The Butte Local Development Corp. will keep its contract with Butte-Silver Bow – but the economic agency will have new duties.
County commissioners approved the $46,000 annual contract on an 8-2 vote Wednesday night, but it needs another formal nod next week to become official.
“It was a very significant resolution of a pretty contentious issue,” Chief Executive Matt Vincent said.
The contract with the BLDC came under fire after initial recommendations from an ad hoc economic committee said the county should “critically reconsider” the contract, which often had been renegotiated and renewed without issue in the past.
The committee was formed by Vincent, with the council’s blessing, in the wake of several business closings and layoffs in late 2013 and early this year.
The committee wanted a greater emphasis on marketing and performance measures for BLDC, among other things.
“We fashioned the contract to specifically address each of those concerns,” BLDC Executive Director Jim Smitham said.
The plan lays out a new $20,000 marketing strategy for the BLDC featuring content from the upcoming “Modern Mavericks” film project, an offshoot of Headframe Spirits' “Orphan Girl” film. It also proposes creating a “one-stop shop” for economic development, putting the BLDC, Headwaters Resource, Conservation and Development and other groups in the same building and delivering regular reports to the council.
Commissioners debated the contract for about 15 minutes before the vote. Voting for the measure were Commissioners Mark Moodry, John Morgan, John Sorich, Brendan McDonough, Dan Foley, Bill Andersen, Cindi Shaw and Dave Palmer. Dennis Henderson and Jim Fisher voted against it and Sheryl Ralph and Bud Walker were absent.