Commission Minutes January 16-20, 2023
NO SCHEDULED MEETINGS-OBSERVANCE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2023
9:30 AM CONVENE
PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder
FALLON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
The Pledge of Allegiance was held in the Commissioner’s Office to start off the week.
9:30 AM AGENDA/NON-AGENDA ITEMS – PUBLIC COMMENT
No one appeared for Public Comment
9:45 AM GEOPHYSICAL PERMIT UPDATES – DENBURY PROJECT/Royce Hammer, Paragon Geophysical Services, Inc.
The contractor completed preliminary survey work and since there is a lot of infrastructure, the decision was made to change to 2D; it will be quicker. Even though they will be doing 2D in place of 3D they will be paying the landowner the same amount. It is projected this should only take two (2) days. The start date is planned for February 10, 2023. Royce will notify Commissioner Braun before starting; will also let the Road Superintendent know what is going on.
9:50 AM Royce left the meeting.
10:00 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Mark Sieler, Road Foreman; Mitch Overn/Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics
ROAD UPDATES-Hauling gravel-John Tronstad would like gravel from the Webster Road to his house since they are already working in the area. The Commission agreed it was okay to do that. Mark will let the operator know when he is in that area, it is approved to be resurfaced.
SHOP UPDATES-The garbage truck is at Baker Metal for welding repair; the air dryer is working good. No word on the progress of the container lids. Commissioner Braun wanted them to know he gave permission for courthouse carpet to be thrown in the container at the shop.
10:05 AM Mark, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.
10:30 AM COMMISSION WORK SESSION
The Commission reviewed revenues received, reports, emails and other correspondence, board minutes and agendas.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to sign updated Geophysical Exploration Permits for Explor Geoscience USA Inc. and Paragon Geophysical Services, Inc. for the Denbury 2D project. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
DECISION REGARDING NEW CARPET FOR THE CITY OF BAKER BUSINESS OFFICE
The Commission made the decision to have Lynda Herbst, Inside Maintenance Supervisor get quotes and submit the request for FY24 budget.
REMAINING WORK SESSION BUSINESS:
LETTER OF SUPPORT/MILES CITY GI LEVEE PROJECT
Commissioner Braun made the motion to send a letter of support pertaining to the Miles City GI Levee Project. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS PROPANE COSTS FOR COUNTY DEPARTMENTS
Jim Leischner, Shooting Range Manager joined. Jim stated the quote he received for the Shooting Range was for the full Fiscal Year.
Kimberly Jensen, AP Clerk was asked to join. Kimberly noted some departments are being charged more than the Shooting Range and felt it made sense to see if all of the county departments could get the same propane rate. The Commission stated this has to be done before July of each year; it is too late for the other departments. We will add this to the budget discussion for next fiscal year.
10:45 AM Jim and Kimberly left the discussion.
DISCUSS LETTER FROM LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES BUREAU-CARES ACT FUNDS
The Auditor was contacted regarding this matter. Upon their audit, they have found nothing that would suggest there was any misuse of Coronavirus Relief Funds. The US Treasury Team will be contacting the County to set up a meeting to discuss this complaint.
SIGN STANDARD AUDIT CONTRACT AMENDMENT-AMENDING SCOPE OF WORK FOR OLNESS & ASSOCIATES, PC
Commissioner Rost made the motion to sign the standard audit contract amendment to amend the scope of work. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE QUOTE FROM RANGE SYSTEMS FOR 40 BAGS OF 1” GRANULAR RUBBER FOR SHOOTING RANGE
Commission Braun made the motion to approve the quote to purchase 40 bags of granular rubber, plus shipping and handling, for the Shooting Range in the amount of $1,210.72. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
SIGN INVOICE FOR BOWMAN RADAR OPERATION
Commissioner Braun made the motion to sign, approving the invoice in the amount of $4,000 for the Bowman Radar Operation. Commissioner Rost 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 FOR PV BOILER
No quote was approved, still waiting for a second quote.
