Draft Agenda - DOC 11 by keara


									                                         Draft Minutes
                                    The 33nd Meeting of the
                           MONTANA HERITAGE COMMISSION
                                       September 12, 2002
                            St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Idaho Street
                                     Virginia City, Montana

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Rosana Skelton, John Lawton, Arnold Olsen, Diane Rice,
Brian Cockhill, Bill Howell, Judy McNally, Jeanette McKee, Mark Simonich, Pat Keim, Mary
Oliver and Doug Monger. Commissioners absent: Maureen Averill and Dale Mahlum.

Others present: Jeff Tiberi, Linda McClure, Karlee Smith, John Ellingsen, Randy Kleindorfer,
Rod Gwaltney, Julie Johnson, Pat Roath, Marge Antolik, Dan Thyer, Jeff Cleverley, Cathy
Nemeth, Don Steeley, Frances Larson, Lynette Larson, Jack Frost, Klaus Mackensen, Meg Radl,
Karla Boyd, Jerry Fox, Linda Hamilton, JoAnn Urdahl, Tom Donnelly, Helen Alten, Janet
Sperry, Nancy Allen, Dick Lee, Dawn Hagedorn, Perry Backus, Bill Doyle, Bob Bayley

Chairwoman Rosana Skelton called the meeting to order at 8:30 am. Guests were welcomed and
the agenda adjusted.

Representative Rice asked to report first, as she had to be in Helena by mid-day for the Special
Session II. Diane reported on the first Special Session. There is great concern about the budget
deficit. She said everything is up for grabs and said public input regarding the Heritage
Commission is critically important. The more input the legislature receives, the better. Dale
Mahlum has drafted a bill to revise MHC statues so we can keep federal money interest, perhaps
have the flexibility to trade property and buildings that are not valuable to us in order to focus on
buildings which are important, and to clarify the compensation of volunteers. There may also be
something in the performance audit to include (the audit is not completed yet). Jeff will give
Senator Elliot a tour on Saturday.

Diane also talked about the advertising budget. Local markets (In Your Own Back Yard) have
been targeted since 9/11. Next year the focus should be in conjunction with the Lewis and Clark
Bicentenary. We need to expand our area of advertising and bring people to Virginia City that
are already here in Montana. The advertising scrapbooks were circulated.

Tom Sargent suggested printing restaurant table doilies, which highlight area points of interest
on maps for advertising. Diane suggested working with the local Chambers on this idea.

Judy McNally said in order to be more effective in lobbying, we need to give lobbyists
information with talking points. (Judy has since drafted speaking points.)

Karlee said she sent visitor information to group and bus tours and had 20 responses. She said we
received a lot of responses from AAA. Representatives from AAA need to come and stay to re-
evaluate facilities to in order to receive the star/diamond ratings. Karlee will work with K.C.
Hill on this.

Diane said local business revenues were up this year. NC Gate fee are up about 8%. It was noted
people are not willing to get off the train in Nevada City. Diane said we need to raise the gate
fee $1.00 in 2003 and $1.00 in 2004 since we still charge only $5.00. Rosana suggested a 2-day
pass. Julie Johnson suggested if we raise the rates we need to offer more to the public and
should hire more staff for cleaning of the buildings and a tour coordinator. The steam train can
hold 65 people, but we also need to have a way to guarantee rides back to Virginia City. Karlee
said John Boles suggested having the small train running to Nevada City to bring people back.
The concept of selling combination tickets for No. 12 poses logistical problems but staff will
continue discussion options.

