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

Commission Minutes – February 6-10, 2023

Commission Minutes – February 6-10, 2023



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


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


          Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Election Administrator met regarding the past FMC board member election.  Upon further review of our files, Debbie and Brenda found the original papers, thought to have been given to FMC, were in county election files. FMC was inadvertently given copies rather than the original documents.  The originals will be given to FMC this week. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this has or may have caused everyone involved.  Brenda Wood, Election Administrator and Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Election Administrator.


                The Commission reviewed and approved the January, 2023 payroll and withholdings in the amount of $600,016.61 and are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

10:00 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES & ROAD PROCESS DISCUSSION/Mark Sieler, Road Foreman; Mitch Overn and Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics

Road Updates-Sikorski RoadThe Commission visited with Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering about the Wade Sikorski Road.  Ismay box culvert-The Road Department will take the sign down, as noted in the letter from MT DOT.  They will also notify MT DOT when they plan to remove the sign.  Denbury seismic project-Royce Hammer, Paragon Geophysical Services contacted Mark and the Commission regarding the project.  They plan to put a thumper truck on Lake Road.  Allison Gonsioriski approached Commissioner Rost about the road process when building a home on rural property. Commissioner Rost explained the landowner would need to build the road to county specifications.  They would also need to grant an easement to the county before the county will accept the road.  The road in question borders a seasonal county road. Gravel hauling-The road crew continues to haul gravel on Webster Road.  Mark feels they will have plenty of gravel for the Tronstad Road.  Container-One of the new containers was taken to the county shop; the rental container will be picked up by G & G. Discussed the doors put on the container; it is felt they will work as placed, as long as the container is not overfilled.

Shop Updates- Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent brought a list of equipment items that will need to be serviced; also brought a piece of equipment for the shop mechanics to start on.

10:14 AM Mark, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.

10:30 AM Commissioner Baldwin was excused.

10:30 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering via conference call

          Updates-6th StreetBox culvert plans-Hopefully will have the final plans ready by next week. Joint powers agreement for the project with the City of Baker will be drafted and sent to the County Attorney.  This will need to be submitted to the City of Baker at their February 15th meeting.  The agreement is needed since we will be bidding on the project with the City of Baker. Discussion regarding the bid process; if the city’s bid comes in high and the city decides not to move forward with the SID project, the asphalt portion of the box culvert would have to be moved.  The County could award the box culvert and include the asphalt in the county bid, if the County would decide to move forward with that project.

           HB355-State is proposing to award $230 million to the counties; Fallon County’s portion would be just over a half million dollars. Commissioner Rost discussed the county moving forward with procurement of a surveyor due to the grant process.  The procurement process will be on the commission agenda next week. 

          Road Plat Project-Questions/Decisions-Cindy Irgens, Recording Clerk-Cindy has been sending documents to Brosz Engineering on flash drives for this project.  Cindy has approximately 120 plats that have not been scanned in to the computer. Shannon said they are far from done with the work in the courthouse.  Michael will be in to do more and will also scan the plats. Cindy will now start to go through grantee/grantor indexes and will send Brosz the files of documents that are not scanned. The file would entail documents prior to 2003, because those documents are not indexed in the county system.  These will be kept separate so Cindy can upload and index them into our system.

10:46 AM Cindy left the meeting.

                Miscellaneous-Gravel bid-Currently Brosz has only received one gravel bid. Shannon was asked if the county would waive the bonding requirements.  The Commission stated they would not as of this time; the commission will wait to see how the process goes. 6th Street Box Culvert-Shannon has not heard back from the Corp of Engineers regarding the box culvert; Shannon will contact them.  Generator fuel tank-Those that were supposed to come and check the Cenex tanks never did come to Baker; therefore the generator fuel tank was not checked.  The hole has not been plugged and feel there will be a lot of water in there by the end of this week.  Shannon will contact Wyrick Construction to see if they will do this work. Shannon suggested Rich Menger, Sanitarian contact the City of Baker to ask if they will allow the upper dam water to be shut down to help with this issue.  

HB355-Discussed this funding as a possibility to be used for the 6th Street box culvert. Shannon stated possibly the engineering could be used as the match for this grant.

