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

Commission Minutes

Commission Minutes

MONDAY, MAY 9, 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.


No one appeared for Public Comment.

9:15 AM Commissioner Minutes Approval for May2-6, 2022

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to approve the minutes from May 2-6, 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.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to go into a closed session. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

9:43 AM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to come out of closed session. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 nays. The motion carried unanimously.


9:45 AM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined.

9:48 AM Jason Boucher, Interstate Engineering phoned in

Commissioner Braun made the motion to award the Road Study Proposal to Brosz Engineering in the amount of $281,000. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Rost thanked everyone for taking the time to submit.

9:50 AM Commissioner Rost concluded this portion of the agenda.

9:50 AM Jason thanked the Commission and hung up the phone, leaving the discussion.

          Discussed the scanner that is needed for the project. A meeting was set up to kick off the project. Discussed feed and flatbed scanners. Dustan, IT Tech cannot find a scanner that has both a feeder and flatbed.

10:00 AM Shannon left the meeting.

10:00 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Mitch Overn and Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics-Weather (Raining).

           Shop Updates/Carl reported the ambulance still has a little bit of a tick; they are going to replace all injectors. The Road Assistant went to pick up parts today and they should have it finished by tomorrow. The Road Department D7 will be parked at the Landfill. Commissioner Braun asked for clarification regarding which dozer will be used as the primary and which will be the backup. Mitch felt they could switch them back and forth depending upon the work. The Manager of Landfill Operation explained the compactor is the only thing that will be used on the garbage. The road crew will haul the solar bee from the golf course to the shop yard.

           Road Updates/Hauling material on roads today. All driveways that were bladed hopefully will get some moisture to settle the dust. Commissioner Braun discussed blades crossing districts; there is a portion of a road that connects with Division Road that could be finished by the blade from the opposite Commissioner District. Discussed a situation that happened in a prior storm that could have been resolved if the blade from the other district would have crossed into the other District and finished blading to the intersection of Division Road.

Bobby stated they do have operators that cross over to different Districts, depending on the situation. Bobby explained the order in which roads are completed, ambulance routes, bus routes, main roads, and driveways. The Commission discussed redistricting after the census is finalized to simplify the boundaries. The crew was cleaning car gates, with the backhoe, every day last week.

10:15 AM Bobby, Mitch and Carl left the meeting

10:30 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined the meeting

          Project updates- Wyrick Construction plans to complete FMC paving by June 1st. Waterfall Project-wants another week extension on this project because of the second snowstorm. Substantial completion should be this week. Discussed notifications necessary for parking lot paving at FMC/Public Health and Retirement Complex.

10:20 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined

This will also affect dock deliveries, and garbage services. Discussed the water following the fuel line and running into FMC to the floor drain. The Commission would like this to be investigated so the issue can be resolved. Discussed extension of the manhole covers and bollard placements for protection. Discussed ordering parts for the extension or possibly having them fabricated by Baker Metal.

          Waterfall-Rich feels they need to do some adjusting on rock but otherwise looks good.

Eroded areas-Will need to advertise, (2-3 weeks), for the placement of rock in eroded areas along Baker Lake.    

          Stormwater drainage-The Commission wants to pursue placement of stormwater drainage on the South side of Lake Drive. The State of Montana gave the Commission permission to complete the project and tie into their stormwater system. Shannon will complete the necessary easement and right of way paperwork. One-call will be contacted, the area will be surveyed and will be prepared to go to bid. Discussed using stainless steel pipe because they may not get other pipe for 30 weeks or more. Fallon County currently deals with the maintenance of the storm drain.

          Museum-Rich discussed completing a preliminary review for asbestos in the Museum. Found nothing friable at this time; viewed the weaved electrical wire and possibly some of the cement; he has not checked the insulation. Rich stated if there are any renovations a report will need to be completed.

10:35 AM Rich left the meeting.

Shannon discussed possible permits that may have to be applied for before starting the project. Shannon noted the Town of Plevna may come to talk to the Commission about the County’s minimum allocation funds for the rehab of their lagoon.

10:40 AM Shannon left the meeting.

10:45 AM Robbie Christiaens, Maintenance Supervisor joined.

10:48 AM Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff joined.

10:49 AM Julie Straub, HRM joined.


          The question was asked, as the County, what can we do without an ordinance for leashing dogs, since the County does not have any ordinances or zoning in place. Trenton discussed the vicious dog law in Montana Code Annotated and explained without an ordinance in place, law-enforcement cannot enforce dogs on a leash. Robbie has received complaints about youth being chased by dogs. Robbie has signage posted but no one pays attention to the signs. If someone came into the Sheriff’s office and filed a complaint, they could write a ticket when Montana Code applies. Robbie could also turn in a complaint and the Sheriff’s office would then go to the people. Robbie does not want the beach to be used as a place to take your pet to go to the bathroom. If there are isolated incidents there is probably no need to write an ordinance. Robbie was not sure if it was best to be verbal or move on to an ordinance and wanted input first. Trenton discussed issuing warnings, even with an ordinance in place. Discussed deputizing City law enforcement specifically for that. Trenton would have to talk to the Judge first.

DECISION: For now – verbally inform pet owners of the rules and if there are complaints about vicious animals, contact law enforcement.

11:15 AM Julie, Trenton and Robbie left the meeting.

11:30 AM EMS UPDATES/Lisa Mitchell, EMS Program Manager joined.

          Lisa submitted her weekly report. Repairs to the ambulance was discussed. Lisa discussed items that have been completed and items that are left to complete. They have had 5 calls so far this month. Transport Policy-After further thought, Lisa will rewrite the transport policy she has been working on. Commissioner Baldwin asked if Lisa found out how they will restock the Ambulance if they run out of meds. Lisa contacted the Director of Nursing at Fallon Medical Complex, and they can restock at FMC.

11:33 AM Lisa left the meeting.

11:50 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



1:27 PM Todd Adamson, Member of the Public

          This weekend his son had family here from out of town, they were walking their dog at the park. The first pet bag station they stopped at was out of bags. They went to the next station and took 4 bags because sometimes their dog goes potty more than once and they were here for the weekend. As they did this Robbie, Maintenance Supervisor stopped and informed them the Mayor had sent him photos and a message stating someone was taking several bags from the pet stations. They stated there was no sign that identified how many bags they could take. The family members felt Robbie handled this appropriately but felt the Mayor did not. Commissioner Braun stated it could have been handled differently. Todd asked why the Mayor would have any say over a county park. Todd stated Robbie was courteous; they had no problem with how he handled the matter. Commissioner Baldwin explained Robbie and Derrick take care of all Parks, City and County and that is why the Mayor contacted Robbie. Todd plans to visit with the city as well.

1:34 PM Todd left the meeting.


Moved the meeting to the Courtroom

Present:  Roy Rost, Chairman; Steve Baldwin and Kevin Braun, Commission Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder; Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney; Members of the Public-Brenda Stoddard, Eldon King, Jessie Hastig, Jean Brenner, Dru Burk, Rochelle Conroy, Trevor Nelson, Jason Griffith, Elaine Stanhope, Donna Rowe, Douglas L. Rowe, Marty Asay, DeeDee Geving, John Geving, Mary Graham, Todd Adamson, Anna K. Straub, Rich Menger, Caleb Bettenhausen

          Brenda Stoddard is here on behalf of a group that has asked many times for assistance from the Commission. The County owns the building but leases it to FMC; Brenda explained, in the past the County was paying bills for items other than those for the building; now the process is such that the County pays for the equipment and the building. Brenda stated the group feels the Commission should step up and support the community to save our hospital or watch the providers come and go, the State shut us down, and the condition of the hospital continue to decline. Brenda discussed the financials she received from the Clerk and Recorder’s office. Brenda discussed the asset report, which is over $2.7 million. Brenda stated, we the people own the land and building, and we the people pay for this. Discussed the mill levy funding for the building and had questions regarding the budget. Brenda discussed the County has a vested interest in the Hospital, not just the land and the buildings and when you campaign and say you are going to do what is best for the community…..

         Todd commented on a question he had a while back regarding the phone system. Todd was asked to submit a quote and the CEO at FMC had the phone system installed before he was able to submit a quote. Todd stated the Commission has those things under control now and feels the Commission is working tirelessly to correct these issues.

          Brenda explained many citizens have been in to visit about this, not just Brenda S.. Now comes the hard job of backing the community. Brenda submitted a letter with more than the required signatures by the members of FMC. There will be a meeting held on Monday at 7:00 PM at the Longfellow School. FMC, Inc. members only are invited to vote to remove the current FMC Board, they will count immediately afterwards. If this passes, they will remove the Board; they will then vote for new Board members, and they will start rebuilding the Hospital. If people do not show up and vote, then things will remain the same; the power does not lie with the Commission.

Brenda explained, again, this will only be for members of FMC Incorporated, it is not a public meeting. We would like the Commissioner’s support as we start rebuilding the facility. Brenda stated people travel through our community to go to another facility, but they are not coming to FMC. Brenda accepts there are things that they cannot do but if we cannot keep our hospital, we will not need a County Attorney, we will not need anything and pretty soon we will have no Community. Commissioner Rost discussed this being a 501(c)3, which is felt to be the best for our community, rather than outsourcing to a larger facility.

