Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nominations for Citizen and Business of the Year Due Novemember 4th

Butte Chamber Seeks Citizen and Business of the Year Nominations
The Butte County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for Citizen of the Year and Business of the Year.

Nominees for Citizen of the Year should be individuals who are actively volunteering to make a difference in our community.  Nominations will be scored in four areas: Community Contribution, Length of Service, Estimation of Community Impact, and Reason for Nomination (Why should this person be selected?). 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snowscapes: the Art of Scultping Snow, January 13-17th

Click the poster for the rules and registration information! 

Draft Minutes of October 10 Meeting

Butte County Chamber of Commerce
Agenda/ Draft Minutes
October 10th, 2013
Golden West Café 

Members: Chad Cheyney, Mary Dean, Richard Dean, Clay Condit, Kevin Hays, Brad Huerta, Shelley Rupp, Julie Hayward, Katie Brownlee, Melinda Shodin
Guests: Sand Wilson, Ann Karr 

Call to Order
Melinda called the meeting to order at 8:05AM
Approval of the Agenda
Julie move to approve the agenda/  clay second /carried
Program: Ms. Julie Hayward, LRED
Melina introduced Julie Hayward the new executive director.
Lost River Economic Development Directors are having meetings on October 22 and 23 at the Business Center.  The purpose of the meetings will be development of a strategic plan.  Julie indicated that since LRED receives public funds the meeting will be open for all.  She invited everyone to the meeting.  The facilitator for the strategic planning will be Wendy Greenlowe.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Butte County Chamber of Commerce will meet on Thursday October, 10th at 8:00 AM at the Golden West Café.

RE:          October Chamber Meeting
WHEN: Thursday October 10th, 2013
WHERE: Golden West Café
TIME:    8:00 AM 

Our program for this meeting will be Ms. Julie Haywood, recently hired executive director of Lost Rivers Economic Development.  Ms. Hayward will be discussing here perspective on economic development in the Lost Rivers Valley.

We will also discussing:
Chamber Website
Craters Gateway Community
Casino Night
Community Recognition Program & Fall Chamber Talent Show
Table-top Advertising Project

Please join us to learn more about Lost Rivers Economic Development. 

Butte Chamber of Commerce meetings are open to all. 



Amateur Radio Club to From in the Lost River Valley Sunday October 6th

Anyone interested in becoming part of an amateur (HAM) radio operator should attend a meeting on Sunday afternoon, October 6th, in Conference Room A of the Arco Butte Business Incubation Center.  The meeting will begin at 6 PM and should be over before 8 PM.

Butte-Clark Transportation Committee Meeting Oct. 9th

October 2, 2013
Our second and final meeting of the Butte-Clark Transportation Committee this year will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9. We will gather in the Dubois City Hall on 332 W. Main Street in Dubois.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Butte County Chamber Hears About Hospital Bond at September Meeting