10:57 AM Shannon hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting.


          Pay increase-Amanda would like the Commission to consider giving Kodie Olsen, 4H Program Assistant a pay increase.  The Commission stated this would be something that would be visited at budget time.

         Administrative Assistant-Amanda would like to hire Jolinda Allerdings as the County Extension Administrative Assistant.  They would like her to work 5 days a week, 4 hours per day, (in the afternoons).  This position may work more hours during the Fair or if there are projects, etc.  The Commission stated the hours can be reviewed and if they get busier, possibly increase the hours.  They are not positive when she will start work.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to hire Jolinda Allerdings for the County Extension Administrative Assistant Position.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Braun asked for any other discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Baldwin). The motion carried.

                InternThe Intern is still scheduled and will be floating between Fallon/Carter/Custer and Prairie counties.  Discussed equipment and emails; no equipment will be needed, and the email will likely be a State email.  The Intern will answer to Amanda.

11:26 AM Amanda left the meeting.

11:26 AM COUNCIL ON AGING UPDATES/Carla Brown, Council on Aging Coordinator

Carla has approximately $5,000 in ARPA funding that needs to be spent from the meal category.  Carla would like to purchase a sealing machine for meals on wheels.  They are currently placed in styrofoam containers and stacked in a cooler for delivery.  Would like to purchase some trays, with dividers, and seal the meals in those containers.  The containers can be stored in the fridge or freezer; then can be put in the microwave to heat. Sealing would keep the food from spilling and would seal in the heat. Carla has already asked FMC kitchen staff if they would be willing to do that. The trays will be approximately .50 cents per container versus styrofoam at .13 cents per container.  The cost for the machine and initial tray purchases, plus shipping and handling would be approximately $3,300. The process was discussed: The cook dishes the meal, hands it to the aide; the aide would seal it and put it in the cooler.  The average meals packaged per day is 12 and eventually more trays would need to be purchased.  Discussed, the cost of the meals from FMC is $12.50. During COVID the price charged to those that qualify was $4.00, which was less than the original cost of $6.00; the charge is still $4.00. FMC would not charge extra to seal the meals.  The funding has to be used by the end of FY23 or FY24.  The Commission asked that this be placed on the agenda so a decision can be made.

          The bus grant is due the first of March; they increased the grant by approximately $20,000.  The new employee is doing good.  Carla would like permission to take paperwork with her, while out of town. Carla would report the hours worked to help offset the hours she would need to use for sick leave.  This will be placed on the agenda for a decision as well.  Commission discussed members of the public complaints regarding checks not being cashed in a timely manner.  The Commission stated they need to be deposited no less than once per month. 

11:43 AM Carla left the meeting.

11:56 AM Steve Zachmann, Mayor-City of Baker joined.

          Legislation-Steve discussed upcoming legislation with the Commission.

11:59 AM Steve left the discussion.

12:00 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to recess. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.

Commissioner Braun asked for any other discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent- (Commissioner Baldwin). The motion carried.

          NOON RECESS

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



       No one appeared for Public Comment

1:30 PM INSIDE MAINTENANCE UPDATES/Lynda Herbst, Inside Custodian Supervisor

          Carpet for the City of Baker-The Commission made the decision to wait until budget time.  Lynda will have to get updated quotes. Cove lighting-Lynda feels they could eliminate most of the fixtures by converting to LED.  The Commission asked Lynda to get a quote and they will decide if they will move forward or wait until budget time. Lynda stated she had to put ice melt out this morning.  The Commission will visit with Outside Maintenance.

Lynda and Kim would like to thank the Commission for all they do.

1:32 PM Lynda left the meeting.