          Brenda stated the members are the Community and nothing has changed. Discussed the CEO, and the FMC Board being kept a secret for 25 years. Roy stated the shell is there, the members need to vote.

Dru Burk-Asked if anyone from the Billings Clinic came forward regarding FMC. Commission was not certain. Someone stated, the Billings Clinic approached David and they were told they were not needed.

          Jason Griffith asked if any of the Commission were members of FMC. Commissioner Rost-Yes; Commissioner Braun not currently but used to be.

          Commissioner Rost stated we are 1 year into the new lease agreement. If you want to be involved to make changes, you have to be a member. Also explained there are other members of the Community that are happy with the way things are.

           Elaine stated she was a member and has never been approached to be on the board and has never been notified when there is a meeting. Elaine did not know how her name got dropped of the member list.

           Brenda S-Currently public comment is 15 minutes; a member was told they could not come to the meetings. Also, the FMC Board has had 14 months to reach out and address the issues and they have not done that.

            Commissioner Rost stated he is notified of meetings as often as the other members. The memberships are 3-year memberships; so, every 3-years you have to sign up.

2:18 PM Commissioner Rost closed the meeting. Everyone left the meeting.

2:20 PM SALARY COMMISSION MEETING DECISION/Elected Official Members-Trenton Harbaugh, Barbara Ketterling, Darcy Wassmann; Public Members-Alba Higgins, Kyle Medearis-Phoned in; Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk & Recorder, Christa Alford, Payroll Clerk; Anna Straub, Justice of Peace; Mary Grube, Planner-Administrative Assistant; Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

          Kyle made a recommended last meeting of 5.33%. The salary commission members and the law for the salary commission was discussed. The law was amended in 2021 which stated each elected official can appoint a member of the public to vote, in addition to the current members. Also, Darcy is considered a voting member, not just the legal advisor. Trenton stated on April 22nd the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released the most current Consumer Price index increases on various items, i.e., food, clothing, etc. Trenton shared some of the increases with the group. Commissioner Rost would entertain a motion from the floor. Trenton stated we haven’t had a full cost of living (COLA) adjustment in a while; he feels the 4.7% is reasonable.

Trenton made a motion to give the elected officials $1.54 per hour COLA; Alba seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. All present-(8) Aye. 0 Nays. (1) Absent-Jeraldine Newell. Motion carried.

2:30 PM Kyle hung up the phone, leaving the meeting. Everyone else left the meeting.

3:15 PM SALARY DISCUSSION EMPLOYEE WAGES & SALARY UPDATES/Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk & Recorder and Christa Alford, Payroll Clerk

Julie Post, Deputy Treasurer/Assessor joined.

          Julie discussed Clerks receiving 85% of the elected official when she first started working for Fallon County.

The law has since changed. Julie asked if the Commission felt the gap was fair for the Clerks; the elected offices are considered the essential offices. Julie discussed employees that left the County, from various positions, were paid a lot more than they are now and does not think the employees currently in those positions will ever make that much. The Commission is looking at making some adjustments to salaries and thanked Julie for her input.

3:25 PM Julie Post left the meeting.

          The group discussed setting COLA for employees. Debbie discussed employees that are paid less per hour will receive less per hour COLA, if you base it on the percentage. It is a better option to give a flat amount. Discussed elected officials, deputies and employees receiving the 1.54.  Discussed Deputy’s being paid less than 90% of the elected official (with the exception of Sheriff Deputy’s). Discussed handling the Sheriff Department separately from other Elected Officials due to the Undersheriff percentage. The group will not discuss other wage adjustments until Julie Straub, HRM returns. Debbie and Christa will work on Elected Officials COLA and a meeting will be set up to complete salaries next week.


          The Commission reviewed revenues, reports, emails and other correspondence, board minutes and agendas.

4:17 PM Lisa Mitchell, EMS Program Manager joined.

           Lisa brought a draft Transport Policy for the Commission to review.

4:24 PM Lisa left the meeting.

4:25 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to adopt and sign the Disaster Declaration Resolution for Fallon County. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

4:35 PM Debbie Wyrick and Christa Alford returned.

          Sheriff Department COLA examples were discussed. Further discussion will take place next week.   

4:45 PM Debbie and Christa left the meeting.

4:45 PM APPROVAL OF MICROWAVE QUOTE/Dale Butori-/911 Coordinator

         Dale received a quote of $78,384 for materials and labor to replace the Microwaves.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to accept the quote from Tab Electronics for $78,384.00 to replace the Microwaves. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.

4:50 PM Dale left the meeting.

4:55 PM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to recess the meeting. Commissioner Braun 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