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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Glendive TBID looking to stand on its own

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The Glendive Tourism Business Improvement District appears ready to strike out on its own, ending management and oversight of the entity by the Dawson County Economic Development Council.

Deputy County Attorney Brett Irigoin presented the county commissioners with a draft resolution to accomplish that very thing at the July 5 commissioners’ meeting. Though the commissioners took no action and tabled the matter for further study, the move to peel the TBID off from the DCEDC appears to be picking up steam.

In June, the DCEDC Board voted to end its affiliation with both the TBID and the Glendive Convention and Visitors Bureau as that organization seeks to reorganize and refocus its efforts on pure economic development. The DCEDC has provided management and oversight of both entities since their inception.

Irigoin explained to the commissioners that what his resolution would legally do is dissolve the current TBID — whose board members were appointed by the DCEDC — and start again, but with all the current board members retaining their positions and hitting the reset button on their terms of service.

“This would essentially create a new (TBID), and you guys would dissolve the old one,” Irigoin told the commissioners.

Connie Hilger, who was contracted by DCEDC to serve as TBID/CVB director after the DCEDC’s last full-time executive director retired at the beginning of this year, said the TBID board members feel it is well-enough established now that it no longer needs oversight from another entity like DCEDC, which she added became involved with TBID when it was a fledgling operation just trying to get itself going. She said Montana law allows TBIDs to be independent, and the Glendive TBID is ready to take that step.

“TBID’s will is to stand on its own,” Hilger said. “Now that it is established and they’ve got their own revenue stream established, they’re ready to stand on their own autonomously.”

The TBID, which was begun in April 2010, is funded through a $1 per night surcharge on all hotel rooms in Dawson County. The program is managed by a board composed of four local hotel owners and managers. 

The TBID doles out the funds it collects in the form of grants to local community groups and organizations, and has fairly wide latitude in how and to whom those funds are distributed. Local groups and organizations can apply for TBID grants, which are awarded on a quarterly basis. 

Past reciepients of TBID grants include the Dawson County Fair, Frontier Gateway Museum, Babe Ruth Baseball, American Legion Baseball, the Boys and Girls Club, Dawson Community College, the Richey Historical Society and the Friends of Makoshika, amongst others.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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