsletter this month contains articles from the Vision West ND Consortium, Faces of the Consortium and other announcements.

Update from the Vision West ND July Consortium Meeting

Vision West ND held its monthly consortium meeting on Tuesday, July 17th at 10:00am CST. There was 26 attendees on the call.
Main agenda items included: The budget, Vision West ND Promotion & Image Discussion, Smart Growth America Update and the succession planning workshop.

Read more: 7-12-2016 Meeting Minutes

Next Meeting Dates:
August 16th, 2016 - Conference Call - 9:00 AM MST / 10:00 AM CST
September 15th, 2016 - Beulah, ND - 8:30AM MST/ 9:30AM CST

Face of the Consortium - Williams County

Williams County
Member Type:
Voting Member
Melody Mileur
Position: Williams County Communication Officer

Williams County is located in the northwestern portion of North Dakota. It shares a border with Montana and is about an hour drive from the Canadian border. The county seat is Williston and other organized communities include Tioga, Ray, Grenora, Wildrose, Epping, and Trenton. Agriculture, oil, and tourism are the basis of the county's economy.

Tell us about you: (Professional) Melody started her professional career over two years ago when she arrived in Williston as an intern through her alma mater Gonzaga University. She started work for Williams County shortly after completing her internship.

As the communications officer for Williams County she handles multiple duties. Melody maintains daily communications to the public via social media and through the website, as well as communicating directly with media contacts on county government issues. In addition, she is involved with coordination between departments and county project managers as the county moves forward on a three phase expansion project. The three phase expansion incudes the Jail and Law Enforcement Center, Administration Building, and County Courthouse renovations. Along with her many duties Melody serves as the Public Information Officer for Williams County.

Tell us about you: (Personal) Melody is a Palmer, Alaska native and is a self-described outdoorsy woman at heart. She enjoys spending time by a large body of water. Even in the land-locked state of North Dakota, Melody has found a favorite location in a county park by Lake Sakakawea. Her other hobbies include cooking and spending time with friends. Melody likes to stay active. She played college rugby and now keeps her affection to rugby limited to the television.

Melody is actively involved in Williston's Young Professionals group in and she getting to know about of other young people who live in Williston.

Involvement with Vision West ND: "
I was appointed to be the Vision West ND consortium member for Williams County in November of 2014 after a number of strong leaders represented on the consortium before me. Since then I have been a strong advocate of promoting the collaboration of participating counties and spreading the word about the resources of Vision West ND." ~Melody

Favorite moment or moments at the VWND Consortium Meeting or past meeting? "One of the most impactful activities that I have participated in with Vision West ND was when we used pennies to identify where our most critical initiatives were moving forward. Even more entertaining was the chaos that followed as we tried to find a bank willing to take all those pennies!!!" ~Melody

Visit the Williams County website at, www.williamsnd.com.

A look into the Dunn County JDA and how they are making a difference in child care...

Families across North Dakota are struggling to find available, quality, affordable child care options for their children. This is a problem that every community, in every county, wrestles with. The 2015 Kids Count survey indicated that 91,515 North Dakota children, aged 0-12, are potentially in need of care while their parents are at work. The same research indicates that North Dakota’s licensed child care providers only have capacity to care for 33,267 of the 91,515 children: a potential 36 percent ratio of supply to demand. In Dunn County that disparity is even greater. In the 2015 survey, the ratio of available care to anticipated need was only 11%.

Because of the community child care needs, the Dunn County JDA Board of Directors developed several community funding mechanisms to help recruit and retain providers. Several of the tools/projects that were created are discussed here and the JDA board has invited other communities to adopt any or all the strategies.

The execution of a P3 partnership between the City of Killdeer, Dunn County, the Dunn County JDA, the Hill Top Home of Comfort and the Governor’s Child Care Facility Grant Pilot program, facilitated the building of a child care facility in Killdeer. The partnership recruited a child care provider from within the community. She became licensed to operate a group facility and she runs the business as a private enterprise. The provider is allowed to rent the building for just $1 per year. The City of Killdeer waived the usual water and garbage charges during the first year of operation and the Dunn County JDA paid the Utilities (electric) for the duration of the first two years. Additionally, the provider was given a grant of $5000 to cover initial startup costs. This business is just completing its third year of operation and is paying all of the utilities and services on its own.

The Essential Business Grant that was provided to this child care business is a grant open to all new essential businesses that locate within Dunn County. There is a simple application process that includes an application, a submitted business plan, a letter of community support, and a commitment to remain in business for three years. If the business fails within the three-year period, the grant is prorated against the remaining time of the commitment and the balance becomes repayable.

