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Progress: Snapshot in Time 2014
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New hospital embodies recent progress ........3 Orthopedic Rehab brings Dillon option ..........4 Payne West gets settled in ................................. 5 Renaissance offers ‘enlightened elder care’... 7 Van’s IGA marks first year .................................9
Dairy Queen gets new digs ..............................10 Southside Business Park perks up ..................11 Old Main becomes ‘new’ again........................ 12 The Legacy builds for tomorrow ..................... 14 Forest Service complex stays busy.................. 15
2 | Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014
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Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014 | 3
New hospital embodies recent progress
By Dick Crockford Dillon Tribune staff One of the most dramatic indicators of local progress can be seen in the new hospital that now occupies a 20-acre site on the extreme south end of Dillon. Planning for the new facility was in the beginning stages when the bottom dropped out of the national economy in 2008. Nonetheless, work commenced a little more than two years later, and by the summer of 2012, Barrett Hospital and HealthCare had moved into its brand new home. The new hospital, for which ground was broken in September 2010, took approximately 20 months to complete and, according to Dick Achter, BHHC chief financial officer, cost about $40 million, including land acquisition. The state-of-the-art facility is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified hospital in the state. As a LEED-certified facility designed to have a low environmental impact and to be energy efficient, the hospital also provides a healthy comfortable setting for patients as well as for staff. Some 72,000 square feet of the hospital’s floor space is devoted to patient services, and it is licensed for 20 beds, nearly all of which are in single-occupancy rooms. The way the main hospital facility is laid out has made it easier to provide services, Achter said in a recent interview, by improving workflow efficiency. Ken Westman, chief executive officer, who was interviewed at the same time, also pointed out that such things as patient lifts in all rooms and little outside or hallway noise in those areas, which are all on the second floor, has greatly improved the patient experience. “You don’t have all that commotion going through the patient areas,” he said, contrasting that with the former, 1970s vintage hospital building, in which hallways in patient areas were also the throughways to the emergency, surgical, lab and outpatient treatment departments. The move to the new hospital and consolidation of administrative offices in the facility also opened up space in the former administration building, which is now home to such services as the Barrett Hospital and Healthcare Foundation office, and Home Health and Hospice. Also part of the hospital’s “north campus” are the medical office building – home of the BHHC Clinic, physical therapy services and a new walk-in health services outpatient clinic – the Beaverhead County Health Department offices and the Community Health Center clinic. Having a modern medical facility like BHHC in Dillon is very important to the overall economic well-being of the community as well as for the health services offered, Westman said, describing it as a “safety net for a very large group of per-
Barrett Hospital and HealthCare’s new building is nearly two years old now.
Dick Crockford photo
Bonnie Brousseau, a medical technologist at Barrett Hospital and HealthCare, explains to Dick Achter (left), BHHC chief financial officer, and Ken Westman, its chief executive officer, the functions of the hospital lab’s blood coagulation analyzer, purchased last year by the BHHC Foundation. Dick Crockford photo
sons in this region.” The hospital draws from a market area estimated to include upwards of 9,000 persons, he said, adding that BHHC continues to be a major driving force for the local economy. “Like a good education system,” healthcare like that provided by Barrett Hospital, “is incredibly important for communities.” Westman also noted that the hospital’s presence here is important for “taking care of an aging population” as well as attracting “people of all ages” interested in locating here. Achter concurred, saying, “when a business looks to move in (to an area), they look at health care.” Westman cited a May 2011 study done by the Bureau of Economic Research at the University of Montana, Missoula, which showed that Barrett Hospital and HealthCare has a major impact on the local economy. At that time, he said, $4 million in local sales could be related to just the hospital payroll. The hospital’s annual payroll at that time was at about $17 million, nearly double the 2008 figure of $9 million, Westman said. About 5 percent of the county employment base and 8 percent of the labor income could be attributed to the hospital in 2011, he said. Net revenue for the new facility during its first full year of operation was $29.8 million, compared to $16.8 million in 2008. Westman also pointed out that the 2011 BER study showed that the equivalent of nine local jobs, responsible for creating an estimated $488,000 in sales, was generated from persons traveling to Dillon with patients coming for treatment and other medical appointments. Westman said that a significant change over earlier years in the way medical care is delivered is that all the primary care, internal medicine, family practice, emergency room and hospitalist physicians are employed directly by the hospital. This is a