Public Comment 5-year CEDS

The 2022 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) revision from
Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) represents the commitment and
efforts of our staff and Board of Directors to listen and sustain a high level of attention and
service to each of our members and the communities we serve.
Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) was established in 1997 as a
public benefit, regional non-profit economic development corporation. Today, the four counties of
Custer, Powder River, Rosebud, and Treasure, along with the communities of Ashland, Broadus,
Colstrip, Forsyth, Hysham, Miles City, and Lame Deer and the Northern Cheyenne Indian
Reservation in Rosebud County, have joined forces and capital to create means to encourage,
stimulate, and promote economic development in southeastern Montana. This process involves
gathering input from culturally and economically diverse groups, including individuals and
organizations from the SEMDC Economic Development District (EDD). We continually analyze
local conditions and identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). We
work to design strategies and coordinate activities to achieve stated objectives.
The 2022 revision of our CEDS is a result of proactive planning with the communities in
our region. Without the active involvement of local elected officials, area business owners,
government employees, school officials, and private citizens, this update would not have been
possible. During the seven (7) “Town Meetings” held throughout the district, nearly 100
residents expressed a desire to initiate projects that provoke sustainable, multi-faceted economic
While every community has different organizational capacities and working partnerships,
our communities have a “team sport” collaborative attitude. The five-year CEDS is a joint
document that benefits all four counties, including the member cities and towns in the SEMDC
District. Successful implementation is a regional strategy, and not a single organization stands
alone. The CEDS represents the input SEMDC staff received from annual CEDS community
workshops. In the fall of 2022, SEMDC completed the CEDS yearly reports for the Counties,
Cities, and Towns in the District. The annual CEDS documents are fluid documents that are
updated and changed annually based on changing conditions and community needs. Projects are
added or removed, and other changes are made based on community priorities. In addition to
these local planning meetings, SEMDC incorporates information from and encourages the
communities to update, revise or amend Growth Policies, Capital Improvement Plans, Pre-
Disaster Mitigation Plans, and Regional Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plans.
SEMDC’s district economic structure is firmly based on fossil fuels, agriculture, ranching,
and small main street business. The political shift of the current administration and its focus on
green energy produces challenges for southeastern Montana’s economic future.

Question Title

* 1. Please provide comments on the 5-year CEDS document.