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

Commission Minutes – December 12 – 16, 2022

Commission Minutes – December 12 – 16, 2022



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


The Pledge of Allegiance was held in the Commissioner’s Office to start off the week.


No one appeared for Public Comment

9:56 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Mitch Overn and Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics

         ROAD-Commissioner Rost discussed an issue a resident has had regarding snow removal. Resident removes snow, MDT then plows the highway, the County then plows the sidewalks; there is no place to put the snow. Resident then has water issues when the snow melts. The Commission will contact Montana Department of Transportation and discuss further.  The Commission also had a complaint about leaving quite a bit of snow on county roads. Discussed waste of fuel if the blade is not down far enough to plow.

10:09 AM Mike Madler joined.

         Discuss/Decision to purchase packer for shop blade-Bobby stated the price will go up after the first of the year. The Commission made no decision.

         Review/Discuss/Decision regarding County Road impact evaluation from Stahly Engineering on behalf of Bridger Pipeline-The Commission reviewed and made the decision to accept the impact evaluation as presented.  Stahly Engineering will be contacted. 

          SHOP-Carl-The motor for the maintenance mower did not make it, due to delivery issues. Mitch-They are servicing the blades.

10:16 AM Bobby, Mitch, Carl left the meeting.

10:24 AM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator joined.

10:25 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined.

          Dale was getting clarification on the upcoming meeting.

10:26 AM Dale left the meeting.

          Rich reported the diffuser for the Baker Lake is no longer working; Rich would like permission to have the diffuser rebuilt.  The Commission would like quotes to have the diffuser rebuilt or to purchase new.

10:28 AM Rich left the meeting. 

10:28 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering

          County Road Study Project Updates & Approve work order/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering; Mike Madler, Contractor; Cindy Irgens, Recording Clerk

         Mike-July, 2022 was the beginning of the project; started scanning in August; after meeting with the Commission in September they changed the beginning research date to Jan 1, 1932.

10:30 AM Mary Grube, Planning Administrative Assistant joined.

          Mike explained the reason the start date was changed to January 1, 1932, was based on the information in the original Fallon County Road Plat Book stating that system was inaugurated January 1, 1932. Mike explained, the logic behind the change was, from the time Fallon County was part of Custer County, there were elected and or employed people, County Clerks, Surveyors, etc., who were familiar with the laws and procedures pertaining to roads.  Records show that these individuals were continually instructed by the County Commissioners to update and maintain the Road Plat Book. It is presumed that the procedures were done correctly per the date shown in the Road Plat Book.  In the September meeting with the Commission, it was determined to move forward using the January 1, 1932, date. Last August they started scanning files from the basement vault, using the new scanners; the scanners work very well. Discussed missing legal descriptions, (or lack of), as well as the condition of some of the documents, as some are over 100 years old. The scanning is definitely necessary to preserve the documents.  All files will be scanned, however, only the files after January 1, 1932, will be mapped and entered into the GIS database. The Road Plat Book has been entered into the database, which is the beginning of the mapping project. As more documents are scanned and read, the map and database will be updated.  New roads added, abandoned roads noted, etc. They have also started scanning County Commissioner Proceedings; to date have scanned books 1-8.

10:40 AM Michael Buzalsky, Brosz Engineering joined.

The key word search started with road, trail, highway, petition and grant.  They have also imported prior work completed by the County Road Technician from 10 years ago. Digital files will be created for easy accessibility.

Once the project is near completion there will be questions that will come up that will need to be answered, such as legal questions, will subdivision roads be mapped, etc. At that time the records will be ready for GIS implementation.  The Commission will need to decide how they want the digital documents to be displayed (hyperlink-verses-tables).  Hyperlink would be more convenient. However, if changes are made, there are several places that would have to be changed as well; it also involves more construction by the GIS developer and is therefore more costly. They have scanned grants from Townships 2-6, still need to scan Townships 7-12. Most of the Subdivisions are scanned. There are no plans to research deeds.

           The next steps will be to finish scanning printed materials; extract pertinent information; map location and update database; build GIS; add additional information; analyze; print Road Plat Book and other maps.  Currently feel they are approximately 16% complete. They are working with Cindy to get copies of documents that are scanned in DocuPro. Discussed adding “easements” and “abandon” to the word search list. They will continue to update the Commission as they go.  Commissioner Rost discussed a list of gaps would be beneficial to have.    

