By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter

At the recent Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on July 9, Cheryl Curry from the Regional Port Authority explained a little bit about what she does for those in attendance. 

Breaking her presentation down into easy-to-understand sections, Curry explained that PA is designed to help with economic development, that it is established by law to promote prosperity, and that through cooperation they can help support creation.

Breaking it down even further, Curry explained that this means her job includes a lot of grant writing; management of PA’s Revolving Loan Fund, such as through debt restructuring and taking loan requests for business purchase, expansion, start ups, etc.; grant management and reporting; and project management, which includes making sure projects are moving forward, and researching for active and potential projects.

The Port Authority does not compete with banks, explained Curry, instead they are often sought out after a potential customer is unable to procure a loan from one. The bank then refers them to PA. And vice versa. 

The PA is looking for a business plan, financial information, “skin in the game” (meaning the potential borrower is invested in the project), and that they have gone to the bank first to be considered for a loan. 

In September, the PA will celebrate its tenth anniversary. In that time they have accomplished such projects as composing the DNRC grant that allowed for contaminated soil cleanup from buried gas tanks in the area, and starting a housing project that has sought to create more and better housing in Conrad, Valier and Pondera County, just to name a few. 

The Pondera Regional Port Authority services Conrad, Valier, and Pondera County, and the cooperation and commitment of those communities are what keep it going. If you are curious to know more about what the PA does or can do for you, be sure to stop in at their upcoming Open House, shared with First American Title, at their new location at 409 South Main Street on July 17 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Chamber of Commerce President Gerald Miller announced that Stockman Bank will hold their Chamber After Hours event next month, and National Night Out will be Aug. 5. If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring an event be sure to contact the CofC office at 271-7791 or return a filled out form. Note that the CofC office will be closed from July 16 to July 22.

State Swim Meet will be held here on Aug. 2, as will Sun River Electric Annual SREC Golf Scramble. The proceeds from the Scramble will be donated to the City of Conrad for the Babe Ruth Field “back stop fence”. Anyone interested in sponsoring a hole or door prize is encouraged to pick up a sponsorship sheet at the CofC office or contact Ross Oveson at 467-2527 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The new lights going up on Main Street and 4th Avenue are projected to be finished around Aug. 15. 

From the Pondera Health Department, Cynthia Grubb introduced Makayla Hector who took over for Jackie Bonser as Administrative Assistant.

John Shevlin reported that the Historical Association is soon to be losing members. If you are interested in filling one of those positions contact Shevlin or Harold Olson.


Anna Pollard mentioned that Folklore Coffee at 322 South Main Street will have its Grand Opening on July 18 at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.