SIGN REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO DESTROY DOCUMENTS (RM88)
Commissioner Braun made the motion to grant permission to destroy various old county records based on the State of Montana record retention laws. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE QUOTES FOR FLOORING/INSTALLATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH
Commissioner Rost made the motion to accept quotes to purchase flooring in the amount of $1,358.80; remove and install flooring in the amount of $3,182.50 for remainder of Public Health rooms. These expenses will be paid for from the IAP Grant Funds. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
PERMISSION TO RENEW SONIC WALL SOFTWARE
Commissioner Rost made the motion to renew the Sonicwall Software. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
10:49 AM Josh Lewis, System Administrator joined and was notified of the decision.
10:50 AM Josh left the meeting.
DISCUSS PVI FIRE ALARM CERTIFICATE/INSPECTION REPORT DEFICIENCIES
No decision was made.
DISCUSS ENTERPRISE FUNDS AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY – PER AUDITORS
Discussed possible need to increase some of the fees/charges for services for the Enterprise Funds to increase self-sufficiency. The Auditors were concerned some of the funds are not self-sufficient. Enterprise Funds include Retirement Complex; Solid Waste (Landfill); and the Ambulance Fund. This will be discussed at budget time.
10:53 AM Commissioner Baldwin was excused.
11:03 AM PERMISSION TO HIRE COUNCIL ON AGING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BUS DRIVER & SUBSTITUTE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BUS DRIVERS/Julie Straub, HRM; Carla Brown’s email was submitted on her behalf
Julie met on behalf of Carla Brown to express Carla’s desire to get permission to hire Chelsea Lindsey, pending the pre-employment substance testing required for the permanent position. Carla also sent an email expressing her desire to hire as well.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to hire Chelsea Lindsey for the full time Public Transportation Bus Driver position, pending receipt of the pre-employment substance test was approved. 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.
Julie stated Chelsea will start January 27, 2023.
Julie stated they would also like permission to hire three (3) Intermittent/Substitute Public Transportation Bus Drivers. Those drivers are Pat Ehret, Melissa Ploeger and Doug Wenz. They are called upon when the regular driver is unavailable or for out-of-town trips. Julie has received all of their approved pre-employment substance tests.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to hire Pat Ehret, Doug Wenz and Melissa Ploeger as Intermittent/Substitute Public Transportation Bus Drivers. 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.
11:08 AM Julie left the meeting.
11:10 AM Commissioner Baldwin returned.
11:15 AM EMS PROGRAM MANAGER UPDATES/Lisa Mitchell, EMS Program Manager
Lisa stated they had average calls for the month of December. The Hospital is flying a lot of people out for medically necessary reasons. Discussed Medicare/Medicaid payment changes/Revised the HIPAA policy as of the 1st of January/updated protocols (the last time they changed the original protocols was when the EMS Board approved changes); Dr. Espeland is the Medical Program Manager for EMS (can only be a PA or Doctor). Lisa had heard the EMS billing will be moving from FMC to Public Health. Lisa informed the Commission there are other agencies that will do the billing as well. Lisa has been taking online training with CMS as well to learn more about the other side of the process. Lisa has been working on some grants through the State of Montana, Oneok, Scout and Denbury is offering a grant as well. Lisa has been in the system and noticed EMS has not billed out since October 14th. Lisa also informed the Commission she has to authorize new users (Heather and Mindi). Commissioner Braun told Lisa to text all three (3) Commissioner’s when requesting permission or for notification purposes. Lisa will do so. Lisa left the draft policy and procedure manuals for the Commission to review. Lisa asked if the Commission needed anything further; if not she has a Hospital education meeting to attend at FMC.
11:27 AM Lisa left the meeting.
11:42 AM Julie Straub, HRM/Safety Director; Mindi Murnion and Josh Lewis Safety Committee Members joined.
11:45 AM SAFETY COMMITTEE UPDATES
The Safety Committee met with every department to help problem solve various safety related issues.
11:46 AM Debbie Wyrick, Safety Committee Member joined.
The Safety Committee feels they get better feedback from employees when the Commission is in attendance. The Safety Committee would love to have the Commission attend the safety meetings; ideally one at each meeting. It adds solidarity to the workforce.
Falls on the sidewalk and streets led to a conversation they know has to be discussed with the City Council, but they would like to make sure the Commission has no problems with the request before moving forward. They would like to see if they can get the speed reduced around the Courthouse. They had spoken to the former Mayor about a crosswalk but that never happened. They would like to propose a 15 MPH speed limit to match the School Zone speed limit on 1st Street. The Commission stated they have no problems with that. Josh and Dale Butori, Safety Committee Members have a discussion meeting scheduled with the Mayor to get instructions on how to proceed.
