Fall 2017
Paw Prints
A quarterly newsletter to keep you informed.
In This Issue

SBDC Offers New Training Opportunities                             B Social in Fort Benton

New Fire Truck for Havre                                                     FADC Shakes, Rattles, and Rolls
                                                             
Board of Directors Spotlight: Loretta Bella1
We are pleased to feature Loretta Bell of Fort Belknap in this edition of Paw Prints.  Loretta serves on Bear Paw's Board of Directors, representing the Fort Belknap Indian Community, which is a founding member of Bear Paw Development Corporation, dating to the late 1960's.  Loretta has worked as the Credit Officer for Fort Belknap for more than five years, and previously served as Loan Assistant. 

Loretta graduated  from boarding school in Oklahoma and is married to Robert Ironmaker, Sr., who is the Chief Judge for Fort Belknap.  They have 8 children and 25 grandchildren. 

"We have a great partnership with Bear Paw Development.  Being from Fort Belknap, I had an idea about what progress could be made, and who else we could partner with to impact the reservation and the region," Bell said.  "I thought it was time for Fort Belknap to reconnect with Bear Paw through active membership on the board of directors, and it's nice to see what is happening all over northern Montana in terms of economic and community development."
 
"There  are some real rock stars at Bear Paw Development who are truly interested in understanding the needs of the reservation, and trying to figure out how to make a positive difference," Bell noted.  "Bear Paw has access to resources that can help us to create a stronger community."
 
Loretta mentioned there are many commonalities between every person in northern Montana, whether or not they reside on or off an Indian reservation.  "We're all on the frontier here in rural Montana, so we form these partnerships and rely on each other.  We build on the trust and cooperation we develop to make things happen, because everyone wants the same good things for their community," she said. 
 
"As an Indian community, it's important to understand as we go along what it really means to progress economically.  In other words, do we want to continue to be economically disadvantaged, or get beyond that?" Bell asked.  "And part of it includes reconnecting with the next generation."
 
Loretta says she enjoys serving as a board member for Bear Paw Development.  "It's refreshing and energizing.  While sometimes progress is slow, impatience can overcome you, and it's nice to see others succeed.  People throughout my career have praised the work of Bear Paw Development over and over again.  It's these type of relationships that will propel us forward together," she concluded.
 
Thanks, Loretta, for your service to Bear Paw Development as a member of our Board of Directors!
SBDC Offers New Training Opportunitiesa2
Coming this month the Small Business Development Center is pleased to announce Intro to QuickBooks Online training in Havre. This will be the first time this class has been offered and will be offered through the Havre Public Schools Adult Education Program.  It will focus on the online version of the classic accounting software.  The class will cover how to navigate the online platform, record sales, bills, purchases and expenses.  We will also highlight the various reports inside QuickBooks Online. This class will cost $10 and will be held on October 24th and 26th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the HHS Library.  Space is limited. To register please click the following link:  https://www.blueponyk12.com/domain/42
 
Also being offered through the Adult Education Program is Social Media Marketing. This workshop will cover what your true market may be while determining what best marketing techniques to use.  We will also highlight the different social media platforms and which one is best for your business to achieve greater success.  This class will cost $10 and will be held October 12th from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in the HHS Library.  To register please click the following link: https://www.blueponyk12.com/domain/42
 
Stay tuned for a QuickBooks training coming to Chinook in December.
 
For further questions please call Joe LaPlante at 265-9226.

The Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  SBA's funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.  All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.  Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested.
Last fall, Bear Paw Development assisted the City of Havre's Fire Department with completing an Assistance to Firefighters Grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On September 22, 2017, the City of Havre was notified that the grant was successful and the Department would be awarded $485,715 to purchase a new pumper truck.
 
Fire Chief Mel Paulson said, "We feel extremely grateful to have received this award. Updating our fleet with a new pumper truck is long overdue and will greatly enhance the safety and efficiency of our department. We look forward to better serving the needs of the City of Havre and the surrounding area."
 
In the coming months, the Fire Department will be soliciting bids from various manufacturers to design and build a truck that will best fit the needs of the department. The fire chief is hopeful that the new pumper truck will be an official part of their team by next summer.
Harlem Proves Patience and Persistence Pay Offa4
The City of Harlem has been working on the solution to their wastewater issues since 2009. In 2011, the State of Montana's Renewable Resources Grant/Loan Program (RRGL) awarded the City a $100,000 grant, but the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications were not successful.  Without these two grant programs, the final piece of the funding package was not feasible. 
 
In the time between grant funding cycles, the City was continuing to get violations from the DEQ.  On the recommendation of their engineer, the City chose to proceed with a sludge removal project. A large amount of sludge was removed and placed in Geotube bags for long-term dewatering. Approximately 80 percent of the sludge had been removed from Cell 1.
 
