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BRCD anticipating plan for 2019 and beyond

Eleanor Guerrero
CCN Senior Reporter
Thursday, December 27, 2018
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Beartooth Resource and Conservation Development works regionally to assist and promote businesses, community projects and various entrepreneurships.

On Nov. 1, 2018, the Carbon County Commissioners met with Beartooth Resource Conservation and Development (BRCD).

BRCD Economic Development Director, Sue Taylor, discussed the update of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). BRCD serves Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass and Yellowstone Counties. The goals will cover the period from 2019-2023. 

BRCD upcoming goals will affect: Infrastructure development; workforce development; quality of life; business development; innovation and entrepreneurship and economic growth and resiliency.

In infrastructure development, the goals should support public and private sector entities in the completion of infrastructure projects; support these entities in developing commercial infrastructure and support in the assessment and development of workforce housing. 

For workforce development the goals should learn, understand and address the needs; collaborate with regional stakeholders; and support training and retraining. 

For quality of life, the goals should assist these entities in the planning and completion of strategic placemaking projects; assist to achieve mutually beneficial natural resource development and encourage and engage entities to participate in health living options (food, recreation, etc.).

For business development goals, BRCD should provide technical assistance and mentorship; provide access to capital and funding mechanisms, support local and regional business in recruitment and outreach.

For innovation and entrepreneurship goals BRCD should support local and regional activities in this regard; support these activities including incentives and B2B initiatives that increase the growth rate and revenue of area businesses and support job creation, private investment and attraction, and advances in technology.

For Economic and resiliency goals BRCD should support and generate activities to increase capacity and diversity of the regional economy to produce goods and services; engage the region in “Steady-State” initiatives to bolster long term economic durability and engage the region’s networks in responsive initiatives to collaborate on existing and potentially future challenges. 

The CEDS is an Economic Development Administration requirement for the economic development district designation. 

Taylor noted in the commissioner meeting they plan to review economic disaster plans, value-added agriculture, and tourism. The Commissioners suggested they also look at development of vo-tech skills and recruiting for well-paying non-degree required jobs. Jobs needed included real estate appraisers.

It was discussed that broadband access limits affect economic development. 

The City of Red Lodge is designated an opportunity zone. Taylor would like to work with Commissioners, the City of Red Lodge, and both entities’ planning departments to develop a strategy to attract funding. The Opportunity Zone program is 10-year program and relies on private investments. Real-estate development, such as projects focused on increasing housing stock, tend to be desirable investments. Beartooth would like to determine the most desirable locations for investment and have a project ready to go to attract funders. 

Taylor believes the right project could target workforce housing issues in Red Lodge. Four-plex rental units are desirable for investors. 

Transportation issues and challenges exist to make any public transportation self-sustaining.

At the meeting, Commissioner Scott Blain noted that affordable childcare is a challenge throughout the County, especially with the loss of HeadStart programs. 

The benefits of an incubator kitchen were discussed.

BRDC currently works on the following projects among others: GTUIT (Bozeman)-liquid natural gas recapturing-they help in planning grant funds to develop training protocol and manuals to allow the company to export its tech overseas; Old Roosevelt School and Becky’s Berries (ag project). BRCS is working with the Rocky Fork Food Hub to create a single point of contact so restaurants don’t have to work with various vendors to meet their demands.

BRCD is awaiting the results of a recent public survey.




The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.