Another grant that is provided to qualified, licensed child care providers is a relicensing grant. This grant was developed with the assistance of the Dunn County Social Service Child Care Licensing Official, and the JDA office verifies eligibility with social services before awarding it. The only criteria that the child care provider must meet is that there must not have been any immediate correction orders within the past licensing year. Upon the completion of the renewal and confirmation of eligibility, a provider is awarded a grant of $750. This amount is the average cost of care in Dunn County for one child for one month.

Dunn County is fortunate to have a business-sponsored group facility in Killdeer. A private business has agreed to underwrite a provider by providing her an off-premise location, rent and utilities free. The business guarantees (pays) a pre-agreed number of child care ‘slots’ for its own employees. The remaining slots are open and available to the community.

The JDA sponsors a First Aid/CPR class in the spring of each year that is free of charge for Child Care Providers (licensed and unlicensed). The class is opened to the school districts if there are spaces available. Classes are taught by the Killdeer Area Ambulance Paramedics.

Additionally, the Dunn County JDA assists child care businesses with some start-up advertising funding and monies for signage. Both programs are limited and are intended to match dollars that the business spends.
Child Care continues to be a challenging business model. Dunn County has made a commitment to finding Community based solutions to help this type of business operate as debt free as possible upon start-up for providers who become licensed.

For more information on any of the tools discussed here contact: Carie Boster, Dunn County JDA, 701-301-2467

Article written by Carie Boster.

Watch for an update on the Bush Foundation funded economic diversification program in the next newsletter!
Face of the Consortium -
Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association

Member: Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association
Member Type:
Associate Member
Cal Klewin
Position: Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association

The Theodore Roosevelt Expressway (TRE) is the northern third of the Port to Plains Alliance, a 2300 mile corridor. The TRE extends from Rapid City, SD to Canada through the Port of Raymond in Montana.

The TRE goes through multiple towns in South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. Cities include Rapid City, Spearfish, Belle Fourche, Bowman, Belfield, Watford City, Williston, Culbertson, Plentywood and through the Port of Raymond.

The vision of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association (TREA) is to initially promote the updating of the corridor's current, standard two-lane, into a super four lane highway. TREA would promote the development for a complete four-lane infrastructure to help ensure complete system continuity with the rest of the Port to Plains Alliance and provide capabilities to handle increased traffic demands that will be generated from the southern sections of the Port to Plains Alliance.

The TRE will stimulate transportation opportunies in the 100+ mile area on either side of the highway by improving trade efficiency, adding economic growth opportunities, and improving overall highway safety. The opportunities that this corridor will provide are invaluable to the future of this region.

Tell us about you: (Professional) Cal has been an essential part of the Port to Plains Alliance as the executive director of the TREA. Prior to his position he served as the executive director for the Bowman County Development Corporation for 15+ years. In that role he was instrumental in many projects ranging from small family-type businesses to corporate expansions. He has assisted energy companies to a meat processing facility. During that time Cal was involved in the development of the Bowman All Seasons Arena, a multi-functional facility that can host a wide range of activities.

Transportation has been an important element in economic development efforts and while serving in economic development capacities, Cal was very active in the promotion of the Can-Am Highway Association, which promoted trade and travel throughout Canada and the plains states of the United States. Working with local, state and federal officials to promote the awareness and potential of economic impacts that corridor infrastructure can have to a region has been a focus of Mr. Klewin.

Klewin has also worked in partnership with the Economic Development Association of North Dakota and the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association on Government Affairs (Lobbyist) with the North Dakota Legislature, promoting economic development and transportation issues and legislation.

Cal’s current position encompasses the energy, tourism, manufacturing, and value-added agriculture industries and the role of surface transportation in the movement of the raw and end product.

Tell us about you: (Personal) Cal is a "self-described, soft-spoken and sweetheart" of a guy. Cal has been very active throughout his community. He is a past president of the Bowman Chamber of Commerce, member of the Rhame American Legion among other civic organizations. Cal is a United States Army Veteran (Vietnam Era). In Cal's free time, he works as a licensed real estate broker in North Dakota with 30 years of experience and transactions in South Dakota and Montana.Cal specializes in residential, commercial and agriculture properties.

Involvement with Vision West ND:The vision of Vision West ND fits well with the mission of TREA and efforts to enhance economic development in Western North Dakota.

Visit the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association website at, http://www.trexpressway.com/.

Are you ready for the next face-to-face consortium meeting?

Speakers will include:
David Martin, ND SBDC
Paul Lucy, ND Dept. of Commerce
Representative from EDND
Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona
August 16, 2016 - VWND Consortium Meeting - Conference Call
September 15, 2016 - VWND Consortium Meeting - Beulah
For more information on announcements visit the VWND website.
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