The Hill County Commission heard several requests from the county museum board during a meeting Friday, saying some of them would have to be referred to the Hill County Attorney.
That referral specifically regarded the best way to build a new visitors center for the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump archaeological site behind the Holiday Village Mall. John Brumley, the archaeologist at the site, said a new center would help promote the site, but he wants to know more about whether it should be owned by the county or the funding foundation of the H. Earl and Margaret Turner Clack Memorial Museum, whether it would be best to locate it on county land and whether it would be better to build a permanent building or use a mobile structure.
Bessette will forward questions to attorney
Commissioner Kathy Bessette said commissioners would ask those questions of County Attorney Gina Dahl, although scheduling time with her is difficult now. Dahl’s chief deputy attorney, Kris Hansen, is spending most of her time in Helena as a newly elected state representative in the 2011 session of the state Legislature, she said.
Another question was met with a dubious answer.
Elaine Morse, chair of the board of the museum’s funding foundation, asked whether Bear Paw Development Corp. might be able to help in writing grant application requests for museum projects.
Bessette said that is unlikely — the economic development agency is “strapped.”
Bear Paw is busy
Numerous grant requests have come from all counties in the large area Bear Paw serves — five counties and two Indian Reservations — and Bear Paw’s board may have to look at raising its fees to hire more employees just to cover the applications it is receiving now, she said.
Morse said any help would be appreciated. Even if Bear Paw can identify potential sources, she could then work on getting the grant application requests written, she said.
Judi Dritshulas, member of both the museum and foundation boards, added that the need is not imminent — the main desire would be help in finding funds to erect a new building to house the museum, and that now is in the early planning stages, she said.