departure from years gone by when such medical professionals would have been in private practice with hospital admission privileges. He said that is it “very difficult for practitioners to be independent,” because of the expenses that are associated with medical practice, including such things as office overhead, equipment and insurance. Westman also said Barrett Hospital is “blessed to have people in medicine for the right reasons,” who are truly dedicated to improving the lives of their patients to the greatest possible extent. Achter noted that since new hospital’s formal opening in June 2012, there have been some major equipment upgrades that are helping to deliver top-quality medical care for area residents who no longer have to travel elsewhere for services. Among the new offerings – including equipment made possible by funds from the BHHC Foundation – are a new x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner, upgraded magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services, new ultrasound/ echo-cardiology equipment, a new blood coagulation analyzer and full pulmonary function testing. Another recent improvement noted by Westman is the hospital’s arrangement with Intercity Radiology, a Bozeman radiology group that provides daily coverage for such things as x-ray reading, four days a week on site and three days via internet connection. Community outreach efforts by the hospital have also been on the upswing in recent years. Westman listed such things as a weekday anti coagulant management clinic, public wellness initiatives and workshops, partnerships with other health agencies and providers, and even the new walking trail around the hospital grounds as examples of the growing relationship between the hospital and the community. Westman also praised the Beaverhead County Hospital District board of trustees – the publicly elected body that sets policy and is responsible for governance and oversight of BHHC – for providing “visionary leadership” and epitomizing the “I CARE” (Integrity, Compassion, Adaptability, Respect, Excellence) philosophy of the facility.
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Orthopedic Rehab brings option to Dillon patients
By J.P. Plutt Dillon Tribune staff Orthopedic Rehab Inc. has been open now for just over 10 months at 231 Southside Boulevard, “kitty corner” from the new Van’s IGA in the Southside Business Park. Dillon native Keith Ori and his business partner, Patrick Gulick, own the Kalispell-based company and last year made the decision to expand to Dillon with the private practice rehabilitation clinic. “We grew as fast or faster than we thought we would,” said Kirk Van Slyke, the clinic manager of the Dillon facility. “We’re primarily orthopedic, but we see all aspects of physical therapy. We see everyone from grade school on up to the older folks – the total knee people and the sports injuries and everybody in between.” To carve out a niche in Dillon, the business initially faced a challenge of educating potential clients on Montana’s Direct Access law that allows patients to go to a physical therapist without a physician referral, though Medicare requires a physician referral. Orthopedic Rehab made the case that patients have options to seek care where they want if they take a proactive approach to their health care. The approach worked. “We’re busier than we need to be,” said Van Slyke, who has over 20 years experi-
Orthopedic Rehab Physical Therapist Kirk Van Slyke removes surgical staples from the knee of Bill Benzel. Benzel had knee replacement surgery. Charelle Minor, an employee at the clinic, watches the procedure. Leonna Roderick, the patient in the background, is receiving treatment for a shoulder injury. J.P. Plutt photo
ence in the field of physical therapy. “We could really use a physical therapist. In fact we could have used another therapist three or four months ago. Things are going really good.” Van Slyke is the only therapist at Orthopedic Rehab, a facility with a current staff of four. He is actively seeking help on the therapy side. “Finding therapists out there right now is tough,” said Van Slyke in a recent interview. “We’ve had a couple interviews and we have another one coming in tomorrow, so we have a few prospects. Hopefully, we can fill the position in the next couple of weeks.” According to Van Slyke, studies project a 36% growth in patients over the next six years as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement age. “There are not enough therapists coming out of school to replace those that are retiring, and of course the baby boomers,” said Van Slyke of the aging demographic. Orthopedic Rehab strives to provide the public with another option for therapy and hopes to set the standard for physical therapy in the Dillon area. The satellite clinic in Dillon boasts 2,800 square feet of space and features state of the art equipment. Chance Bernall and Kevin Button built and own the building, but Van Slyke was able to design his space to function at efficient, professional standards. “We thought this was a good location, especially with the grocery store and the potential growth out here,” said Van Slyke of the south side location. “To be close to the hospital and the medical community, it’s worked great. The IGA and hospital really pull people by us and the ads we did with you people (Tribune) really helped, and of course word of mouth.” For more information on Orthopedic Rehab, you can call the business at 6833675. “We appreciate the support of the community, it has been great,” concluded Van Slyke. “We’re just glad to be here and give the community another option to come to physcial therapy. We definitely appreciate the support we’ve received the first 10 months.”
