January 18-19, 2001

ITEM 110-1003-R0101  Authorization to Proceed with Acquisition of Land and a Building for the Montana Technology Enterprise Center, in Collaboration with the Missoula Area Economic Development Foundation; The University of Montana-Missoula


THAT:  The Board of Regents of the Montana University System authorizes The University of Montana to use $750,000 from federal grants to purchase land and a building. The University will also make available approximately 2.5 acres of University land ($512,500 value) as a match.


EXPLANATION: The University of Montana-Missoula (UM-M) and the Missoula Area Economic Development Foundation (MAEDF) incorporated the Montana Technology Enterprise Center (MonTEC) as a Montana public benefit corporation under the Montana Nonprofit Corporation Act. MonTEC provides facilities for start-up, technology-based companies. MonTEC Bylaws stipulate equal ownership of all MonTEC assets by UM-M and MAEDF and that each entity shall appoint an equal number of directors to the Board of Directors. In addition, MonTEC remains eligible for certain federal grants unavailable to UM-M.

UM-M received two HUD-EDI grants totaling $962,500, and hereby requests authorization to use $750,000 of this amount for the purchase and renovation of a facility for MonTEC.

An additional $1,500,000 grant from EDA exists. This grant requires a match. UM-M can meet this requirement by making available (without transferring title) to approximately 2.5 acres of UM-M land immediately adjacent to the building and land sought. The MonTEC plan calls for a parking lot on this land built with MonTEC funds. UM-M will have access to this parking lot during times not in conflict with MonTEC operation.

The EDA has not yet decided which specific entity will serve as the grantee. One alternative presently under EDA consideration specifies that 100 percent of the $1,500,000 will go to MonTEC. The other alternative notes that equal shares of the grant would be awarded to UM-M and MAEDF. If EDA approves the latter alternative, authorization is requested for UM-M to use its $750,000 share for purchase and renovation of the facility for MonTEC.

A Memorandum of Understanding UM-M and MAEDF stipulates that UM-M retains complete title to the 2.5 acres of land used as a match for the EDA grant; that MonTEC cannot transfer any real property without prior consent of the Montana Board of Regents; that ratios of funds and other assets contributed to MonTEC by UM-M and MAEDF will determine proportional ownership of MonTEC assets; and that MonTEC Bylaws will be changed to the full extent necessary to meet these conditions and requirements.

Once operational, MonTEC will become a self-supporting facility with no obligation from UM-M to support it financially.


ATTACHMENTS: Buy-Sell Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding between UM-M and MAEDF.