2:00 PM GOLF COURSE UPDATES/Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent

Kevin has been getting equipment over to the shop for maintenance purposes.  Kevin discussed doing some maintenance on the creek on #1.  They used to do a controlled burn of the cattails; however, Kevin is unsure if that can be done any longer due to the new electrical wiring in that area.  Kevin would like to widen the creek area and gravel or cement the bottom. They did not do any maintenance with this last year; it is now full of snow.  The reel grinder does not do an adequate job of grinding the greens. Discussed sending the cutting units to Billings to have finished before spring. Discussed purchase of a seeder; Kevin contacted a company that has three (3) coming in they would sell at 2022 prices. Kevin feels purchasing a drop seeder would be adequate and would save money. Kevin has one seeder that needs to be returned.  Has not been able to get hold of them because they are only a seasonal course.  If a seeder is needed it was felt renting one rather than purchasing would be the better option.  Bed knife grinder is loose; will have the shop mechanics look at this. Kevin discussed issues with the irrigation system.  Discussed losing signal to hole #1 and what can be done to remedy that issue.   

Kevin would like to get literature together to explain last year and the plans for the new year.  Discussed the projected initial cost of the HCT project.  Commissioner Braun discussed making sure Kevin gets rain gauges placed on the course.  Kevin did place them on hole #1 last year but then the irrigation system went down.  The Commission discussed the necessary process to take when placing and reading the rain gauges. This is definitely a must, due to the DEQ guidelines that have to be followed; this is the only way they can get the necessary information. Irrigation leaks were discussed.  Kevin will definitely need help with repairs; will also need to take care of the electrical issues (discussed contacting Direct Electric to help trouble shoot electrical issues).  Kevin is getting the shop ready for the upcoming season. The Commission suggested contacting the road department to see if they will be making a trip to Billings to get the bed knives maintained. 

2:40 PM Kevin left the meeting.


               The Commission reviewed and approved the January, 2023 End of Month claims in the amount of $506,418.31 and they are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.


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

Approve/Sign Fair Contracts

The Commission approved and signed two (2) Fair entertainment contracts.

Review/Approve contents-O & M manual for spray irrigation for the Golf Course using recycled City of Baker wastewater. 

           Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the content of the O & M manual for spray irrigation for Golf Course using recycled City of Baker wastewater.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes.  0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

Approve quote for low water cutoffs of PV boiler

                The second quote was not received.

Discuss Legislative Bills

                Commissioner Rost will be leaving to go to Helena to testify on legislation.

Review/Approve updated maintenance billing/City of Baker share   

                The Commission approved the updated maintenance billing share for the City of Baker.

MDU-increased-$87.56            Microsoft 365-New added-$75.00          Security-New added-$21.25

Total monthly billing for FY24 building cost-share will be $1,935.08

Sign maintenance service agreements with Fireside Office Solutions/March, 2023 to March, 2024

          Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve and sign the service agreements with Fireside Office Solutions for county copy machines. The effective date is March, 2023 – March, 2024. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

3:45 PM COMMISSI0N MINUTES APPROVAL FOR January 23-27, 2023, and January 30-February 3, 2023

Commission Minutes for January 23-27, 2023, were not ready for approval.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the minutes from January 30-February 3, 2023.  Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


It was brought to the attention of the Clerk and Recorder that a correction to the Minutes from January 4, 2023, was necessary. The Commission approved the correction and asked the Clerk and Recorder to make the following correction:

 Melissa Higbee, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director met to present her monthly update.

The Clerk and Recorder recorded the following: They (Chamber of Commerce) plan to hold an Ag banquet, with Jerilyn Wiseman performing.

                The minutes should actually reflect the following: They (Chamber of Commerce) plan to hold an Ag banquet and they are hoping to get a band, maybe Jerilyn Wiseman.

The Clerk and Recorder apologizes for any problems that may have been caused because of this error. 

3:55 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to recess.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.




PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun, Member; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder

ABSENT: Roy Rost, Member


9:30 – 10:30 AM MT STATE FUND SAFETY TRAINING/Julie Straub, Safety-HRM; Safety Committee


                Cori Thurlow, Tammy Reetz, Michelle Smith, Marjorie Losing, Kathy Newell and Debbie Wyrick, Troy Hess, via conference call-Wellness Committee and Ashley Vande Bossche, Representative for Healthy is Wellness joined the meeting.

Ashley presented the Healthy is Wellness program to the group.

11:30 AM Ashley left the meeting.

11:31 AM Robbie Christiaens, Outside Maintenance Supervisor and Derrick deHaan, Outside Maintenance Assistant joined.

11:32 AM Steve Zachmann, Mayor-City of Baker joined.

Debbie explained this program would replace the EBMS Wellness Program.  Joint Powers Trust will pay 50% of the per day fee.  Incentives will remain as they are-Employees will have to attend two (2) meetings per year, labs and physical wellness exam.  The proposed cost would be $5,235.00 annually.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to move from the EBMS Wellness Program to the Healthy is Wellness Program at the proposed cost of $5,235.00 annually, which is a cost savings to the County. It is also felt this will be a better program for the employees. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Rost). The motion carried.

11:38 AM Troy hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting; Cori, Tammy, Michelle, Marjorie, Kathy and Debbie left the meeting.

11:39 AM OUTSIDE MAINTENANCE UPDATES/Robbie Christiaens, Outside Maintenance Supervisor; Derrick deHaan, Outside Maintenance Assistant and Steve Zachmann, Mayor-City of Baker

               All equipment has been repaired; the new engine was installed in the county machine and is working well. They are working on various other odds and ends in preparation for spring.  Mayor Zachmann discussed the equipment that will be returned to the City of Baker-Mower, cab and tracks, snowblower and broom.  Discussed the amount of time it takes to mow the City Parks-Robbie feels one (1) day dependent upon the person but would normally take them approximately 8 hours to complete. Mowing the highways, etc.-Robbie did not know the reasoning for some of the mowing other than it looks nice. Robbie stated they will do whatever they are told to do by the Commission and would be agreeable to help the city out as well.

Derrick stated Mike Menger is waiting on the electrician before he can submit a quote for the Parkview boiler. The trim for the Senior Citizen Center has not arrived yet. The replacement pump for the waterfall arrived.  Robbie will be attending pool certification in Bismarck, in April. Golf Course leaks were discussed; Robbie and Derrick would be willing to assist with the repairs.  The Commission would like to use county employees to complete that work.

                Commissioners asked if they would stop by each day to check the sidewalks.  They will do that. 

Mayor Zachmann asked various other questions regarding city parks.

11:55 AM Everyone left the meeting.

12:00 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.

Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Rost). The motion carried.


PRESENT: Kevin Braun, Presiding Officer and Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder

ABSENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman and Roy Rost, Member



             No one appeared for Public Comment.

1:30 PM SHOOTING RANGE UPDATES/Jim Leischner, Shooting Range Manager; Carl Overland, Shooting Range Board Member

          Boiler issues-They are having Issues with the boiler; a lot of the shooting range building has in-floor heat; the remaining rooms have forced air heat.  Kirk Lineback, local plumber and Shooting Range board member is looking into this. Budget question-Jim asked if there are plans to spend from their budget, at what point do they need to request permission on the purchase.  Commissioner Braun stated that the amount is $2,000, it is always nice to have a heads up when larger purchases are planned. Permanent targets-Some of the board members want to upgrade steel targets; the old ones are in very poor condition. Commissioner Braun recommends getting quotes and putting the upgrade in the new budget. 4H was out and used the Shooting Range last weekend. Jim stated they had an adult shooter that shot 100% at our Shooting Range. Commissioner Braun stated there have been complaints made to the Treasurer’s Office regarding some departments not cashing checks in a timely manner.  Commissioner Braun stated they need to deposit checks at least once per month. 

1:47 PM Jim and Carl left the meeting.

1:55 PM MUSEUM UPDATES/Melissa Rost, Museum Curator

          Melissa asked if Commissioner Braun could come and assist her with the oil and gas exhibit at the Museum.  Commissioner Braun will stop over some time. Melissa attended the MAM Board meeting in Helena last month and was able to attend Museum Advocacy day. It was a good opportunity to get to know other museum directors and what they’re doing. Most other museums had pop up banners; Melissa would like to get a life size one of Steer Montana.  The sign is up on the awning; this project can now be closed out.  Discussed servicing the alarm system and upgrades they are looking into.  SMART helped them write a grant for Heritage Fest; EPEDC is looking into another marketing grant (advertising grants). Melissa took an external hard drive, with the oral history information, to 605 Media and Entertainment so they could start editing the information. Melissa had earlier found a free display case in Belle Fourche, SD so personally rented a U-Haul and picked it up while there.  March 23, 2023 Steer Montana will be 100 years old.  They are planning a birthday bash, in the afternoon, April 16th. Heritage Fest Plans are underway and will be held Saturday, June 3 from 10-3; the Chamber is collaborating with them this year. Melissa and Melissa Higbee are the only two on the planning committee so they are looking for anyone that may be interested in helping them.  Have had 4 Fun Fridays so far this year. Next month is the Made in Montana Trade Show in Helena, March 10th.  The Historical Society has a set budget for Melissa to look for products. The quarterly MAM meeting will be held the following Tuesday, followed by the MAM conference, both will be held in Missoula. Melissa has registered for the AASLH Conference in Denver in May; also plans to attend the AAM conference in Boise, ID in September. The Baker Arts and Culture Council is getting a “Little Free Art Gallery” that will be placed on museum grounds so it can be monitored.  Will be gone the last week in February; days will be covered by Traci Bruha, Museum Aide.

2:05 PM Melissa left the meeting.

2:30 PM LIBRARY QUARTERLY UPDATES/Beth Meggers, Director of Library services

             The summer reading program supplies have been ordered. National Library week is April 23-29th. They had more patrons in the Library this January than last December, most likely due to the cold weather.  Beth had an employee resign and will be asking permission to hire again. 

2:38 PM Beth left the meeting.

3:00 PM LANDFILL UPDATES/Jeff Frank, Manager of Landfill Operations

            Rick Madler plans to come and look at what is needed to repair the office window.  The main dozer is getting a new water pump. One container, with a lid, has been completed and is at the road department. It is felt as long as the container is not over-filled, it should work. Jeff ran the extra dozer for a while just to get it up and running.

3:10 PM Jeff left the meeting.

3:30 PM CHAMBER/RECREATION DEPARTMENT UPDATES/Melissa Higbee, Executive Director; Mariah Miller, Chamber Assistant/Recreation Director

             CHAMBER UPDATES-They currently have 61 business members, (10) of those are new members. 

The Chamber by-laws have been updated; the last update was in 2014. They continue to receive donated items which will be sold at the SNIP vendor show.  The Chamber is working on the Heritage Fest in conjunction with Historical Society and Melissa Rost, Museum Curator.  Melissa H. was able to get a blacksmith from Hazen, ND to be a part of the event.  They will hold the job fair at the High School and asked if the Commission planned to join.  Commissioner Braun felt one Commissioner should be available. Discussed the Ag calendar she is working on; the calendar will be free to the public thanks to the Insurance Store/Jade Boggs.  Discussion regarding drafting an agreement between the Chamber and Fallon County for the Recreation department for funding purposes.  Commissioner Braun stated the Commission has discussed this with the Auditor, which is the reason for the agreement. Commissioner Braun was confident the Commission will follow through with this at budget time. 

            RECREATION UPDATES-Mariah Miller is the new Recreation Director and currently works 20 hours per week. Mariah discussed the various programs that have been provided by the Rec Department (tumbling; Volleyball K-6; martial arts; dance programs). Gathering sponsors for T-Shirts for the programs. The Baker Jam will be held in Baker in April. So far they have 3 teams signed up; they are searching for Refs.  Commissioner Braun asked if the Recreation programs were to grow, would Mariah like more hours.  Mariah stated she would like to be full-time. Commissioner Braun asked about the deficit for the Recreation Department.  Melissa stated that amount was $17,000.  Commissioner Braun asked if they would continue fund raisers, even with assistance from the County; Commissioner Braun stressed the funding is not guaranteed and is only for the purpose of getting them back on their feet. Melissa stated they would continue with fund raising, even with county assistance. The plan is to increase the fees in order to keep the programs operational.  Commissioner Braun again stated the Commission wants them to be sustainable because the county is not going to be tied to a certain amount. Melissa stated they need donations to replace the track equipment, which is in poor condition.

Melissa would like to announce the county will assist with funding at their next meeting.  Commissioner Braun again stated he was confident the county plans to move forward with assistance but that would take place in July.  Commissioner Braun stated the commission really wants this to succeed on its own because it is all about the youth. Mr. Vergara, Principal-Baker Schools is working on an AAU tackle program. This would be a league that will be run through the Recreation Department. They plan to hold a meeting with the parents on February 21st and they are still planning to have flag football.

3:46 PM Melissa and Mariah left the meeting.

4:00 PM SMART/EMEDA UPDATES/Vaughn Zenko, Executive Director

             Vaughn presented the 2022 report: established the Baker Arts & Culture Council; Established Wild Roots Community Food Forest (coming this year); Completed “Welcome to Baker” promotional videos; Baker Art Walk; Fallon County Visitor Center (coming this year); Cards of Christmas Cheer campaign for seniors; represented Fallon County at the Montana Legislature’s Child Care policy workshop; formed the Baker Community Theatre. In the course of 8 months SMART was able to take an empty husk of a building and turn it into a vibrant addition to the downtown corridor. They had over 300 people attend the annual haunted house at the Old Baker State Bank building. Last year $120,531 was directly contributed to projects within Fallon County and $40,300 in grant funding was secured to assist Fallon County businesses and residents through SMART.

            Discussed a grant for the pocket park in the amount of $75,000; the park will be located between Junction 39 and Prairie Rose Classic. Commissioner Braun asked if there would be a door on the back side that would connect the park to Junction 39; Vaughn stated there would not be a door. The grant for the visitor center is $50,000; the plan is to move the SMART/Chamber offices to that location and that would open up 3 offices spaces in the other building (owned by SMART). They received a $5,000 grant from MDU to purchase audio equipment for the Community Theatre. They are planning an Art Walk which is scheduled for July 15th

             Vaughn has been invited to Washington DC to the Administration for Children and Families; this is through the ACF and will be flying him to DC.  Head Start’s commitment will boil down to the politicians; if Head Start’s funding stays where it is at, they will expand to include Baker.  EMEDA has to find a place for them; they will not fully commit until June, 2023 but could open as soon as August.  They are looking into modulars and other prospected properties, run through the Port Authority and the County would own the building.  

             Discussed utilizing the upper portion of the old Baker State Bank building as a training and learning center. 

Discussed land donated to be used for the proposed day care center now possibly using for affordable housing.  Also applied for an advertising grant for the Heritage Fest in hopes of drawing people from Western North Dakota.

4:27 PM Jennefer Wheeler, Fairgrounds Manager joined.

 Discussed the Growth Policy meetings held and some of the conversations and ideas that were discussed. 

Grid United community advisory committee was discussed. 

4:29 PM Vaughn left the meeting.

4:30 PM FAIR MANAGER UPDATES/Jennefer Wheeler, Fairgrounds Manager

             They are working on Fair entertainment. The next Fair Board Meeting will be Monday, February 13th.  The Exhibit Hall has been very busy: shooting sports was held in the Exhibit Hall this past weekend; Extension is also holding community craft day once per month; Landowner meetings; weed spray days. They have discussed possibly holding a summer concert in June or July; Extreme Broncs will be held June 17th; may try to get a circus.

Discussion regarding who has permission to use the tractor to set up the barn for roping’s, etc.  Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder brought in the most current list. The Commission will discuss this and make a decision later. There has been much discussion regarding possible plans for the barn.  No definite decisions have been made regarding the barn. Rent payments were discussed also.

4:57 PM Jennefer left the meeting.

5:00 PM Commissioner Braun recessed the meeting.  

             WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2023


PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun, Member; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder

ABSENT: Roy Rost, Member



Commissioner Braun made the motion to go into a closed session for litigation.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Rost). The motion carried.

10:00 AM Commissioner Braun made the motion to come out of closed session for litigation.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Rost). The motion carried.


             No one appeared for Public Comment

10:11 AM Trent Harbaugh, Sheriff joined.

10:12 AM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator and Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Communications Dispatch Supervisor joined.

             The Commission asked if Dispatch has been receiving the Ambulance schedules. Brenda stated Dispatch does not receive Ambulance schedules. 

10:15 AM DISPATCH UPDATES/Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Communications Dispatch Supervisor

             Brenda has two interviews scheduled for February 23rd.  No other updates at this time.

10:30 AM DES/911 UPDATES/Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

             Dale is keeping an eye on proposed legislative bills. Discussed the most recent draft of one of the bills looks better after they removed language about next gen.  Not just telecoms are approved for grant funds, tribal and local governments were added to 7% grant.  If it isn’t used, it goes to the County.

             Eric, Tab Electronics will have the microwave project completed by the end of April, or no later than the end of this Fiscal Year. Budgets-Feldman has never come to Baker to give a pitch, as he had intended. Dale wants to budget for new consoles in the next budget year. Fallon County wants to move forward with the K Corp System. The Commission stated Dale should get bids together to move forward with this. The K Corp system can be upgraded later if needed. RIMS Updates-Discussed where Fallon County is at in this process; Trent stated he has been on the phone with them and they have been getting some work done.  Does not think they will get into it until next month; if this is not somewhat useable by June 30th the $40,000 grant will be lost.  The agreement does say they will be done by June 30th. Brenda asked if LAT can still be contacted if there are issues that affect 911. Dale felt the answer to that was, yes. 

          Glendive 911 calls-Discussed an issue with some calls going to Glendive rather than Fallon County.  Dawson county needs to do the same thing Ryan, Third Signal did for Fallon County. The issue was not a roll-over, it was on the provider (Verizon or AT&T).The towers should not be grabbing our calls. The city of Glendive received the letter sent regarding roll over calls being taken over by Richland County Dispatch. They were not happy about Fallon County’s decision but it gives them more latitude to move to Custer County; Glendive has had staffing issues. As of March 30, 2023 we will no longer require Glendive’s service.

             The Carter County Attorney is working on a draft MOU and By-Laws for Carter, Wibaux and Fallon Counties. There will be a demo with I AM Responding (text paging). This would take the place of Eastmont; Eastmont either needs to fix the issues or the counties are moving on.  The pages seem to be coming in when they should after Dale contacted them.  Discussed having an App put on responders’ phones so Dispatch will know who will be arriving on the call. We are paying $5,500 now for 11 agencies and 3 counties and feel it would cost between $5,500 to $7,500 if we went to another service; they are also looking at contacting other services providers.

             Rapid SOS-Verified mapping for only Fallon County because they were unaware Fallon County also included Carter and Wibaux Counties. They have since added those 2 counties and it is now working.

             DES Updated-Dale submitted for the 2nd quarter EMPG grant reimbursement yesterday. Dale has been sitting in on state PDM meetings. There will be meetings held in Miles City in April; Dale would like the commission to attend also. Carter County Attorney is also working on an MOU which would make Dale and Georgia Bruski, Carter County DES/911 Coordinator, each other’s deputies and will follow suit with other counties. Dale will be leaving tomorrow for a funeral and headed to training in Helena on the 14th.  There will be incident training in March.

             Commissioner Baldwin asked if there was any other legislation they were following.  Dale stated not currently; the State DES is working on some bills. The weather service stated we are currently in an El Nina pattern.


             Trenton has weekly updates on legislation; discussed bills they are watching. Discussed the next gen bill they have been watching; it is now better with the changes made. Dale does not have problems with the way the bill is written now. 

10:50 AM Brenda left the meeting.

Trenton stated the jail has been very busy. There have been a lot of Juveniles sent to Yellowstone Youth Detention; his budget is taking a huge hit. Let Trenton know if the commission has any concerns about legislation.  The last Detention Officer made it through Detention Officer basics.  Trenton explained he may have to use DIS for some issues they are familiar with, rather than our System Administrator.

11:00 AM PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES/Kim Bryan, Director of Public Health

             Public Health employees are working on taking the ambulance billing off of the FMC staff’s plate.  Commissioner Baldwin will meet with David to discuss FMC staff training Public Health employees in the Ambulance billing process. Commissioner Braun came to Public Health to sign Medicare paperwork for the Ambulance billing. Kim will add Mindi and Heather so they can take care of the billing side. Cindy Singer has agreed to help train in the process also. They need to figure out a process for Public Health to get the insurance cards for the Ambulance patients so they can properly bill.  Kim feels this will work out fine and added Lisa Mitchell, EMS Program Manager has been helpful also.