          Reviewed and discussed the project work order/proposal for the project.  Discussed the subscription cost for Brosz Engineering to extend the GIS content to Fallon County would be $2,000 per year.  The model will be maintained by Brosz Engineering for 5 years.  At that time the county may choose to complete a new work order to extend the service. Fallon County can, at any time, transition the data model to its own ArcGIS account with Brosz Engineering completing the transition for a $500 fee.  Fallon County would at that time be responsible for further maintenance.  Estimated completion date is projected to be April 1, 2024.  The work order proposal was signed and placed of record.

           Also discussed adding the word “closed” to the word search list.

11:09 AM Mary, Mike, Michael and Cindy left the meeting.

          Troubadour Drive Survey and approval of work order/Shannon stated the surveyors felt it would take 2 days to survey this road. They will not be able to complete this right away as they are still working on the Thielen Access survey. They will move to Troubadour Drive after completion of the Thielen Access survey, weather permitting. Quote received-$4,500. The decision is to wait to proceed with the work order until the County has completed the architect/engineer/surveyor/procurement process.

11:12 AM Terri Mahoney, Public Member joined.

          The Commission discussed thoughts and process regarding possible placement of cement in a county building.

11:28 AM Julie Straub, HRM joined.

11:30 AM Shannon left the meeting.


          Julie met to get Commission permission to hire Jennefer Wheeler as the Fairgrounds Manager. Jennefer would start on January 3, 2023.

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to hire Jennefer Wheeler as the Fairgrounds Manager with a projected start date of January 3, 2023. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

11:33 AM Julie left the meeting.

11:33 AM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator joined.

11:35 AM Terri Mahoney, Public Member

          Terri met to share her concerns regarding the Hospital. Terri expressed her recent concern of the process that took place at the Annual Hospital Membership meeting, regarding the Board Member Election. Terri was concerned there was only one set of eyes that observed the results. Terri observed what she felt was very concerning between the Board Secretary and what she believed to be a board member (supposedly on the ballot). Was thankful the election was handled the way it was through the County Election Department and also feels the Commission needs to make it a policy that all of the election ballots and everything are kept at the County Courthouse.  It was explained this was not a County Election and was not a county ballot; therefore, they keep their own election ballots, etc. Terri explained she is/was in charge of a 501(c) 3; the way this was handled was not proper. You need two sets of eyes (just like they do in Hollywood). Also noted only results of the top 3 elected were announced; instead of results from all of those on the ballot. No one else had their eyes on the results, very concerning to her and should be concerning to the Commission. Terri stated she had the understanding that members of the public had come before the Commission and asked the Commission to do something about what is going on at the Hospital.  The Commission explained FMC is its own 501(c) 3; the county just owns the building.  There was much discussion regarding 501(c)3’s and Terri’s knowledge of 501(c)3’s. Terri wants to get to the bottom of what happened that night and had tried to contact Richard Menger, Board Secretary, but he has not responded to her.  The Commission urged Terri to contact the Board President with questions. The Commission discussed the process of getting on the agenda, for public comment. Commissioner Baldwin stated they need to bring this discussion to a close as we are taking time from the next meeting.  Terri apologized and thanked the Commission for their time.

11:54 AM Terri left the discussion.

11:54 AM DES/911 UPDATES/Permission to upgrade county cell phone/Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

          Dale would like permission to get an upgraded county cell phone-The Commission granted permission for Dale to upgrade his county cell phone. There is no cost associated with this upgrade. 

          UPDATES/911-The Carter County-County Attorney is assisting both counties on an upgraded Memorandum of Understanding.  They are also working on by-laws for the (3) County 911 group.  Microwave and console upgrades-Dale did not think the upgrade would happen until next spring. North Repeater-Dale had Eric with Tab Electronics come down to check out the issues with the North Repeater. Eric found an issue with the modem. Dale stated Eric, Tab Electronics is a one man show; he will manage all issues as best he can.

          Discussed Fallon County is not planning to pursue an agreement with the State of Montana for the Next Gen 911 services. 

          Lumen/Century Link-Dale noted the Century Link bill was about 1/3 less than it had been in the past. The reason for this was, they finally removed Prairie County from our services as well as the unused landlines. This was due to the work Dale and Third Signal had completed.

          Third Signal contract is coming due after the first of the year. Dale will schedule a meeting with Third Signal, Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Communications Dispatch Supervisor and Dale. They will need to update the contract by removing items that have already been completed.