Dillon native Keith Ori and his business partner Patrick Gulick added a Dillon satellite clinic last year to their Kalispell-based Orthopedic Rehab Inc.
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PayneWest Insurance enjoying southern exposure
By J.P. Plutt Dillon Tribune staff It was a whirlwind year for a local insurance office in 2013. A year ago Western States Insurance opened their doors every morning on Washington Street, just off downtown Dillon. Since then the company merged with Payne Financial Group to become PayneWest Insurance, and the local office moved to 203 Southside Boulevard. “We had an opportunity to have a little bit of a bigger office space and give us room for growth in the future if we ever brought on more employees, and it was a real attractive location with the new IGA and brand new hospital,” said Benefit Planning Sales Executive Alyssa Creighton. “It has been great. It is easy to find being right off the interstate, and with the new Dairy Queen going up I’m sure we’re going to get more traffic.” Commercial Insurance Sales Executive Tom Holland is the senior member of the PayneWest staff in Dillon. In addition to Creighton, the crew includes Kelly Hoffman, a personal insurance account specialist, and Jenny Pettit, a commercial insurance account specialist. The office has been at their present site in the Southside Business Park for 10 months. The office phone number is 683-6881.
Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014 | 5
The PayneWest staff includes from left to right Alyssa Creighton, Kelly Hoffman, and Jenny Pettit. Not shown is Tom Holland. J.P. Plutt photos
“We are a full service independent agency, so we offer all lines of insurance – commercial lines, worker’s compensation, home, automobile, life and bonding,” explained Creighton. “We are an employee owned company so we all take part in profit sharing and we are all members of the corporation.” The company structure includes two CEOs, one from the Payne Financial Group side and one from the Western States Insurance side. Both companies were originally based out of Missoula, the current home of PayneWest.
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Replace this text with your dealership specific information. 201 E Helena • Dillon, MT
*XP Sales Event offers valid 3/1/14 to 4/30/14, see dealer for details. Warning: The Polaris RANGER® and RZR® are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver's license to operate. Passengers must be at least 12 years old and tall enough to grasp the hand holds and plant feet firmly on the floor. All SxS drivers should take a safety training course. Contact ROHVA at or (949) 255-2560 for additional information. Drivers and passengers should always wear helmets, eye protection, protective clothing, and seat belts. Always use cab nets or doors (as equipped). Be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Never drive on public roads or paved surfaces. Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don't mix. Check local laws before riding on trails. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. Polaris adult models are for riders 16 and older. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and be sure to take a safety training course. For safety and training information in the U.S., call the SVIA at (800) 887-2887. You may also contact your Polaris dealer or call Polaris at (800) 342-3764. ©2014 Polaris Industries Inc.
