BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 8.99.917 pertaining to the implementation of the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Program
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On September 21, 2018, the Department of Commerce published MAR Notice No. 8-99-159 pertaining to the public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule at page 1850 of the 2018 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 18.
2. The department has amended the above-stated rule as proposed.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the department's responses are as follows:
COMMENT #1: A commenter stated that the Statement of Purpose in the program guidelines differ from the statutory language of 90-1-202, MCA. Purpose.
RESPONSE #1: The department disagrees. The Statement of Purpose in the guidelines and the statutory language of 90-1-202, MCA are the same.
COMMENT #2: A commenter stated the program does not provide loans.
RESPONSE #2: The department disagrees. Pursuant to 90-1-203, MCA, the program offers grants and loans.
COMMENT #3: A commenter stated the program should not allow in-kind contributions.
RESPONSE #3: In-kind contributions of donated time and effort, real and personal property, and goods and services do not meet the match requirements for job creation or planning.
COMMENT #4: A commenter stated the administration fees allowed by the program result in unbalanced distribution between urban and rural areas.
RESPONSE #4: The department thanks the commenter for the suggestion, but the department is not proposing any changes to administrative costs.
COMMENT #5: A commenter stated communities that are not part of a CRDC should not be coerced to join a CRDC to be eligible for CEDS funds.
RESPONSE #5: The department thanks the commenter for the suggestion, but the department is not proposing any changes to ineligible uses of funds for planning grant projects.
COMMENT #6: A commenter stated match should be a requirement of the program.
RESPONSE #6: The department disagrees. Encouraging match, rather than requiring, broadens the application pool.
COMMENT #7: A commenter stated the additional criteria for funding factors delineated in the program guidelines are vague and the Big Sky Trust Fund program is the best economic development program in Montana.
RESPONSE #7: The department thanks the commenter for the compliment. The department disagrees regarding the additional criteria. The additional criteria are utilized to prioritize projects that support a basic sector company engaged in a critical activity.
/s/ G. Martin Tuttle /s/ Pam Haxby-Cote
G. Martin Tuttle Pam Haxby-Cote
Rule Reviewer Director
Department of Commerce
Certified to the Secretary of State November 27, 2018.