10 W Fallon Ave Baker, MT 59313
Fallon County of Montana

Commission Minutes

Commission Minutes

MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2022


PRESENT: Roy Rost, Chairman; Steve Baldwin, Kevin Braun, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk & Recorder


The Pledge of Allegiance was held in the Commissioner’s Office to start off the week. PUBLIC COMMENT –AGENDA/NON-AGENDA ITEMS

No one appeared for public comment.

9:45 AM Commissioner Baldwin was excused to attend the Eastern Region Juvenile Detention Annual Meeting conference call.

10:00 AM Mitch Overn, Shop Mechanic; Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent joined the meeting.

Shop/Road Updates-The culvert for Cabin Creek Loop will cost approximately $42,000.  It is separating and the bottom is rusting; it will take approximately 6-8 weeks to get a new culvert. Decision is to wait and monitor the culvert. They are ready for the upcoming snow event. Blades are all out working on driveways; the county roads are currently too dry. Discussed a complaint from a citizen regarding the South Ismay Road. After viewing pictures of the road, Bobby stated he will visit with the blade operator. Commissioner Braun stated, if the county is not going to cut the roads, save time, fuel costs and stop. Bobby discussed roads that need chip/sealed this year, (Shell Oil Road, Bonnievale and Stanhope Addition, etc.). The Commission agreed to keep the roads on his maintenance plan. Discussion on the roads the City of Baker would like assistance with (South/Central Baker). The County will do the work, (remove the old material and chip/sealing), and the City of Baker will need to pay for the gravel and chip and seal products; Bobby will get pricing on chips and oil. The work will be completed dependent upon the moisture received and the completion of county roads. RDO cannot get seals for the landfill dozer; LA Behr is going to try to outsource because they have no seals. The repairs will be made at the county shop.  The oil samples are not back for the ambulance with the turbo issue.  Carl is currently doing further research; they will keep the Commission informed of the progress, this ambulance has no warranty.

10:22 AM Mitch and Bobby left the meeting.

10:29 AM Rich Menger, Sanitarian joined the meeting.

Sanitarian Updates-Rich mailed off his last sewage testing. There are no signs of COVID at all; no further testing is required.  Rich was on Baker Lake with FWP last Friday. They had seven (7) nets set up and were there for approximately four (4) hours. Rich stated FWP was very impressed with our “fishery”. Photos of the fish were viewed; they found no Northern Pike; Crappie outnumber all the fish by far.  Crappie and Perch will spawn this year which will provide a food source for the Walleye. The Pencil Walleye are not doing well due to the current lack of food. Rich will present the information received from FWP when it is received. FWP will stock more Trout and tagged Walleye from Intake. Rich will write up a report for the Fallon County Times when he gets all the data from FWP. Will be attending training to be an asbestos inspector. Discussed the waterfall which should be finished soon.

10:40 AM Rich left the meeting.

10:30 AM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering submitted his report as he was unable to attend his scheduled meeting.

Project updates-WaterfallTentative cut sidewalk at building for electrical-4-11-2022; wait until after Easter

to finish pipe & waterfall installation; Contractor plans to drop off a rock sample for approval early next week. Parking Lot-FMC parking lot is on hold until after Easter due to upcoming weather. Box Culverts-Diamond J has not submitted a start date but Shannon will keep working with them to get a date so a pre-construction meeting can be scheduled.

10:45 AM Commissioner Baldwin returned from his conference call.

Commissioner Baldwin reported the Juvenile Detention Board received a grant for the 16th Judicial District.

10:50 AM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to approve the minutes from April 4-8, 2022, with corrections. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

10:57 AM Cindy Irgens, Recording Clerk joined the meeting.


Cindy discussed some recent road research for the Commission. All of the records found were dated prior to 1920. In a couple of the options on the Road Study Report; suggested a research start date of 1920. Cindy is questioning sending out an Addendum reflecting the research start date should be the inception of Fallon County records. Decision is to complete an addendum, with the new research start date, and send to the contractors that were sent the RFP.  The opening date of April 25th will not be extended.

11:30 AM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess for lunch. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.



PRESENT: Roy Rost, Chairman; Steve Baldwin, Kevin Braun, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk & Recorder



No one appeared for public comment.

1:29 PM Julie Straub, HRM and Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Communications Dispatch Supervisor joined. DISPATCHER-Brenda stated after interviewing they would like to ask permission to hire Jacob LaCroix for the

position. This would be a full time, 40-hour per week position.

