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

Commission Minutes

Commission Minutes

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 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.


          Dustan Davis, IT Technician wanted to let the Commission know he has taken a position in Casper, Wyoming. He will bring them his letter of resignation, with his final work date. Dustan plans to leave sometime in June.

9:33AM Dustan left the meeting.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the minutes from April 11-15, 2022, as written. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

9:57 AM Mitch Overn, Shop Mechanic; Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent joined the meeting.

          Shop/Road Updates-All roads had a path through them; some have already blown shut again. Some blades have v-plows on them; due to predicted snow event this weekend, they will leave the plows on. They had blades going in all directions on Saturday; most of the north and west roads were opened Friday. They had no break downs; did have an issue with a float on one of the blades. The blades are covered under warranty and CAT is here working on the float.

10:05 AM Steve Zachmann, Mayor-City of Baker joined.

          They have not received the oil sample results for the ambulance with the turbo issue. Have not heard from RDO regarding the seal for the Landfill dozer. Bobby checked on the price of oil for chip/sealing. Last year it was $450 per ton, the cost is now $850 per ton. The company advised Bobby to wait for a year, as the price keeps climbing constantly and cannot give an accurate quote until they know for sure when you will need it. Bobby did not feel we needed to complete the work this year. The Commission agreed to wait until next year; Wyrick Construction will have hot mix for patching roads. The Commission granted permission to haul snow from the Museum to the ballfield parking lot. If the City of Baker needs help hauling snow, Rod Morris, Public Works Director will contact Bobby. Mayor Zachmann stated the city crew is opening the alleys. The County crew helped widen 6th street west and plowed the Hospital parking lot.

10:15 AM Mitch and Bobby left the meeting.

Mayor Zachmann stated the city will wait on chip/seal for south central Baker area; they will continue with the plan to gravel that area this year. Snow removal in the city limits was discussed. Mayor Zachmann stated if individuals call them, they will try to get them out. Mayor Zachmann felt it would be good to schedule a meeting next week and include departments from city and county to plan for future events.

10:22 AM Steve Zachmann left the meeting.

10:27 AM Gary Thielen, Mayor-Town of Plevna stopped to visit.

10:28 AM Rich Menger, Sanitarian joined the meeting.

          Rich was notified the CDC is making grant funding available for a 9-month contract for SARS/COVID testing. Rich notified the City of Baker he is not interested in doing this as there have been no signs of COVID in the lagoon.

10:35 Gary left the meeting.

10:36 AM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined via phone.

          Project Updates-Wyrick Construction will wait until next week to start the Waterfall Project and will request an extension to the 6th of May. Jasen plans to bring in a rock sample this week. FMC parking lot will be pushed into May after the Waterfall Project is finished; he has to wait for warm weather. Upper Dam-Rich asked how much we could rely on the upper lake outlet structure. Shannon feels it can be relied upon and stresses not to open the gate unless overflow is reaching its maximum. Rich also mentioned FWP has discussed stocking the upper dam with minnows and when the gate is opened, they will be a food source for the fish in the Baker Lake. Shannon felt DNRC should not care if the upper lake is stocked with minnows; their main concern is the dam itself. Box Culvert Projects-John Peila, Diamond J anticipates July as the start date; he wants to wait on the preconstruction meetings until the end of May. Gazebo for FMC-Discussed getting cost estimates from various contractors for this gazebo. Monica Heimdal, EPA will come and meet regarding the wetland project sometime in July. Rich was concerned about the Triangle Park erosion area. Shannon is working on permits for this.

10:45 AM Rich left the meeting.

          Shannon had no other project items to come before the Commission.

10:47 AM Shannon hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting

10:59 AM Julie Straub, HRM joined.

          Julie asked permission to attend the Fair Board meeting tonight. The Commission granted permission to attend.

11:00 AM Julie left the meeting.

11:08 AM Julie Straub, HRM joined.

           Julie stated the following decisions are the remainder of what is left to discuss for the following meeting: Wages, county vehicle and when the position change will take place.

11:15 AM Lisa joined the meeting.

          Julie asked Lisa if she was recording this meeting. Lisa stated she was recording the meeting. Julie asked if she had recorded all the meetings. Lisa stated yes. Julie stated you need to tell us you are recording us. Commissioner Rost responded, yes, people need to know when they are being recorded.


           Julie wanted to clarify Vacation and Sick Leave will be prorated based on hours worked. Compensation-The Commission decided on $26.00 per hour. Commissioner Braun asked if Lisa had any comments. Lisa-No.

11:20 AM Julie left to go update the hourly rate on the Job Description.

           Lisa stated this will be a huge pay loss; will need to take on a second job. With the loss of pay, the quality of work will go down with the pay as well. $2.50 on call pay is not enough to compensate for the loss. You are taking my pickup, I am still the manager, still handle the personnel matters, etc.  Lisa stated this is retaliation from mistakes made in the past. It is double jeopardy because she has already been reprimanded for the past; Lisa stated this is how she sees it playing out, as does her attorney. My hands are tied, and I will lose my job if I do not sign it, (job description).

           Commissioner Baldwin stated, for him the circumstances that brought us to this dealt with the PCR’s and the loss of revenue. Lisa discussed losing the 911 funds from Prairie County and what that employee gets paid. Commissioner Baldwin stated that was something we had no control over. Commissioner Braun stated the loss of Prairie County was out of our control; we take all of this very seriously.

11:23 AM Julie returned with the updated job description.

          Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to accept the finalized job description for the EMS Program Manager position. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

11:27 AM Lisa signed the finalized job description.

         The effective date will be April 23rd, for May payroll; April timecards are due April 22nd. Julie explained her current position is salaried; salaried employees are paid through the end of the month. Lisa will be paid through April 30th in her current position. Lisa can drive the pickup through April 30th (Saturday); at that time Lisa will have access to the pickup during office hours only, (unless there is an emergency).

11:32 AM Commissioner Rost closed this section of the meeting.

11:35 AM Lisa left the meeting

        A detailed letter will be prepared, to cover the decisions made for the restructure, and will be delivered to Lisa. The Commission will get the door code for the Ambulance garage and weekly meetings will be set up for Lisa to meet with the Commission.

11:36 AM Julie left the meeting.

11:45 AM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to recess for lunch. Commissioner Braun 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 and Recorder


1:10 PM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator joined.


1:15 PM Julie Straub, HRM; Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder, joined.

          The recent snow event was discussed, in detail. Employees that are probationary and are not eligible for vacation or sick leave; employees that will not have enough vacation available and will have to use sick leave and some employees that will have to use leave without pay.

           Discussed roads being closed and the safety of those employees, who do not want to use their leave, coming to work when weather is hazardous. Last week was an extraordinary circumstance, as was the recent pandemic. Discussed using paid administrative leave during the pandemic; and is also used for other reasons. Protecting your leave was discussed, as well as seeing the other side of the coin from the employee’s perspective. Commissioner Braun stated employees need to use their leave wisely; discussed rural employees having a place to stay in town.

          Dale asked how that would affect part-time employees that were sent home or when their work location is not open, due to the weather. A decision will be made before the end of the day.

1:25 PM Debbie and Julie left the meeting.

1:28 PM Cindy joined.

1:30 PM FARMLAND RESERVE ROAD RESOLUTION/Joseph Rust, Landowner Attorney-On behalf of Farmland Reserve, Inc. via conference call.

          It was explained Fallon County has easements through all of the property, including the MacKay Ranch. We want something from the County that the road is a recognized access road. Joseph explained when they acquired Section 21-5-55, the title company said there is no legal recognizable access. The landowners want something that states they have access across their property.

          Commissioner Braun read aloud information regarding the easement recorded on the deed to the previous landowner. Commissioner Braun feels, based on Fallon County’s paperwork, it is public access and Fallon County is “The Public.” 

          Commissioner Baldwin felt it would be easier to name that a county road, (actually, not a road, but a drive or trail per County policy). The landowner is not particular about the name. The Commission will review this further with Dale, have a resolution drawn up and finalize the process.

1:45 PM Joseph hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting; Dale and Cindy left the meeting.

1:45 PM Julie Straub, HRM joined.


          Julie asked if the Commission would be favorable getting quotes for an Employee Assistance Program. This would be completed through an insurance company and is no cost to the employee. Some examples of what may be available to the employee would be complimentary attorney visits, tax professional assistance, mental health counseling, wellness, etc. The Commission wondered if we already had some of this through the Health Insurance. Julie explained insurance covers some of this, but the employee has to meet the deductible. This would be a stop gap for the employee. Julie feels it is a better way to promote our brand and bring employees to Fallon County.

          Discussed the costs, what if an employee does not enroll, do we still have to pay per employee? Discussion on possibly lowering the deductible on the health insurance rather than an additional program. The Commission granted permission to explore further and gather more information to be brought back to the Commission for a decision.

1:56 PM Julie left the meeting.


          The Commission reviewed revenues, reports, emails and other correspondence, board minutes and agendas. The Commission received notification from FEMA, the Fallon County Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan was approved with all requirements met. The plan approval extends to Fallon County and the City of Baker and allows the jurisdictions to be eligible for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. A Certificate of Appreciation was signed for Robin Miller’s 25 years of service to Fallon County. Congratulations to Robin and thank you for your service to Fallon County and the Community.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to reappoint Trenton Harbaugh to the Health Board. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to reappoint Justin LaCroix to the Health Board. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

2:25 PM Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder; Julie Straub, HRM were asked to join the Commission.

      The Commission made a decision regarding the discussion that took place at 1:15 PM today.

Decision-If the employee does not have vacation, they will be allowed to use sick leave for the hours they were scheduled to work. Due to County Facility closures on Thursday, April 14th, the Commission will also gift each employee, the scheduled hours they would have worked, (Thursday, April 14th). (Due to conversion of terminated employees leave to donated sick leave, Fallon County was able to utilize the balances as donated sick leave for this weather emergency).

2:28 PM Debbie and Julie left the meeting.


The Commission reviewed and approved claims for Mid-APRIL 2022 in the amount of $160,497.34 They are filed in the Clerk and Recorders office.

4:15 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.



8:00 AM – 4:00 PM TOUR WITH STATE RADIO REPRESENTATIVES/Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

                                                                                                                s/Roy Rost, Presiding Officer


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder