If all goes according to plan, Madison County is less than two months away from becoming the home of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center.
Last week, the board of directors for the hall of fame released an outline of the final schedule for the building site selection process, and as Sam Korsmoe, Executive Director for the Madison County Economic Development Council, explains, the opportunities waiting just around the corner are rapidly becoming a reality.
“In economic development terms it’s a huge project, a huge potential for our region,” Korsmoe said. “Not just Madison County but the whole area: Whitehall, Dillon, Butte.”
The selection committee will notify final sight proposers on April 30with a pubic announcement and press conference at 4 p.m. All draft proposed contracts for the project are due March 28 to allow time to move through the contract negotiations process and review terms and conditions for a final, formally revised contract.
The deadline for negotiated contracts and administrative documents is April 11, and following that a memorandum of understanding will be sent to all proposers on April 13. The purpose of the MOU is to share the scope of resources and cumulative efforts of all proposers involved in the project. This time serves as a brief opportunity for proposers to make any final adjustments or revisions to their proposals, ensuring they put their best foot forward, before the April 20deadline for all materials officially signed and submitted in final format.
Korsmoe says that Madison County should be considered a frontrunner for the selection process for multiple reasons, including the substantial level of support from the local and surrounding community. Recently, the Ruby Valley National Bank made a six-figure donation toward the project, and Korsmoe is confident he’ll secure additional donations before April 20.
“That’s an indication of the kind of local support that this project will have, and the hall of fame will notice that I’m sure,” he said.
Other advantages the county holds are the easy and essentially free cost of entry for the project, with the donation of the Round Barn just outside of Twin Bridges that is well suited for the campus style setting envisioned for the MCHF and WHC facility by the board of directors. The historic red barn and 1889 Kentucky Derby winning horse Spokane were already inducted into the MCHF in 2008, a fact that certainly wont hurt the county’s chances of being selected, Korsmoe said.
“We have a link to Montana history that a lot of other places don’t have,” he said. “There is a whole range of things that occur in this part of Montana that can all be incorporated into this campus-style setting that they want to build there.”