1:30 PM Amanda Williams, Extension Agent joined the meeting.

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to hire Jacob LaCroix for the Emergency Communications Dispatcher position. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  The motion carried unanimously.

1:31 PM Brenda left the meeting.

1:32 Extension Administrative Assistant-Julie stated they completed interviews for the Extension Administrative Assistant position for the Extension Office.  Amanda asked permission to hire Carleigh Irgens for the Administrative Assistant position.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to hire Carleigh Irgens for the Extension Agent Administrative Assistant position. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes.  0 nays. The motion carried unanimously.

Update-Amanda stated as of last Friday they have shut down co-mingling poultry for at least 60 days due to

“bird flu”. Amanda feels certain this will extend into this year’s Fair events.

1:37 PM Amanda and Julie left the meeting.

1:55 PM Robbie Christiaens, Maintenance Supervisor and Derrick DeHaan, Maintenance Assistant joined

MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT UPDATES-Robbie stated the Great Falls Conference was interesting and good.  They were instructed on ways to kill PH, received information about planting trees. They visited with a vendor regarding diverse types of signage. The contractor for the water park (Rain Drop) will not return Robbie’s phone calls. Rain Drop has no one that services this area; Robbie has been given some names but will continue to search for someone to service the water park.  Features and maintenance of features was discussed. They found

that most areas charge to use the parks, waterparks, etc.  They had a Team Building workshop that was good as well. They will be fertilizing after the snow; plan to turn on the water in a couple of weeks; they have pretty much everything ready to go for the season. The sod will be available shortly after Robbie lets them know they are ready for it.

2:10 PM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator joined the meeting.

WEATHER UPDATE-Dale has been notified by the National Weather Service; this is not going to be a normal storm; we are the bullseye. They are predicting up to two (2) feet of snow. All message boards will be placed in case roads need to be closed.

2:15 PM Dale left the meeting.

2:20 PM Derrick and Robbie left the meeting.

2:30 PM Sara Berger, Weed Control Coordinator joined.

WEED UPDATES-Sara is now licensed to spray aquatics. Discussion on the weed plan for the lake and upper lake. Sara discussed the timing for trainings, which are completed in the Fall so everyone can be prepared and ready to spray when the season starts.  The Noxious Weed grant was approved. Sara has requested quotes for repairs to the garage doors for the weed building; both contractors felt the doors needed adjusted and some small repair items taken care of. Sara is getting ready for the upcoming season. Tab came and serviced all of the radios, so they are all working. Looking at another grant that was applied for in years past; it is the Tri-County grant and is used to combat leafy spurge.

2:32 PM Sara left the meeting.


The Commission reviewed revenues, reports, emails and other correspondence, board minutes and agendas. The Commission made the decision not to sign the Montana Natural Resource Coalition letter until further information is received. The Commission reviewed the Memorandum from Mary Grube, Planner-Administrative Assistant regarding the consistent lack of quorums at statutory meetings for the Fallon County Planning Board.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to accept the recommendation of the Baker City Council to appoint Lisa Espeland to the Fallon County Planning Board as the City of Baker Representative. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost ask for any further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to release Road Use Bond No. MCS0343994 between Fallon County and Denbury Green Pipeline-Montana, LLC. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any further discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried.

A letter will be sent, and the bond returned to Denbury Green Pipeline-Montana, LLC and the bonding agency will

be cc’d in the letter.


Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to approve Amendment #9, (To amend Section 11.17(10)(a), Compliance with HIPAA Privacy Standards in Article IX, Miscellaneous), and Amendment #10 ( To amend Section 6.4, Limitation on Allocations, under Article VI, Health Flexible Spending Account), for the Fallon County Employee Flex Plan.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  Motion carried.

The Flex Plan amendments will be recorded in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

3:56 PM Lisa Mitchell, EMS Director and Julie Straub, HRM joined.

4:00 PM CONTINUATION OF RESTRUCTURING DIRECTOR OF EMS POSITION-The group reviewed the most current updated job description completed after the last restructure meeting.

Job Title-Lisa had a question regarding the job title of the restructured position, (EMS Program Manager)-As far as Lisa is concerned whether the position is called EMS Director or EMS Program Manager it still encompasses being the Lead, the Manager.

Job Status-Part time/Non-exempt-Lisa felt it was Full Time.  Julie explained anything under 40 hours is part time, but 30 hours allows you to have health insurance, the same as 40-hour positions. Julie explained, vacation and sick leave will be prorated, if scheduled for 30 hours, the accrual would be based on that. If more than 30 hours are worked that is managed through payroll.