11:53 AM Julie, Mindi, Josh and Debbie left the meeting.
11:54 AM 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
FALLON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
1:15 PM AGENDA/NON-AGENDA ITEMS – PUBLIC COMMENT
No one appeared for Public Comment
1:28 PM DISCUSS PROCESS TO PREPARE FOR APPRAISAL AND SALE OF COUNTY PROPERTY (ONCE DESIGNATED WORKFORCE HOUSING)/Mary Grube, Planning Administrative Assistant, Forrest Sanderson, Contract Planner via Conference Call
Commissioner Braun-When the County received the discussed property from TransCanada they were approached by members of the community asking about purchasing the property as is. The Commission asked for an appraisal so they can offer it at Public Auction. What would the value of the property be with all the individuals have to do?
Forrest-The Workforce facility sits within undivided ownership of Fallon County. In order to liquidate, the County needs an appraisal. Forrest stated they could subdivide the facility from the balance of the ownership. The county could get an engineer to move that forward and then they could do the appraisal, or, the county needs to sell the facility with plus or minus acreage and notification there is access to highway 12.
Discussed selling it all, except for the Gun Range and the Motor Cross track, as they are also located in that section.
Forrest-There are other moving pieces; such as the wastewater line from the lagoon to the Golf Course. Discussed any disclosures that may need to be provided in the sale information. Forrest also stated this would be over 160 acres so there would be no review, it is not a subdivision.
The Commission has been waiting for the appraisal of the workforce site.
Forrest-would want to disclose DEQ approval on the facility, forced main from lagoon, city water and city sewer was private between the City of Baker and TransCanada. The Commission may want to start with Kevin, Mayor and Council to discuss any rights.
Commissioner Baldwin-Feels nothing survived.
Commissioner Braun-Feels the County would advise those interested in the property would need to visit the City of Baker.
Forrest-The original DEQ was for temporary services and would have to go through formal review and upgrade facilities to make it permanent. Access with MDT would also need to be determined. The Commission noted that was already taken care of.
The Commission stated the Appraiser has had a difficult time deciding how to arrive at the actual value. Discussed reclaiming and abandoning all below, in place, and remove the infrastructure above ground.
Forrest-If the NE ¼ contains all of that area, rather than having a survey, the county could deed it that way as long as all proper steps were followed. However, if MDT Highway runs through that area, by deed, then the county can get it surveyed and run the line further down, so we are able to get 160 acres (aliquot parcel). If MDT Highway acquired this through an easement, then the county can deed the NE1/4. The Commission will keep Mary and Forrest informed.
1:55 PM Forrest hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting.
1:56 PM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined.
The context of the meeting was discussed with Shannon. As soon as we find out about Highway 12, they will inform Shannon.
2:10 PM Mary left the meeting.
2:12 PM Wade Sikorski, Public Member joined.
Wade asked if he could get an easement to maintain the road going to his home. The road is in good condition, the last time there was any maintenance was 10 years ago. Wade stated the road into his place is approximately one (1) mile long; he is mostly worried about plowing snow. Wade has been plowing the road himself, but would like the easement for future. Jerry Sikorski did not get an easement for that road. Commissioner Braun stated Wade would have to survey it, (at his cost), to see if it meets county requirements, and then get it on the agenda to get permission.
Wade would like to install new fencing on Dry Creek Road but is unable to do so the way it stands now. If the County would level the road up, he could then put the fence up. There is an REA line; Shannon stated the REA line is overhead. The Commission will need to look at it. Wade stated the road goes to Byron Wolenetz’s quonset; Sikorski’s own the west side of it. Leveling that would also make it safer.
2:30 PM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering
Bid for Gravel-Shannon will get a bid for gravel prepared and bring it over next week. The Commission would like a stipulation saying the gravel must be within 15 miles of Fallon County.
Thielen Access-According to the Surveyor, the road follows the existing petition except for a small portion near Bobby and Melissa Thielen’s yard and areas that go around some hills.
2:35 PM BERGSTROM HILL ROAD LANDOWNER MEETING/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering, Mark Sieler, Road Foreman;
Wade Sikorski, adjoining landowner-The county can pull the fence and posts and would not need to replace, due to the fact they don’t know where the property line lies. They may put a fence around the entire section owned by Sikorski’s but have not done that as of this time. Wade feels this project is a very good idea because the intersection is a huge safety issue. Wade offered dirt; if the county would need to borrow dirt, they can pull it off the ridge that washed from Byron’s place. Shannon stated the county will need permission to move the approach onto the Old Baker Highway. Just so they can get in and out with a semi and train. The current approach was not wide enough. Wade would like to know where the property line is. Shannon will have to survey it for easement purposes. If Wade has any further questions, he can call Shannon. There will be a temporary easement sent; after construction is over the temporary easement will go away.
2:38 PM Wade left the meeting.
2:46 PM Roddy M Rost; Eric Schultz, Mid Rivers joined the meeting,
Mid-Rivers line is 90’ off the road; if they are in the way they will coordinate a temporary line as they plan to run fiber in that area also.
Discussed the approach on Rost property. Roddy would have no problem moving the approach to the east but they would have to move the cattle guard
2:56 PM Mark joined and Commissioner Rost joined by phone.
Roddy wants to make sure the dike stays where it is. They will have to first decide how to place gates to the corrals. Rost’s do not keep cattle there in summer/spring unless there is no rain. The county can install temporary fencing if needed. Roddy would like the approach double wide so they can have two (2) gates. Roddy will visit with his son (Roddy) and will stay in touch with commission and Shannon. Roddy would rather put his own fence in. Shannon stated there would be no ditches and the excavation on the top of the hill will be pulled down to the bottom. The project will be out 100 to 150 feet and will be asking for temporary easement.
Eric-When Mid-Rivers completes a new fiber project, Mid-Rivers will need to get with the county so they can stay outside of the easement.
Shannon discussed an area that causes a snow trap; the plan is to grade out the NW side of the intersection to prevent that. Shannon will contact the landowners after all is finished.
Roddy asked if they would gravel about 50’ of the approach. Shannon stated, yes, approaches will be graveled and the pipe (culverts) will be sized accordingly.
Eric-Mid-Rivers will probably be sending a permit for everything south of Jacob Rieger’s place. Mid-Rivers will help in any way.
Commissioner Baldwin-Any further questions or discussion. Mark is good. Roddy is good and Commissioner Rost is good.
3:14 PM Roddy left the meeting; Roy hung up the phone, leaving the meeting.
3:15 PM Eric left the meeting.
3:15 PM Construction and Design
Bergstrom Hill Road Project-Shannon stated there would be approximately 30,000 yards of dirt that will need to come out of the hill; 3000 feet is the entire construction project. Discussed including some stop signs on the Old Baker Highway. Will need to decide if they will shut the intersection down during construction or not. Mark stated that would be two (2) months of hauling for the road crew. Shannon discussed traffic control for this project. The County would have to have a blade present during the entire project; the county would only have one (1) scraper available. At the end of each day they would have to dress the area and put material up. Commissioner Baldwin stated the county program signs could be placed at the intersections. Mark would like to see a contractor do this but he understands it has to do with money. Shannon explained they would require use of GPS controls; the only time Brosz would go out is if there are problems, decisions to be made. The Commission feels they should bid the project, get a start date or completion date and working timeline (60-days).
Thielen Access-The petition shows it is a County Road all the way north to (Sections 8); but the County does not maintain that 2 miles of road. Shannon stated the legals will be finished in the spring. The Commission stated the county does not maintain past Buerkle Access, which then leads to Plevna Road.
Gravel bid-The Commission feels 50,000 yards is a sufficient amount go out to bid to purchase.
3:54 PM Mark left the meeting.
6th Street West Box culvert project-Will probably have to get temporary access from the Fire District and Chris and Cheryl Duke for this project.
4:20 PM Shannon left the meeting.
4:20 PM APPROVE JANUARY, 2023 MID-MONTH CLAIMS
4:45 PM JANUARY 9-13, 2023 COMMISSION MINUTES APPROVAL
Minutes were not ready for approval.
5:00 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.
s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman
s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk & Recorder