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Renaissance finds growth field in ‘enlightened elder care’
By J.P. Plutt Dillon Tribune staff The Renaissance Senior Care facility at 329 Southside Boulevard in Dillon was the first business to open their doors in the Southside Business Park. The facility specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. “We strive to provide excellent care for the patients and their families,” said Renaissance Administrator Tanara Sesera. “I think it is important that the families get the proper support. The patients can’t realize that they suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, and the families suffer from the fact that the mother or father don’t remember them anymore. They need support, too.” The facility is one of two Renaissance units in Dillon – the other is on Center Street – and among the 10 in Montana owned by Brett and Brenda Wright of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The company also has facilities in Idaho. “Our mission is to give the elderly a comfortable living atmosphere where they can spend the rest of their lives in a home-like environment,” explained Sesera. “We specialize in memory care and Alzheimer’s.” Renaissance is a 15-bed unit with a current population of 11. There are two double rooms for couples and the rest are single rooms. According to Sesera, a married couple are currently living in the double room that offers an apartment-like setting. “We have a lockdown facility that they are safe in,” said Sesera. “They are not
Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014 | 7
Renaissance Senior Care Administrator Tanara Sesera is shown in the facilities day room, a large open area where patients and families can gather. J.P. Plutt photos
able to get out of the facility unless we know about it. This facility is geared to not letting them get into the kitchen unless they are accompanied by somebody. We also have an outdoor area that we can lockdown so they can go outside and enjoy the view and fresh air.” The unit is staffed 24-7 and has 10 total employees. “It just takes the right person that has the compassion and patience to understand this disease and care for them efficiently,” said Sesera. The administrator says the business provides in-house training for personal care assistants. For more information on the facility or to inquire about making a reservation, call 683-4200.
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Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014 | 9
Van’s IGA provides the anchor business for the Southside Business Park. The addition of the major grocery store brought competition in the retail food business to Dillon. J.P. Plutt photo
Van’s IGA celebrates one year anniversary in Dillon
By J.P. Plutt Dillon Tribune staff The Van’s IGA in Dillon celebrated their first anniversary on March 14 “Today is the first day we compete with last year,” said Dillon IGA General Manager Rick Roth. “We’re really happy with Dillon, we’re glad we built a store here, people have been great and we’re looking forward to the future.” After an extensive property search, Van’s IGA selected a location at the south end of the Southside Business Park, a property adjacent to the new hospital. “We need to grow into it,” said Roth of the property. “We knew it would take a while for this end of town to develop. We just need to get a gas station out here. That would help. We are not looking to get into the gas business ourselves. There is no doubt, we’ve had surveys done, and a gas station would do well out here.” Frank Cannon, the corporate general manager of Van’s IGA, in an interview a year ago said the company utilized surveys to find Dillon an appealing location for one of their stores. He said the company has found success in towns the size of Dillon, and thus Dillon became the eighth Montana store in the chain. “First of all, the piece of property was the perfect size for what we wanted to build, and being right next to a brand new $30 million hospital is certainly not a bad thing,” said Cannon last year. “Having the location next to the interstate and the location to the university is a good thing. There are four or five reasons why that piece of property, in my opinion, is one of the best pieces of property in Dillon for a grocery store.” IGA built a 33,000-square-foot, full-service grocery store with departments in bakery, deli, floral, produce, meat and pharmacy as well as a Stockman Bank in-store presence. According to Roth, the store now has 54 employees, down slightly from forecasts of 60 to 70 before the opening. “We didn’t have too many expectations coming in this first year,” explained Roth. “This first year, we’re building a history so we know going forward what categories
sell better. We had an idea, but every market is different. “We’ll just continue to operate the way we know how to operate.” One tool the company operates with is customer surveys. As mentioned previously, IGA did a survey to see if there was a market for a new grocery store in Dillon, and since, they’ve done two surveys to find out how they can better serve the customer base. “The first one we did was pretty much what we thought we would hear,” said Roth. “We get the results of the second one back next week. It is nothing I want to share at this point.” Roth did share that the biggest request in the first customer survey was for a gas station in the area. “We just want to say thanks to the community here in Dillon,” concluded Roth. “They’ve supported us and we appreciate that and we look forward to serving them for a long time. We’re going to be around for a long time.”
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Dillon IGA General Manager Rick Roth says the store has one year in the books and is looking forward to many more years of serving the community of Dillon in the future. The store, located in the Southside Business Park, focuses on customer service and satisfaction. J.P. Plutt photo
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10 | Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014
Southams add DQ dining to southside
By J.P. Plutt Dillon Tribune staff Jim and Rebecca Southam listened to their customers throughout their 13 years at their Dairy Queen location at 613 S. Atlantic Street. The customers loved the product but wanted more access –it didn’t take long on the lunch hour to fill the 20 available seats and without a drive-thru window, customers would drive on down to the next restaurant if the DQ looked busy. “Over a period of time we tried to see if we could qualify for a loan and we decided now was the time,” said Jim of the new store that increased interior seating from 20 to 68, has more parking and more visibility. “Between all the great years that we had at the other location and the support of the community we had at the other location, we were able to make things work,” said Jim. Before taking the plunge on the south side, Southam explored options on North Montana Street and out near the motel developments on the interstate side of the north interchange. “More and more, as we looked at it, it seemed like the development was coming out this way,” stated Jim, who acknowledges that the area has a built-in customer base with the college, Forest Service building, hospital and IGA all within close proximity. In addition, their location is the first business travelers can see from the interstate, and feeds directly off the south interchange off-ramp into Dillon. “We’re excited,” said Jim. “This will compliment the community and the reason why we are here is because of the support of the community.” At the old site, the store closed for two months every year, from just before Christmas to the end of February. At the new location, the store will be open yearround, seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Southam says he and his wife plan to sell the old building. With the larger store, the Southams will be looking at a larger payroll. At the old location, employees totaled around 10, the new store will require 30 workers. The new store brings new menu items and retains all the old favorite ice cream treats –  blizzards, milk shakes, sundaes, etc. On the food tray, the Southams
Jim and Rebecca Southam stand in from of the new expanded menus at the location of their new Dairy Queen at the Southside Business Park. The store will open March 26. J.P. Plutt photos
will add quesadillas, chilli cheese fries, chicken wraps and veggie wraps, and the Orange Julius line of drinks will make a Dillon debut at the new store. The new store also brings a cake program. There will be cakes available at all times, and cakes can be make to fit a custom order. The baked good has a cake base with ice cream on top. The new Dairy Queen has an address of 111 Southside Boulevard but kept their old telephone number (683-2104).
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Diners at the new Dairy Queen will be able to gaze out the windows at Blacktail Deer Creek, Baldy Mountain, or watch life go by on the interstate. The new location has over triple the seating capacity of the old location, and that does not yet include a picnic area that will be added to the exterior.
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Southside Business Park shifts local development
By J.P. Plutt Dillon Tribune staff The Southside Business Park is an L.L.C., formed by the Erb family and recorded in 2009. The commercial subdivision has six of the 17 original lots still available for sale. Chance Bernall of Prudential Montana Real Estate and Vana Taylor of Taylor Realty are the co-agents for the development. “We’ve got several lots of all sizes and all price points listed,” said Bernall, who said available lots range from one-quarter of an acre to about an acre in size. “I think there is really starting to be some accelerated interest out there with the Dairy Queen coming on and it is starting to look developed.” Bernall added that the price for the lots includes new infrastructure – city sewer and water, paved streets with curbs and gutters, electricity and natural gas. “Everything is there so there will be no SIDs (Special Improvement Districts),” explained Burnall. Taylor explained the advantages of the subdivision to certain types of businesses. “To catch the highway traffic you have to be out there where people can visually see you and they want to pull in,” said Taylor. “So I think a lot of these corporations want that visual from the freeway.” Taylor says a lot one-quarter acre in size sells for about $7.25 a square foot, or $97,000. A one-half acre lot goes for about $6.50 a square foot or $152,000. “I think it has been a good addition and I like what is going up out there,’ said Taylor. “I hate to hurt downtown Dillon, but growth grows where the growth is going; basically this growth is going out that way. “I think we have a strong downtown area. Bozeman has a strong downtown and they have a lot going on the outlying area, but they still have a strong downtown.” Taylor says Van’s IGA purchased the biggest lot of four acres. Many businesses in the development would like to see a gas station come in. Taylor recalls two large
Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014 | 11
corporations looking at the IGA lot before the grocer became involved, and found it too small for a gas station that would accommodate pumps for 18-wheelers. The strict covenants forbid repair shops or service stations, but a gas station would be able to build, according to
Taylor. She added that a private investor has purchased the four lots adjacent to the Forest Service building with designs on building a motel. “You’ve got the bigger employers all on the south side –you’ve got the college, the Forest Service, the hospital, the grocery
store, Barrett Minerals,” said Bernall. “It definitely seems to be the emerging side of Dillon and it is a great way for people to come in off the interstate. I think now that there are groceries and a restaurant, it is all going to roll from here.”