Paid “Volunteer” EMT-Lisa asked if that had changed.  Julie-explained the paid volunteer EMT’s are not held to the hours, so they are volunteering for what they are working.  We are trying to be consistent on how they are identified.

Page2-Knowledge, skills, etc. Julie stated the heading for those should be listed under Competencies.

Lisa stated this discusses medical billing; Lisa does not feel she is competent in medical billing and this experience requirement is continued on the next page under the required education and experience. Commissioner Rost feels this would also allow the County to pay for the position to take this training, because we prefer this be part of the job description.  Julie stated medical billing is the broad overall description for PCR’s. It is specifically identified in the essential functions that FMC does the medical billings. Lisa explained she wanted clarification since she has to sign this, and it is a legal document.  If she signed this document, she did not want to set herself up for a reprimand. Commissioner Baldwin clarified, you are only responsible for the PCR portion of the billing,

as the start of the billing process.

Preferred education and experience-Previous experience in medical services is preferred. Lisa does not know how you could do this job without that experience.  Commissioner Braun stated if this position were to go out for applications in 20 years it should be clear to the applicant. Discussed medical services needs to be required, not just “preferred with a minimum of 1 year”.  Commissioner Rost stated if we cannot get anyone to apply it can be addressed at that time.

Compensation was discussed in detail

Hours-clarification of hours was discussed. The position will need approval to work over 30 hours. Lisa had an example-If she has her hours in and they have a call come in at 8 PM at night and there is some type of medication needed that only she has the authority to get, does she need to text the Commission before doing so. The Commission stated she could text them after that, or by the next day. Extenuating circumstances-If Lisa knows ahead of time that she has extra work and has already put her hours in she could text and say she has to come in tomorrow to complete work.  Julie backed the conversation up to only Lisa has the authority to get medications. Discussed what would happen if Lisa were gone; there should be a back-up person or plan. Lisa explained they have three (3) stocked ambulances they could borrow from. Lisa also discussed getting a standing prescription order at the Pharmacy or Fallon Medical Complex would work better. Lisa will contact the Director

of Nursing at FMC.  If Lisa is not available, arrangements would need to be made.

Probation Period-The probation period for new hires is always six (6) months, with some exceptions, however Lisa does not have to meet that requirement again.

Compensation-This was discussed extensively. Julie feels this fall under the same class as other supervisors

and managers such as the Landfill, Maintenance, Golf, etc. The pay ranges from starting $23.50 to $25.50 after probation and 1 year of service. Julie feels this position pay would be equal to those. Currently the position is full time (40) hours per week at $29.53 per hour. Lisa stated that is a huge cut in pay and would be taking a gamble making up the time with on-call and training. Lisa also feels it is unfair to compare to those supervisors based on her education, training and the length of time employed, no disrespect intended. Commissioner Braun discussed leaving the pay where it was. Commissioner Rost explained the salary for this position was not originally set up with on-call time or paying extra for training.

Training/Pay-Discussed outsourcing or having Lisa do the training.  Lisa stated the cost sometimes is figured per student and a fee on top of that; the student is charged a fee. Lisa stated EMS is evolving into a different

type of education a lot of these are not in-person trainings.  Lisa felt an educator would be paid more than $29.53 per hour. Commissioner Braun asked how often the trainings were held.  Lisa stated they have education at the first monthly meeting; she does not schedule an extra night for education.  Commissioner Braun was talking

about the required licensure education. Lisa stated prior to COVID, Friday Saturday and Sunday they would bring people in to do the major refreshers and trainings. COVID hit and all in-person training stopped; therefore, they have virtual trainings without limit, whereas before, virtual trainings were limited to a certain number of hours. In her current position Lisa only provides the “opportunity” for individuals to receive training. Commissioner Braun stated he now feels the county would have to reduce the pay to come in line with other supervisors.

Lisa stated no one else has the licensure she does. Julie explained Fallon County does not pay on merit or education. This position has been changed to predominately be PCR focused. Commissioner Rost gave an example of about $6,000 per year for training. Lisa stated she cannot answer for herself, but training costs are increasing. Commissioner Braun stated we need to set the wage for the position based on what 30-40 hours is worth; we cannot include training or EMT runs. Julie explained the position would be non-exempt.

Will continue this discussion next Monday, April 18th at 11:15 AM.

5:05 PM Julie and Lisa left the meeting.

5:06 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


s/Roy Rost, Presiding Officer


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder