EDC sums up projects, progress in 2013


2013 was a busy, albeit productive year for the Miles City Area Economic Development Council, and according to Executive Director Mike Coryell, 2014 is poised to be more of the same.

Speaking at Thursday morning's monthly meeting of the MCAEDC Board, Coryell presented his Year-End Report to the board. Now having completed his sixth year at the helm of MCAEDC, Coryell said he has been blessed to be a part of economic development, and is proud of what the organization has accomplished during his tenure.

"It has been a good six years of growth for our organization, with continued focus on improving Miles City," Coryell said. "We've helped to create business opportunity and development while helping to create and retain jobs, while assisting City and County in any way we can to make Miles City a great place to live and raise a family."

The meeting began with a short presentation by Southeastern Montana Development Corporation's Executive director Jim Atchison. Atchison outlined for the board the excellent relationship the SEMDC has cultivated with the MCAEDC over the years, allowing both entities to serve the entire region, not just Custer County.

"Our organizations continue to work very closely together, in some cases hand in hand," Atchison said. "We will continue to do that, as a regional group and a local group. We do things a little differently in eastern Montana; we work together. Both of our groups are always short of three things: time, effort and money. We have to leverage those scarce resources to make things work. This relationship between the MCAEDC and SEMDC is working well and has been very productive. In the future, it will continue to grow, evolve and expand, so I'm very optimistic about the future."

SEMDC is headquartered in Colstrip.

Coryell then gave a recap of the many projects the MCAEDC was a part of in 2013, most notably the RID1 Sewer Line project, the East Valley Water Line Extension and the Custer County Detention Center.

"There have been many hours of work to bring these projects to a point of getting bids and getting construction started," Coryell said. "Grant funding is never easy, but agencies have really supported our efforts in Miles City, and the successful bond vote for the detention center was huge. We look for construction to start this spring or summer on all projects."

Coryell also outlined goals for MCAEDC for 2014 to help solidify its place in the community and increase awareness of the services it provides, especially for potential new businesses. The list includes continuing to provide services to local businesses, assisting with bringing at least one new business to Miles City a year, developing a strategy to address funding needs for MCAEDC and increasing the visibility of MCAEDC as a viable and valued provider of business services.

"We continue to focus on small business development every opportunity we can," Coryell said. "We will team with local finance institutions to assist in the successful startup of the businesses."

Also on the agenda of this month's meeting was the appointment of board officers for 2014. After serving as Board President, Pat Cline, president of US Bank, will be replaced by Mark Petersen, research leader at Fort Keogh Livestock & Range Research. Insurance Agent Tyler Chapmon of State Farm Insurance was named vice president. As yet a secretary has not been named. Coryell solicited nominations for the position from the board, with a decision to be made at the meeting in March.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 6 at 7 a.m. at the Stockman Bank Community Center West.