By Melinda Shodin, interim chair person
Butte County Chamber of Commerce Convened their meeting at the Lost Rivers Hospital September 11th at 8:09am
 Members present were:   Marie Cummins, Jack Jensen, Shelley Rupp, Brad Huerta, Melinda Shodin and Clay Condit.
Due to the Lost Rivers Medical Center presentation, and the absence of both Executive board members and current committee chairmen/women of up and coming events there was no agenda to approve.
   Jack moved to table the minutes; seconded by Marie- Motion carried.
   Jack moved to table the financial reports; seconded by Marie- Motion carried (it was noted that Janet had stated there had been no new business financially and the report was still the same as last month.
   It was proposed by Brad that we put a flyer about the variety show and community recognition program together to add to the hospitals break for breakfast on Oct 2nd. We will discuss this with Mea.
    Brad was happy to report that the state of the hospitals financial status has finally been balanced with its budget, so long as there are no surprise repairs or unforeseen breakdowns of equipment.  An immediate concern is that the x-ray machine is extremely old and in need of replacement. This is a very grave concern for the hospitals continuation of this needed service, as it is a most integral piece of equipment and necessary for the Medical Center's survival. 
   Brad stated that he is committed to his position and this hospital. He is very proud, of the progress that has been made thus far.  He has worked hard to create a working, balanced budget along with the assistance of the hospital's board of directors and his administrative assistant, Shelley Rupp.  Brad emphasized that it is his belief that this impending recovery is due primarily to many of the hospitals staff members.  He stated that, it was they alone in their dedication to this recovery mission, and their willingness to make then needed salary adjustments thus enabling the Medical Center to move forward from the very difficult financial condition in which they were in. 
   The Board has had to make some very tough decisions, for some, this meant staffing cuts, thus increasing the workload of the remaining employees.  Brad stated several times his appreciation and admiration for those who stayed to weather the storm and has been very impressed with employee morale, team spirit and every ones combined effort to keep the quality of patient care up, and patient cost down.
   On a lighter note, Brad was happy to announce that under its new leadership the hospital is now benefiting from government funding programs which are available to all hospitals and were not being taken advantage of in the past.  This amounts to about $500,000 a year increased revenue, which has of course been included in the hospitals operational budget.
   Brad asked the Chamber to back him in his endeavor to gain approval for the proposed new bond.   He gave an extremely informative and persuasive talk about the utmost importance of passing the bond on the upcoming November ballot.   Brad also enumerated many reasons for its necessity and especially the need to liquidate past debt remaining from the accrued unpaid debt after the 2009 audit and 2010 bankruptcy settlement.   To date, there remains $1.8 million in un-discharged debt from the facility bankruptcy in 2010.  Additionally, there is also another $700,000 in aged accounts that are still pending payment, from by the Medical Center's past administration.  The Medical Center budget has no room for any extra overhead expenses.  Since two thirds of the Medical Center revenue comes from Medicare and Medicaid there is concern over the need to purchase an Electronic Medical Records System (EMR), which is mandated under the Affordable Health Care Act to comply with the Government standards and to receive reimbursement for their services.   It is proximately a. $1.5 million for the Lost Rivers Medical Center and is necessary to receive reimbursement under Medicare and Medicaid. 
   Regarding the impending levy and using the median property value for this county of $67,000, Brad explained that it would amount to an approximately an increase of taxes of $5 per month or $1.83 per $1000 of property value per month, or amount to an approximate increase of $60 per year for the average resident that qualifies for the homeowners tax exemption. The bonds indicated rate is 6.75% over 20 years. (Really 19% with the "one year paid in advance" requirement met.)
Covering an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, the hospital taxing district (which includes all of Butte County and southern Custer County) is requesting the passage of the Bond on November 5th of this year.   This tax bond will affect those who live within the hospital district, and will be only a nominal percentage of the district's assessed property value. 
  Another reason to passing of this bond is the importance of the huge trickle down impact the closure of the Medical Center would have on the surrounding sustainability of the community.  Most of the Medical Center employees are well -educated professional people who could easily find employment elsewhere in other communities and will likely relocate from the valley impacting immediately our schools and further decreasing property value and local businesses customer base.  As time marches on along with direct loss of jobs, the impact of the loss of income would have on local businesses, the loss of more and more of their customer base, (not to mention again furthering the reduction our already low property value).
   Were the hospital to close, there would also be the added impacts on remaining residents and our economy as there would be more travel expense for patients and family members for expense of  motels, fuel, restaurants, and loss of retail business carried on while on medical visits in the "city".  Perhaps the greatest impact would be increased deaths due to the distance to medical services.
A further impact of the closure of the Medical Center could be the loss of our volunteer ambulance services.  Due to the increased travel time, there may be a need to create an ambulance district and hire paramedic employees to staff these extended trips.   Currently most of our ambulance crew of volunteers have regular jobs, it would be nearly impossible for the volunteer EMTs to continue to carry on their duties with the greatly increased transportation times involved.  With an average of three emergency room calls per day, it would be completely unfair for us to ask our current volunteer based EMT staffing  to meet this level of need.
   To recap, this bond will not just continue to enable the hospital to function, but it will allow it to rebuild and upgraded services, along with liquidating past debt.   Perhaps most importantly, it will allow the hospital to improve the value and sustainability of our community, which so many of us hold so near and dear.  The Medical Center's presence is a large asset to those residing in this community.  This bond will enable an expansion of its current services, rather than closing its doors & leaving the counties remaining residents trapped with the huge remaining past debt and no hospital or clinics Were we to lose our hospital, and with the district liable for the debt, the tax payers would bear an even heavier burden of repayment, economic losses, increased loss of life and limb and all due to our loss of rapid access to medical services. 
   As a result of Brads presentation the following discussion ensued:  Butte County is a wonderful retirement community with its laid back attitude, ability to rally in times of need and has a enveloping Hometown feel.  Unfortunately though, without the presence of medical facilities, many elder residents would find residing here a health threat or liability rather than a blessing.  Our children are our future: Without proper medical attention during unforeseen accidents or sports injuries, there futures will be greatly compromised and for some even non-existent without emergency medical services.
   Jack moved for the Chamber to endorse the passage of the bond issue publicly.  The motion was seconded by Marie, and was passed unanimously.    
It was unanimously concluded that without a hospital, we would have decreased population, and/or decreased income in the community, adversely affecting all current businesses economically and, brutally affecting all members of the community severely, both economically and personally.  The trickle-down effect of the loss of the hospital would be devastating to our economic stability. 
Melinda nominated Clay Condit to be the chair for business communication liaison. Clay accepted this position and will await a statement from the Hospital endorsed by the Chamber to communicate with the local businesses that were not in attendance, requesting their support of this impending bond on any and all levels.
   Next meeting will be held at the Golden west Café on October 9th at 8am
   Marie moved to conclude the meeting and Jack seconded.  Motion carried.  Meeting was adjourned at 9:10 am.