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12 | Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014
Renovations of Old Main on the campus of The University of Montana Western shored up the grand old building, and modernized the building that provides the iconic image for the school. A selective harvest of trees after the renovation, opened up the view from South Atlantic Street, allowing travelers to enjoy teh beautiful architecture. In the photo below, improvements are made in 2011 to Beier Auditorium J.P. Plutt photos
Renovation of Old Main Hall at UMW worthy investment in stately landmark
By J.P. Plutt Dillon Tribune staff The renovation of Old Main Hall on the campus of the University of Montana was both practical and sensible. On the practical side, new windows, electrical and heating, as well as wiring to bring classrooms into the computer age and allow the school to remain innovative in the classroom. The renovation was sensible in that the engineers that headed the project were dedicated to remaining true to the original design and intent of construction. Project engineers Ken Seivert and Richard Shanahan studied the old architectural drawings to make sure the work done in 2009-11, remained true to the spirit of the Montana State Antiquities Act. All four buildings that make up Old Main appear on the National Registry of Historic Places. Improvements were made. For instance, on the final piece of Old Main, Beier Auditorium which was constructed in 1954, seismic shoring made the auditorium safer, the interior was completely classed up with new seating and a new floor, while the entrance area was expanded and includes a lobby area of a quality to match the many fine performances staged throughout each year. According to Seivert and Shanahan, Old Main had four faces, designed by four different architects or architect teams, at four different times in the history of the school. John Paulsen designed the far east building finished in 1896; Link and Haire designed the second structure completed in 1907; and Angus McKiver and Chandler Cohagen designed the third building of Old Main that was finished in 1924; and of course the Walter Arnold and Norman Hamel designed Beier Auditorium that was finished in 1954. Old Main is now structurally sound and retains the historical and architectural qualities that students have come to appreciate for over a century.
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TELL US ABOUT PIONEER FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN First and foremost, we are a mutual savings and loan. In America, mutual institutions were established nearly two centuries ago. These early mutuals were patterned after similar entities in England and Scotland and dedicated to encouraging thrift for middle - income consumers. Although Pioneer Federal has changed a great deal since our founding as a building and loan association in 1912, what remains unchanged is our belief that our mutual structure best serves the deposit and lending needs of our communities. WHO OWNS PIONEER FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN? As a mutual savings and loan. Pioneer Federal is not publicly traded and has no shareholders. This means we serve just one constituency: our customers! More importantly, as a financial cooperative with our customers, we manage our business to protect the long term financial security of our institution, rather than the immediate returns prized by Wall Street or individual stockholders. White stock owned banks are under pressure to return profits to investors, we retain our earnings to create an added margin of safety, and as a result, we have one of the highest capital ratios for financial institutions in Montana. Another principle of mutuality is that our institution serves generations of customers-past, present, and future. Our Board and Management largely view themselves as stewards of a community resource and thus work to manage and improve the institution in preparation for a transfer to future generations. WHAT MAKES PIONEER FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN DIFFERENT? Two words dominate our vision— service and independence. What makes us different from other institutions is our dedication to service, commitment and longevity. It is more efficient for a mutual savings and loan to focus on the needs of the local communities where the short term return for the institution is not a driving force or decision maker. A mutual can assess the needs and participate over a longer time horizon without market and earnings pressures. The independence possible as a mutual savings and loan is critical to preserving our community orientation. If we were a stock institution, we would be a prime target for acquisition by larger banks which do not have the same appreciation for our community and its needs. We compete daily with all forms of financial institutions. As a mutual we have no special treatment, in the marketplace or from bank regulators or taxing authorities. We either succeed or not on the same rules, the same competitive playing field, as other institutions. WHY PIONEER FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN? By choice, we are a mutual savings and loan. Just like you, we want to do the right things for the right reasons. If we sound like the right financial institution for you, we would appreciate your business. Tom Welch President/CEO