Jeanette McKee asked why aren’t the Frontier House cabins open all the time? Julie said our
volunteer Bobbie Dirks and John Ellingsen give tours three days per week. In addition, we have
self-guided tours. Open access to the buildings is not possible because the security of artifacts is
an issue. John Ellingsen suggested 2 or 3 day passes to encourage people to stay longer. Tom
Sargent said Mark Glenn is staying in Ennis, and it would be great to have him give Frontier
House tours and presentations. There was some discussion on self-audio tours. Jeff Tiberi said
Ellen Baumler is writing the script and he did not know when it would be finished. Mary Oliver
said she has been talking to tourists who unfortunately only had a limited time frame to visit
Nevada City. Jeanette said we need to provide a way of getting tourists back to Virginia City
from Nevada City, some sort of a shuttle. Randy said an additional staff personnel could give
tours and provide security as well. Another suggestion was to improve a walking trail, or offer a
promotion of some sort for waiting for the next train. Diane suggested giving this situation to the
Railroad committee. John Ellingsen said another railroad car would cost under $100,000. Bill
Howell suggested instead of raising railroad fees provide a combination ticket.

Mary and Judy both commented we needed better signage for Nevada City.

IMLS Grant
Helen Alten gave a presentation for the Curatorial needs of the McFarland Curatorial Center.
Main points for the assessments of collections were:
         Deterioration of artifacts from fire, water, light, insects, vermin, changing temperatures
         and mold
         Misplacement of articles
         Need for Increased staffing
         6.5 times more artifacts than previously listed on original inventory
         All artifacts in building/storage may not belong to the state
         Education of historic preservation teams concerning artifacts
         Integrated Pest Management Plan
Helen suggested an inventory blitz to help get artifacts processed, and to remove non-museum
and non-state owned pieces. She said there are liability issues for the Commission and Director
if artifacts are not properly cared for. She noted artifacts if cared for properly will increase in
value. Virginia City/Nevada City have been a very good investment for the State of Montana.

Discussion followed regarding funding, grants and grant writing. Pat Keim asked about hiring
grant writers. Helen suggested applying for a NEH grant. Pat Roath said six staff members could

complete a detailed inventory in 10 years. Judy McNally asked Helen for low budget items we
could do. It was suggested John Ellingsen and Pat Roath go through the buildings with a video
camera to perform an inventory. Arnie Olsen said he did not have the staff to help with the
inventory situation, or grant writing and stated that the Historical Society owns the collections
and the Heritage Commission manages them. There was discussion about resolving legal
ownership issues. Abandoned property legislation was brought up. Criteria exists that if the
item has been in our care for years, we’ve care for it, and put forward a good faith effort to the
find legal owner of property or any other proof of ownership. Our inventory needs to clarify
what is state owned and what are personally owned objects. We also need to look at our
deaccession policy. The State bought Virginia City and has a responsibility to follow through
with it. Jeanette asked if Kelly O’Sullivan would make a presentation on the legal issues. Judy
asked for specific suggestions that would be in our goals to reach.

Director’s Report
Jeff gave a slide presentation prepared for the upcoming legislature.

He compared Virginia City to the Space Program. It takes a long time to move a shuttle to the
launch pad and we are moving Virginia City to the launch pad. We will get there eventually.

Report on Special Session – The bill that would sell certain assets from Alder Gulch was not
introduced. A more important concern now is keeping our bed tax funding.
FEMA Grant – This grant was awarded for fire protection in Nevada City.
IMLS Grant – This is the curation grant, which funded Helen Alten.
Filming – The possibilities are three PBS presentations - a film about Jeanette Rankin, a frontier
life series, and another piece about Frontier House. Disney and Universal Studios have also
expressed interest in the towns for major motion pictures.
Tax Credits – Jeff discussed with the National Trust ways to use tax credits. It would involve a
limited liability corporation with the tax credits sold to corporations. Rosana and Mary will look
at this, as it would require legislative changes.
Bovey Estate Lots – Lots are for sale in the town. Proceeds will be used to establish a trust fund
for small Montana business starts ups.
Gold Mining Application – Arnie’s staff researched this possibility of allowing a gold mining
operation near Virginia City on State property. He said the costs would be high for little return.
Reeder’s Alley Report – Two tenants moved out and both spaces have been filled. The
Commission is moving into one of the units.
Vehicle Donations – Jay will make a request in his next newsletter for vehicles to be donated to
the Commission. A van or SUV could be used for the railroad shuttle.
Alaska Report – The Preservation Crew has returned from Alaska and completed a very
successful project. They completed more work than planned. We are building resumes for future
opportunities. We charge overhead on these jobs.
EDA Grant Application with Travel Montana – Jeff is having discussions with Victor Bjornberg
on establishing a reproduction company and including reproductions of vintage artifacts in the
grant proposal.
Funding Source - Idea for Discussion – Jeff asked the Commission, what are things Montanans
like to do and what do they hate. The answers are gambling and taxes respectively. Suppose
there was a lottery whereby the winner of a drawing each month would be exempt from taxes for

