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What do you think about Family Dollar coming to town?

“I’m excited we need a store.”

- Marcia Stambaugh

“I guess it’s ok.”

- Bobbie Roberts

“I think we should have it.”

- Mark Peplow

“I think its an asset for us and give us more options on different items.”

-Gordon Torgerson

“I think we need it. With the other two stores closing this is something to support that."

- Ron Togerson

Photo By Nicole Lucina  

Breaking ground for the new Family Dollar location in Sidney are, from left, Chad Molden, Stockman Bank; Susie Cavanaugh, Sunrise Village; Sarah Turek, chamber communication and office manager; and Chamber Director Bill Vander Weele. Cavanaugh said they will start excavating today and they hope to have the building finished and ready to open by the end of the year, if not sooner. The store will be 10,000 square feet. “It’s one of their bigger stores,” Cavanaugh said. Knife River and COP out of Billings have been working on the road. “They have been wonderful,” Cavanaugh said.

Eagle Foundation provides funding, support for Sidney Schools

In 2001 a group was formed for the purpose of collecting tax-free donations to support quality education in Sidney Public School.

The Eagle Foundation is an organization with a mission to “promote, maintain and improve the quality of education in the public schools of Sidney, Montana in ways that would not happen with traditional funding.”

Money from the foundation is used to support any existing or new programs in the school district. They believe current areas in need of attention include sciences, classroom needs and the arts.

Anyone can donate to the program either by name or anonymously and can choose how their donation is spent. Whether it be designated to the arts program or to the new track, it’s up to the donor.

“From my experience on the board, the Eagle Foundation is critical in identifying school related projects and providing funding that may not be otherwise accessible,” said Eagle Foundation Secretary Katie Dasinger.

There are different types of donations including bequests, outright gifts, life estate, life insurance policy, charitable gift annuity and charitable remained unitrust.

“The Eagle Foundation is an important part of this community because through the funds raised, we are able to support the students and faculty of Sidney Public School,” said Eagle Foundation Vice President Nick Kallem.

The Eagle Foundation had their hands in quite a few different projects during the 2018-19 school year such as Teen Truth, backpacks for all elementary students, the Central Elementary playground, concessions, restroom facilities, high school track, annual teacher grants, the trip for Sidney High School Band to play in Washington, D.C., for the Fourth of July parade and the tailgates of 2019.

Superintendent of schools Monte Silk said through the foundation $182,000 has been donated toward the new track project, concession stand and bathroom.

“There was a donation to the Eagle Foundation by an anonymous donor for $100,000 that went toward the track. Then there was another $100,000 donated by the foundation,” Silk said.

To find out how to donate, visit the Sidney Public School page, under resources there will be a tab labeled Eagle Foundation. On that page it will give directions on how to donate.

5 things to know

1Richland County Fair and Rodeo begins Wednesday, July 31. Fair office opens at 10 a.m. Event Center opens at 11 a.m. North Star Amusements Carnival begins at 5 p.m. Flag raising at 1 p.m. Wrestling duals at 5 p.m. Free concert (Two Way Crossing) at 7:30 p.m.

2Richland County Fair and Rodeo continues Thursday, Aug. 1. Fair office opens at 10 a.m. Event Center opens at 11 a.m. North Star Amusements Carnival begins at 2 p.m. PRCA Rodeo, 7:30 p.m., Military Appreciation night.

3For Friday, Aug. 2, fair action at the Richland County Fair and Rodeo, fair office opens at 10 a.m. Event Center opens at 11 a.m. North Star Amusements Carnival begins at 2 p.m. PRCA Rodeo, 7:30 p.m., Tough Enough to Wear Pink night.

4The last day of the RCFR is Saturday, Aug. 3. Fair office opens at 10 a.m. Event Center opens at 11 a.m. North Star Amusements Carnival begins at 1 p.m. Fair concert, Randy Houser opens for Sara Evans, 7 p.m.

5On Monday, Aug. 5, Boys and Girls Club after school registration, 5:30 p.m., Lonsdale Center Clubhouse. These sign ups are for anyone that would like their children registered in the after school program ages kindergarten through fifth grade.

CVB discusses wayfinding signs, state grant dollars for Sidney

Sidney Chamber of Commerce’s CVB committee met Thursday, July 25, to discuss area tourism, available grant dollars from the state and wayfinding signs. Bill Vander Weele, executive director of the chamber, told the group they had been given the green light from city council to work on bringing in wayfinding signs for Sidney.

“We want to know what signs people want,” Vander Weele said.

Cheri Friedman, executive director of MonDak Heritage Center, said she would like to see some maps at points of interest around town in the “you are here” style, showcasing other stops in relation to, for example, the heritage center. Chamber communications manager Sarah Turek said she had worked on something similar already this year, showing Sidney as the hub on a map and listing activities or possible attractions within a one to two hour range.

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about,” Friedman said. “That’s what I would like to see.”

Committee member Lindsey Lawrence said she would like to see wayfinding signs for area fishing access points, fairgrounds, Fairview bridge and the two disk golf courses located in Richland County.

No final decisions were made on signs, but the project will forge ahead, funded by CVB dollars.

Eastern Montana Initiative

With grant dollars available for the state to promote eastern Montana tourism, CVB brainstormed on what kind of projects they could pitch for the funding.

The program, called the Eastern Montana Initiative, awards funds to projects “demonstrating sustained investment in tourism infrastructure and promotion, supporting long-term growth/stability in growth policy, and community development.” The program aims to spend a total of $750,000 in eastern Montana.

“They have a marketing and promotion for out-of-area residents and non-residents visiting in the area,” Friedman said. “That to me is the one we really need to take a good look at.”

The first round of applicants are due by Aug. 5 and grant funds will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. Funds will be offered throughout the year, but the earlier the applications are in, the better the chance for receiving money.

“We have a good possibility of going after some funding and getting it,” Friedman said. “Especially if we do it as a collaborative with groups in the area.”

Vander Weele said Sidney Chamber of Commerce Past President Jeremy Norby and other board members are working diligently on a tourism project centered around eastern Montana fishing to receive grant funding. They are currently partnering with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce for the project.

In other news:

Fred MacVaugh with Fort Union notified the committee of their upcoming Northern Plains Oyate Traditional Wacipi. It’s the events second year and MacVaugh said last year they drew several hundred attendees, but hope to grow it into an event that draws thousands. Friedman said she would like to be able to display some of the Native American art at MonDak Heritage Center to help promote the event in the future.

The chamber has an app and are working on updates before releasing it for download. It will be a collection of hotels, restaurants, attractions, community calendar and maps for the area.

Friedman said she is on the search for welders, as there are some statues on display that need to be secured with extensions. She also said she would like to place a piece of equipment representing the oil field outside the heritage center, like a 3- to 5-feet tall pumping unit.