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14 | Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014
The Legacy: Helping define the past and future of Dillon
By M.P. Regan Dillon Tribune staff The Legacy Assisted Living and Senior Care Center set one of the cornerstones for the growth on the southside of Dillon—by providing a quality home for some of the area’s elders who helped build and bolster the foundations of the area’s economy and culture. “The Legacy is there to fill the needs of seniors in our community who need assistance with activities of daily living,” said Legacy owner Kevin Button, whose facility provides a home for 20 area seniors in 12,000 square feet of living space. “It fits well with Dillon by giving residents a home-like setting to live in. You don’t feel like you’re in a huge facility at Legacy. It feels more like a regular home.” The Legacy also includes a 1200-squarefoot activity center to host activities and events for residents and other area seniors. “It’s for banquets and birthdays and meetings and other events,” explained Button, who said the center is available for free not just to Legacy residents, but to any senior-sponsored event in the community. The Legacy’s three structures sit on 2.6 acres of land, with an adjacent pasture of about a half-dozen acres. “We have wildlife that regularly visits the grounds and horses in the pasture out front,” said Button, who works out of an office inside The Legacy and lives with his wife and three children in a home in Remington Acres, a subdivision he built next to the senior facility. “Legacy residents who lived in ranching communities most of their lives still get that rural setting.” Opened in 2010 and expanded last year, Legacy provides a place of employment for 26 locals, a half dozen of them full-time employees, in a growing service industry. With people living longer and the imminent influx of aging baby boomers into senior living facilities, analysts project that the industry will swell in size and economic importance in the years and decades to come. “We’re thinking about building some cottages at Legacy in the future, singlefamily homes for seniors who can live more independently,” said Button, who sees Dillon in the midst of significant growth as well. “Dillon is a great place to live and work, and we’re all excited to be part of the town’s future,” said Button, who came to Dillon a decade ago after earning a degree from Utah State and taking a job at the fertilizer plant in Sheridan. “There’s a lot of opportunity for economic development in Dillon. We just have to do the best we can to grow smart and get good businesses that provide good jobs for residents.”
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The Church of Latter Day Saints built their new church on the south side of Dillon. The new house of worship is a fine addition to the frontage road entrance into Dillon. J.P. Plutt photo
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Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014 | 15
USDA agencies concentrated in southside building
By M.P. Regan Dillon Tribune staff The work place for more than 70 full-time employees, the professional building at 420 Barrett St. on Dillon’s southside forms a point of entry for millions of dollars of income for local workers and the area economy. The building serves as headquarters for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and its Dillon Ranger District, which together employ more than 60 people to manage the state’s largest national forest. A sprawling patchwork across eight counties, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge totals more than 3.3 million acres. A site for outdoor recreation activities like fishing, hunting and hiking, natural resource extraction and tourism, as well as one of Dillon’s largest employers, the BDNF acts as a major economic player in the area. The Barrett Street building also provides space for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Dillon Field Office, which serves the Beaverhead Conservation District. A direct supporter of Beaverhead County’s largest industry, agriculture, the NRCS offers technical assistance to farmers and ranchers, as well as to other private landowners and land managers. The federal agency employs more than 12,000 people, eight of them in its Dillon office. Known until 1994 as the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, the 79-year-old agency strives to protect and upgrade natural resources on private lands by partnering with landowners, and with state and local agencies. The Farm Services Agency (FSA) local office also sits inside the 420 Barrett structure. Founded during the depths of the Great Depression, the FSA oversees the delivery of federal agricultural programs to the local level. With three full-time employees, the Dillon office is one of 56 FSA offices in the state of Montana and the more than 2000 across the United States.
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16 | Dillon Tribune Progress Edition 2014
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