the rest of their life? Excess revenue from the lottery could be a funding source for Virginia
Montana Landmarks – This is a funding suggestion from Judy whereby a “Montana Landmark”
(at least one person) is honored at a formal dinner. Jeff will work with Jay on this concept.
National Trust Historic Hotels – We received an offer to list our hotels “in need of repair” in
their annual publication. Nationally, the response was overwhelming and they are backtracking
on their offer.
Program Priorities - Mark Simonich explained the Governor’s request for Agencies to prioritize
goals, objectives and programs not by funding source. These efforts are for the next biennium
budget cuts. Expectations are that programs and services will be deleted. It was mentioned that
MHC has already volunteered to cut their budget.
Sue Ford Bovey Trust - The Bovey Trust indicated that they most likely are not interested in the
Commission’s counter offer concerning Stonewall Hall. Senator Mahlum sent a letter stating the
Commission is still interested accepting the other Bovey properties.

Request for easement for sewer plan. Jeff presented a drawing of a proposed location for a
sewer easement. Engineers have looked at this option and think that it may be the most
economical for the town. The easement would follow the Nevada City maintenance area access
road from Hwy 287 to the Northern boundary. There was discussion of what would happen if
the lift station failed. Doug Monger was concerned about the view shed – could the lagoons be
seen from Nevada City? Jerry Fox explained there were three different locations considered and
the alternative chosen was the most cost effective one. The lagoons will not be seen from Nevada
City. The location of the ponds is ½ mile away from Nevada City.

Motion: Patrick Keim made a motion for the Commission to support this action with the
assurance that any shut down of the lift station would not adversely affect Nevada City,
and we would receive benefits for allowing the easement. Mark Simonich 2nd the motion.
The motion passed with Doug Monger voting against it.

This issue has to go in front of the MHS Trustees for approval, then to the Land Board.

Arnie asked for more information concerning costs before he seeks approval from the Trustees.

Street Lights and Ennis Mustangs – Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver talked to Ennis schools about helping with projects in Virginia City. She has
enlisted their help with the streetlights and picnic tables, and was surprised with how many
people from Ennis have not seen all the buildings in Nevada City.

Vivian Paladin Memorial – Jeanette McKee
Jeanette has been in contact with Ruth McFarland regarding the Vivian Paladin memorial. Ruth
said keep it simple with a few trees, a bench and a plaque. Pat Roath has suggestions for
maintenance. Permission from the Commission to proceed was granted. The Newspaperwomen
Association may contribute to this.

Town of Virginia City – Jerry Fox
Jerry reported on the Olson case. The result was not in our favor due to procedural matters. It
was sent back to lower court for another hearing. Justice Treweiller gave a strong dissention. If a
solution is not found at the District Court level this case could be appealed again to the Supreme

He also reported that the resort tax in June was up about 6%, July +3%, and August is projected
to be up 12 % over last year. It is estimated Butte tourism is down 20%. In terms of revenue
(economic activity) August would be up approximately $3,000 to $4,000. Part of the difference
in June and July may be due to the heat.