In 2012, the City again submitted an application to TSEP and was awarded a $625,000 grant in spring 2013. The final application to USDA Rural Development (RD) was submitted to complete the funding package. In 2015, RD offered the City a very generous funding package consisting of $2,986,000 in grant funds and $1,205,000 in loan funds. This finance package resulted in the project being funded with approximately 80 percent grant funds and allowed the City to keep rate increases to a minimum. 
 
Construction began in fall of 2016. The project consisted of a large storage lagoon, spray irrigation system for the treated effluent, sludge disposal, and upgrades to the main and north lift stations and treatment plant building. Throughout, the City, contractor, and engineer have been very pleased with the progress. Substantial Completion was issued in August 2017. The City is currently working with the engineer and contractor to determine the best possible solution to remove the remaining sludge. Good communication and quality workmanship have been the cornerstones to this successful project and Bear Paw is pleased to have been an integral partner.

B Social in Fort Bentona5
Fifteen years ago, the only bowling alley in Fort Benton was at risk of shutting down. Today, the bar and lanes are under new ownership by a young couple with Montana roots, Trapper and Julie Bowers. The Bowers were living in South Carolina when they decided they wanted to be closer to family and start a venture of their own. Trapper and Julie were able to purchase the bar and lanes with financing from Bear Paw Development Corporation's USDA Intermediary Relending Program.
 
The Bowers have renamed the business B Social Bar and Lanes. Not only are they continuing the tradition of league bowling in the Fort Benton community, but they have also extended their hours of operation and have expanded their services to include open bowling and a restaurant and lounge. "We are excited about this new adventure in Fort Benton, owning and running a business of our own, and we found a great partner in Bear Paw Development to help us get started" said Julie of working with the Loan Department at BPDC.
 
To find out more about B Social Bar and Lanes, their weekly specials, and league bowling, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/B-Social-Bar-and-Lanes-1854018418182346/ .

To find out more about how BPDC can help with financing for local businesses, contact Tiffany Melby at tmelby@bearpaw.org .

Bear Paw's Food and Agriculture Development Center (FADC) was chosen from six finalists, to remain as one of four FADC's in Montana. Earlier this summer, the Montana Department of Agriculture solicited responses to a Request for Proposal to entities interested in becoming/joining the FADC Network. Even though Bear Paw has served as a FADC for over a decade, we were not exempt from state procurement protocols. As such, we submitted a bid and were successful. Bear Paw's status as a certified FADC is secure through July 2019.
 
Bear Paw's FADC also recently submitted a proposal to USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service to institutionalize the first ever, Northern Plains Organic Research and Resource Center. The proposed Center would focus on improving and developing regenerative, organic, dryland farming practices. The Center would research and disseminate information in order to increase the number of certified organic farms and acreage. Stay tuned for a status update in the next newsletter.
 
Additionally, the Montana Department of Agriculture's Growth Through Agriculture program deadline is drawing near. As such, requests for assistance have been flowing at an unprecedented rate! The burden may be heavy, but the projects are exciting! Bear Paw's FADC is working with each and every applicant to craft competitive proposals. If you know of someone with a value-added agriculture or food business, send them our way!
 
 
Upcoming events
AERO Annual Meeting - October 20-22
Montana Organic Association - December 7-9
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training - Multiple Dates (Call or email for info)
 
To contact the Bear Paw FADC, call 406-265-9226 or e-mail Taylor Lyon at tlyon@bearpaw.org
Thanks to Bear Paw's Brownfields Program, business owner and local realtor Mike Winchell was able to turn a former gas station into a beautiful office space for his new realty business, Lodestar Land and Home.
 
From 1971 until 2009, the site of Havre's newest realty business had actually served as a convenience store and gas station called Short Stop. In 2009, the owner was ready to sell the property but had trouble finding a buyer due to perceived contamination issues. The seller decided to find out exactly what environmental issues existed and came to Bear Paw to utilize the Brownfields Assessment Program. During the Phase II investigation it was discovered that a petroleum release had occurred due to leaking underground storage tanks (USTs). In 2014, Bear Paw's environmental contractor, NewFields, extracted soil bore samples to define the boundary of the petroleum release. The property owner was then able to utilize the Montana State Petrofund to excavate and properly dispose of the contaminated soil. Once the excavation was complete and the parking lot repaved, the property went back on the market.  
 
Mike acquired the property early in 2017 and renovated the building to suit the needs of his new realty business. The space now includes a welcoming lobby, offices, and a space for community meetings. "As a realtor, it's great to know that there are resources out there for properties that are in limbo because of contamination. Seeing a property get a second chance is always a good thing for the market and the community," said Mike of redeveloping brownfields properties. Lodestar Land and Home opened its doors on July 4th, 2017, and added three jobs to the Havre community. Mike and his two fellow realtors have remained busy with new clientele and are hoping to add two additional staff in the future. To find out more about Lodestar Land and Home and the services they offer, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lodestarlandandhome .
 
To find out more about the Brownfields Program at Bear Paw Development, contact Sammie Chagnon at schagnon@bearpaw.org .