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City Hall backs chamber in pursuit of grant

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | September 21, 2021 7:00 AM

City officials are supporting a Libby Chamber of Commerce effort to help rebrand a region partially known by the outside world largely for its Superfund site.

Mayor Peggy Williams issued a letter to the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development backing a chamber grant application. If awarded, the grant would go toward development of an online video channel dedicated to highlighting Libby’s amenities, opportunities and successes.

“In order to overcome the stigma associated with our area’s Superfund issues, the City of Libby joined the Chamber in a multiyear, area wide ‘rebranding’ project,” the letter reads. “The strategy to develop a search engine-optimizing channel with positive video content … is an exciting continuation of those efforts.”

Williams announced the letter during the Libby City Council’s Sept. 7 meeting. It had come at the behest of resident Bruce Vincent, who serves on the chamber’s board of directors, Williams said.

The letter arose during the city council comment portion of the meeting. Williams said it did not require a council vote, but wanted to make it public. At least one city councilor questioned the need for letter.

“Why are we doing this at all?” asked City Councilor Rob Dufficy.

Williams replied by telling Dufficy he did not have to support the letter or the grant request.

“If you do not want to do it, you don’t have to,” she said.

Later — after Williams read the letter aloud — Dufficy said that promoting Libby was part of the chamber’s charge.

“That would be their job anyway,” he said. “That’s what the chamber of commerce does.”