             Currently this is a slow time, they are not doing much COVID testing; people are doing in-home testing.  They have been receiving anonymous calls from individuals wondering about the protocols and indicating there are people with COVID working at various business establishments.  They have now placed the protocols on the website. Smiles Across America is doing teeth cleanings at schools; they can also do sealants.  Kim would like to take training so she is able to apply sealants as well.  They provide weekly COVID shots on Thursdays. Public Health will be in attendance at the local Health Fair. Will be holding school education pertaining to vaping and zen pouches. The Commission will visit with FMC regarding Insurance cards needed for Ambulance billing. Public Health is currently working on another grant for Kim’s wages. 

11:16 AM Kim left the meeting.


11:26 AM Commissioner Braun made the motion to add Don Selle to the Fairgrounds Equipment operation list. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Rost). The motion carried.

11:28 AM SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR UPDATES/Josh Lewis, System Administrator

Discuss KnowBe4 bit renewing subscription this coming July

          Talked about looking at MACo’s program as an option instead.  They are offering online training next week; Josh would like to register and see what it entails. We paid $3,100 last year for KnowBe4 and Josh is not sure it is effective any longer. Permission to register for the training and go from there.

Request permission to register for MACO’s free P11 Protect cybersecurity training program

             Commission granted permission for Josh to register for MACo’s free P11 protect cybersecurity training program.

VOIP Phone Services: Discuss Mid-Rivers April 2023 contract renewal date and PBX cost increases

         MID Rivers is willing to extend the service for our system at an increase in cost. It would move from $24.00 per line to $60.00 per line. Josh has been given information regarding another provider that specializes in this (Reed Meschke). Permission to check into the other provider.

Request permission to enroll in free trial of Echo Network’s VOIP admin portal

             This would give Josh some insight on the administrative side of the system. Permission granted to move forward, the sooner the better. Trent would also like to be a part of this; discussed possibly setting up a committee.  Commissioner Baldwin will visit with Reynolds to see how they are liking Echo. Josh will stay in touch with Trent as well. 

MFA Soft roll out update

             Has 12 users set up with Multi Factor Authentication; the process was pretty easy. This is just for logging in to Microsoft accounts.  Down the road it will be for logging on to computers. Setting up the City of Baker with their first 365 users; the City is on board. Josh testified online to HB328; there ended up being a lot of opponents. Proponents-Discussed transparency moving into 21st century; stated that counties and cities could find a cheap camera online and subscription services to sign up. They also stated entities could do a Facebook livestream; Josh feels we should not rely on social media to post the meetings. Josh mentioned how much time it would take the county to implement and upload in the required time frame. Explained the additional storage this would take on a server. Anytime the public would view it is taking our broadband.  Josh also explained a lot of cities and counties do not have IT. They are trying to make this fit all cities and counties.

11:48 AM Josh left the meeting.

11:50 AM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.

Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Rost). The motion carried.

          NOON RECESS

PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder

ABSENT: Roy Rost and Kevin Braun, Members



1:30 PM PARAGON/DENBURY PROJECT UPDATES/Royce Hammer, Paragon Geophysical Services Inc.

Moved the line and got it completely out of the Baker Lake with the actual GPS’d locations.  This is low impact seismography. Royce presented a check for Fallon County in the amount of $2,830.10.

1:42 PM Royce left the meeting.

1:48 PM Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder and Julie Straub, HRM joined.

Julie was contacted by a Globe Insurance representative; has much the same products as AFLAC, however they do not deduct through Payroll as is done with AFLAC. The decision is to let them know the county is not interested in moving forward with their product.

1:49 PM Debbie and Julie left the conversation.

1:50 PM Commissioner Baldwin adjourned for the week as the rest of the meetings scheduled for the week were cancelled. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman

                                                                                   s/Kevin Braun, Presiding Officer-Tuesday (Feb 7th-PM)


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk & Recorder