Virginia City Preservation Alliance – Bob Bayley
Bob reported there was a terrific turn out at the Grand Ball. The annual meeting potluck is at
5:00 pm Saturday. There will also be an Awards Ceremony. The Virginia City Preservation
Alliance hired three consultants. Joshua Levitt, a business specialist, will help their organization
with business issues. Janet Cornish is a community development consultant from Butte who will
help raise money. George Gardner is a museum consultant. He will be assisting with the
Hangman’s Building Museum. Bob showed displays and also said they would like to tell the
Sarah Bickford story. They plan to have each room telling a story. Good lighting will be
important. Marlette Lacey has totally embraced the Sarah Bickford story. She was one the
Wednesday night speakers.
There will be a celebration of having five years ownership by the people of Montana on
Saturday. Jeff commended the VCPA for all the good work they do. Mary asked why don’t they
have the ball in June to kick off the season. He said there is conflict for musicians was one
reason he knew off, and also the Titanic ball is held in June. The VPCA newsletter was
circulated. Mary Oliver mentioned Jeff Safford would be receiving an award on Saturday.

Montana History Foundation - Jay Russell

Jay reviewed his financial report with the Commission, and explained fund raising regarding
Montaqua water. He said the Virginia City/Nevada City membership numbers are 358. Mary
suggested a brochure holder in the music hall. Jay stated that there is no charge to the
Commission for funds raised in this campaign. For individual projects the Foundation will
charge the Commission 6%. Jay explained long-term relationships with donors take a long time
to develop. He thanked Mary Oliver for assisting with contacts. Mary also expressed her thanks
to Jay and Jeff for attending many events in the valley. Jay said his focus is on the $4.5 million
dollar goal. Mary challenged every commissioner to raise money in his or her community. The
Commission viewed “History Runs Though It” campaign fund raising video. Jay received many
positive remarks about the video.

New Business
Judy McNally offered to take on a visitor exit poll project, which Jeff Safford had started. Karlee
Smith said the Chamber is already working on this.

Brian Cockhill mentioned Tom Cook’s PR report and mentioned the TV spots and publicity he
initiated. Arnie Olsen asked if the Commission wanted to continue using Tom’s services. Brian

thought we should think about it for next season. Rosana said there was publicity in other
newspapers but nothing in the Helena paper. Arnie said he needed to plan ahead to schedule for
Tom’s time. Jeanette said it would be good to have Tom prepared for PR for the upcoming
legislature. Patrick Keim agreed. The cost is approximately $300 per month. Doug Monger
questioned if there is money in the advertising budget to cover this.

Mary Oliver questioned the $23,000 per year overhead that MHC pays. Why cannot Tom’s time
be included in this? Arnie mentioned the Historical Society’s internal service fund. The MHS
will move to an actual cost charge soon and the Commission’s costs will most likely be higher.
Currently the Commission pays additional charges for Ellen Baumler’s and other MHS
employee’s significant projects.

Jeff said the Society owns the assets therefore they should have some of the responsibility.
Arnie said MHC is the manager.

Judy suggested using free public relation person Bernie Nelson. Jeff will contact her.

Motion Brian Cockhill made a Motion made to keep Tom Cook for 4 hours per week,
subject for review at each meeting and if necessary add a line item in the 2003 budget.

Pat Keim seconded motion and the motion carried. Arnie abstained.

There was more discussion of how to incorporate this expense into the advertising program.

It was noted that we had not approved the minutes from the previous meeting.

Karlee reported that Jay Russell requested a change in the minutes on the Foundation update he
gave at the meeting. Jay requested that the minutes be changed as follows:

       Jay reported on the fund raising objectives for FY 2001-2002. He said the total MHC
       project goal was $1,262,000. Membership programs were discussed as well as other
       projects funded. Jay noted that for membership, first year expenses of fund raising are
       higher than years following, due to start-up costs. There were several questions
       regarding the financial report, electronic tours, and street lamp and signage projects.

Motion: A motion was made and seconded to approve the June 11, 2002 minutes.

The motion passed with corrections noted.

The Commission adopted the 2003 Meeting Schedule – March 4th, June 10th, September 11th,
and December 2nd.

Letters to the Future - the time capsule deadline was moved to the end of the year. Jeff
received two letters to date.

Finance and Management – Bill Howell

The CY 2003 Budget Process was discussed. Project managers of MHC were directed to take
cuts of 5% as part of the State of Montana budget crises. The federal program will end in the
spring of 2003. Because of these two actions our 2003 budget will be cut significantly. The
Finance and Management Committee will meet before the next Commission meeting to finalize
numbers. There were questions regarding the budgets, which Karlee answered. The next
meeting date for the Finance and Management Committee was set for Monday, October 28, in
Helena at 10:00 AM.

There was discussion of having a gift shop at the Nevada City Depot to sell railroad tickets and
souvenirs. Perhaps this is where a new interpretive/security staff member would fit in. Jeff
mentioned that there may be opportunity to proceed in this direction if the Foundation raises
money for the Charles and Susan Bovey History Center. The Center is slated to occupy this
building. There are a number of folks interested in finding money for this project and it may
work up a head of steam in the next few months. A new attraction in this building could likely
justify additional staff.

Preservation and Interpretation Committee – Doug Monger
Jeff reported that we need a building acquisition policy. We are constantly offered buildings and
seem to struggle as to direction each time the matter arises. He said P&I would work on this

Jeff was asked if there was a building façade program in Montana. This is a program where
property owners sell the facades of their buildings. Judy explained that property owners would
maintain the façade and own the rest of the building. Jeff will call Chere Juisto and ask her if the
Preservation Society has such a program or would be interested in establishing such a program.

Virginia City staff would like to move their offices to upstairs of Bob’s since it has rest room
facilities and more room. We are looking at funding the upgrade of the unit using Federal dollars
or the SAT grant. For several years we have discussed the pros and cons of replacing the front of
the building with the original design. It was decided to leave it alone for five years, but continue
the discussion.

The Committee reviewed the draft Archeology Plan prepared by the University of Montana. The
plan is a good long-term approach to managing state resources. It needs funding for full
implementation, and we do not have the resources at this time. The plan needs to be condensed
into a workable document. Cathy Nemeth has been assigned the duty of drafting a working
document. The draft should be ready sometime this fall.

Randy and John estimated costs for stabilizing the railroad cars and making the railroad yard
more of a museum. The cost estimate is just under $68,000. We have no source for these funds
at this time, but would like to approach MDT and ask for federal dollars from the TEA21
program. Jeff will contact MDT to see if these funds are available. Rosana and Pat Keim will
help with the presentation.

Brian suggested we wait on finalizing the Collections Policies and Procedures until Angie Grove
is finished with the performance audit. We need to see what her recommendations are and see

what recommendations or changes the legislature may come up with. Her draft report should be
done soon. Pat will use the draft as a guideline until further action is taken.

A Motion was made by Doug Monger to accept P & I recommendations, Jeanette McKee
seconded it. There was no additional discussion and the motion passed

Railroad Advisory Council – Jeff Tiberi
The 2003 Operations Schedule for No.12 will be the same schedule as this year. This winter
qualifying tests will be given to potential engineers. There were only two scheduled days that
No.12 did not operate in 2002. The logistics of passenger loads and a new fee will be figured out
over the next couple months. It was suggested to give a promotional discount on the back of
tickets. There was a lot of discussion on how to coordinate and market the combination train
tickets. Jeff asked for input on developing a vision for the railroad.

Mary Oliver asked other Commissioners to spend a little time at Virginia City. It is a wonderful
opportunity to get a hands-on feeling for the day-to-day operations. She said she made great
contacts and met very interesting and some influential people.

Public Input and Comment

Billy Doyle suggested looking at alternative sites for the sewer plant.


The meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda McClure


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