          DES-Dale is preparing for the storm which is supposed to start tonight through Thursday. The Highway 7 North and South gates have been repaired. The Commission granted permission to place the message boards on Highway 7 South and North in case they are needed. The quarterly EMPG funds were received a few weeks ago; this funding assists the County with Dale’s wages.

          Dale asked for permission to use vacation December 22-26, 2022.  Permission granted.

12:07 PM Dale left the meeting.

12:09 PM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to recess. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.

Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

          NOON RECESS

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



No one appeared for Public Comment


          Senator Daines is preparing for the Lame Duck Session and working on the Safe (Secure and Fair Enforcement) Banking Act. This Act ensures that legal cannabis businesses have access to banking services. Senator Daines was elected Chairman of the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee).

           The Commission asked if there was anything going on related to energy.  Fritz stated not much other than the Farm Bill. 

           Commission asked if anything new was going on with the IRS. Discussed Senator Daines was against the hiring of all the additional IRS agents. Also discussed the IRS $600 reporting rule required of financial institutions. Financial institutions are to report data to the IRS. The annual return reports gross inflows and outflows and breakdowns for cash, transfers to and from another account, as well as other transactions for the same owner. This requirement applies to all business and personal accounts from financial institutions, with the exception of accounts below the gross flow threshold of $600.

           Fritz stated the Wibaux Ambulance Service is having issues getting payments from Medicare/Medicaid and wondered if the Commission had heard anything regarding this issue. The Commission felt the problem we seem to have is they only pay minimal amounts and many times there are items they feel do not qualify. 

          The most recent report regarding the Baker Lake “wetlands” went well. The Commission may ask for assistance contacting the EPA. The contractor completing the reports has fair luck communicating with them, however, the county seems to have problems getting them to come to Baker to look at the progress.  The Commission wants to know if there is something they are missing or need to be doing before the final report “2023” is completed or any thoughts from the EPA regarding the process would be appreciated. The Commission would like to know if there are things that need to be done before the five-year process is complete.

          BNSF Railroad Crossings-They continue to have problems with the trains blocking all crossings for very long periods of time. They have contacted representatives of BNSF as well as tried other communication options with them and seem to always come up with no results. If there is an emergency due to this issue it appears BNSF would rather pay for the incident rather than fix the problem. 

          Previous Man Camp area was discussed-The Commission has been trying to get it appraised since it was given back to the County.  The plan is to sell the land.

          Electric energy was discussed.

1:54 PM Charlene left the meeting.


          2:00 PM Commissioner Rost opened the hearing. 

          No public comment was received in-person, electronically or by mail.

          2:28 PM Commissioner Rost closed the hearing.

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to Adopt Order 1100- Order of Consolidation of Offices-Consolidating the Fallon County Surveyor with the Fallon County Clerk and Recorder/Superintendent of Schools.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


          Lynda was unable to attend the meeting/will be rescheduled. 


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

Discuss/Decision regarding payment to MACo for County Assessment of Public land Research Center

          No decision was made at this time.

Sign letter of support proposal to reconstruct portion of HWY 7 North of Ekalaka

Commissioner Braun made the motion to sign the letter of support to be sent to Montana Department of Transportation to reconstruct a portion of Highway 7 North of Ekalaka.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.    

Review/Decision regarding quote from SDI for updated master plans for FMC and PVI and PV2

          Discussed the benefit of the update.  Commissioner Braun feels it may not be a huge benefit at this time but for future Commissioner’s it may be a benefit. 

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to approve the quote from SDI to update the master plan for FMC and PVI and PV2.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.      

Approve request for reimbursement #11 for AIP 3-30-0004-022-2021

          Commissioner Rost signed request for reimbursement #11 for the AIP 3-30-0004-022-2021 Airport Fuel Project.  The request will be sent to the FAA.

Sign letter of thanks for volunteering – Karrol Williams      

          The Commission signed the letter thanking Karrol Williams for volunteering her time as a Fair Board member by attending the PRCA Convention in Las Vegas, NV. 

Discuss/Possible Decision-Gas Chlorination update and quote for Golf Course

          The Commission made the decision to wait on this at this time. 

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


                 REMAINING SCHEDULED MEETINGS WERE CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS                                                                   

                                                                                                                                s/Roy Rost, Chairman


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk & Recorder