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

Commission Minutes – January 2 – January 6, 2023

Commission Minutes – January 2 – January 6, 2023





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


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

9:30 AM ADOPT RESOLUTION #1101 TO ELECT PRESIDING OFFICER OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSION FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2023. The Resolution is filed in the Clerk and Recorders Office.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to Adopt Resolution #1101 Electing Steve Baldwin as Presiding Officer for calendar year 2023. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

ADOPT RESOLUTION #1102 TO SET MILEAGE AND TRAVEL RATES. The Resolution will be filed in the Clerk and Recorders Office.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to Adopt Resolution #1102 setting the mileage and travel rates for calendar year 2023 for elected officials and employees. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


          No one appeared for public comment.

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

Road Updates-Roads are all opened; some roads have blown back in. Commissioner Braun received a call about some county roads SW of Plevna that are one lane traffic. Bobby has been driving roads to see what touch up work needs to be done; he will drive roads in that area as well.  The crew will haul material when it warms up. The Commission received two encroachment permits for Bryant Steen.  Bobby signed off on the permits. 

Shop Updates-Currently working on a couple of loaders, putting a starter on an end dump, and placing tires on a Sheriff vehicle.

10:07 AM Mitch and Carl left the discussion

Road Process Discussion-

          Mark let the Commission know he wanted to record the meeting, so everyone is on the same page.  Commissioner Braun-When he ran for election and was visiting with the rural people the most asked question was, what was going to be done with the road crew. His response was we will figure it out and see if anything needs to be changed; so, the past two (2) years Commissioner Braun has been observing.  Commissioner Rost stated he had the same thing happen when he campaigned.  Commissioner Braun-The roads are there for the rural people; feels it is not a work issue, it is a communication issue.  We need to build a better relationship with the people.  Commissioner Braun asked, how do we do that? Commissioner Rost-Maybe there is a disconnect through the Commission but between our two (2) Departments we need to figure it out and build the trust back. Commissioner Braun-I work for them, you work for us; we all work for the people.  We can’t bring the shoulders in when people are hauling loads. We need to communicate when people are harvesting.  We need to keep the integrity of the road. Commissioner Baldwin-Is there some way that we visit with the rural people?  Bobby-We don’t always, but we maybe should. Mark-Sometimes but there are a lot of people to contact. Commissioner Rost-Sometimes the Commission is not informed on road work.  Maybe the Commission can help communicate to the public.  Commissioner Braun-It is the little things that can be done.  Mark-He has been trying to work on roads/approaches that are located by farm fields.  Commissioner Braun-Is this happening countywide. Mark and Bobby-Sometimes. There are some people that will complain no matter what, we all know that.  Commissioner Braun-Maybe we need to change; how many roads do we need to be on?  Mark and Bobby-Most roads only get bladed once per year, but the drought has been hard on roads as well.  Commissioner Braun-How do we fix it? Bobby-We need to visit a lot more.  Some people will not want it done, ever. Commissioner Braun-If they are the only ones on that road….  Bobby-But then if you let the road go too long, that is not good either.  Commissioner Braun-But how much traffic is there on a road if they are the only ones using the road?  Commissioner Rost-Then there is the cost to bring the roads back. Bobby-The roads that get bladed more than once were named, such as North Plevna, Pennel to Anticline, and Division Road, etc. Then there are roads that get hit in the spring and not again, it depends upon traffic. Discussion on North Plevna road being all gravel.  Mark-When you are blading, some people will give a thumbs up, then you go ½ mile down the road and the next person gives a thumbs down. Commissioner Braun discussed complaints such as the blade not cutting the road and just moving gravel from one side to another causing washboards and operators are blading too fast. Bobby-Sometimes it is due to the shims getting worn and the guys don’t realize it until they start plowing snow. Commissioner Braun-Discussed doing a good first cut in the spring, but two (2) Commissioners are hearing pretty much the same thing. Bobby -Everyone can always be better at what we do.  Mark stated he preaches this; we all have to do the best we can on all roads every day. Commissioner Baldwin-Stresses we all communicate the best we can. Commissioner Braun-We all need to know and be aware of the width issue, need to keep roads at 24’. Discussed using a tape measure or stepping it off.  Mark-A road will gain width every year.  Bobby-If one (1) thing is done wrong, that is all that is remembered.  Commissioner Braun-More communication with rural folks, but something has to change.  Commissioner Baldwin-This is not all on the crew, it is the Commission as well. Commissioner Rost-It is nice to know what roads are being bladed or worked on so the Commission can field questions from the public. Commissioner Braun-Discussed making sure not to cut roads when it is too dry. It only takes one guy to get the word out about a bad road. Bobby-It is like this everywhere; he talks to a lot of Road Superintendents, and they all have the same issues. Bobby tries to get the crew to do the best job possible. Commissioner Braun-He wants the public to call the Commission when they have a problem with roads and not bother the crew or Bobby. Mark and Bobby-Most of the people don’t complain to them, but it is the same people that do complain.  Commissioner Braun-The three (3) Commissioners have a district based on population.  The Commission does not care where the blades go, if all blades are needed in one (1) district, they have no problems with that.  Bobby and Mark-They do that now.  Mark has been working in a different district when there is time. They try to keep the same people in a district because they know the roads and they know who all have easements. Commissioner Braun-How do we get that information to everyone?  When you are sending someone to a district, they are not familiar with, make sure the operators are informed before they go.  Is there an app so it can be punched up in a blade? Mark and Bobby-Not that they are aware of; blades should have maps in them. Commission-They should be able to do this when the road project is complete.  Bobby-Terrain Navigator is only on one computer at the shop and explained a lot of guys are techno handicapped.  There is no GPS in the blades.  Bobby can bring it up on the shop computer, so they know where a blade is located.  Discussed road monitor systems, placing binders in the blades, (pertaining to the roads with easements). Mark and Bobby-When in a different district, we keep them on the main roads rather than going to driveways. Commissioner Braun-Discussed rotating the crew out in different districts to get everyone familiar with all the districts. Bobby- Then you have a problem with things getting done. Mark-He has driven the roads he blades in a district, which is a good learning experience. 

          Commissioner Rost-Discussed the Old Baker Highway –from Bergstrom Hill Road to Duck Creek Road; approximately five (5) years ago, that portion of road was changed to a seasonal road and his constituents asked why.  Commissioner Rost told them that was a Commission decision, and the Commission has to be the ones to make the decision to change it. Commissioner Rost is making the request for this change; the road is used by Sikorski’s, Beach’s, Wolenetz’s, Rost’s, etc. and is graveled all the way.  He wishes he would have done more research with his constituents before agreeing to make the change.  Commissioner Baldwin asked that it be placed on the agenda. 

10:40 AM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined.

The Landowner meeting for the Bergstrom Hill Road project will be held on January 17th.  Bobby will be gone but Mark will be in attendance.  Bobby – The decision not to chip seal was a bad one, there are now major issues with roads now, issues are arising when plowing snow. Bobby stated they are having a snow problem in one area with the new box culvert in Ismay; located on the north end, on the west side of the road. Shannon stated there is no fiber line in that area; the county crew will resolve the issue. This is the area where an old basement was removed, and the ditch was higher than the road. The work plan for Bergstrom Hill Road was discussed and what will be done to avoid snow issues.  Bobby will share all data with Mark. 

10:50 AM Bobby and Mark left the discussion

10:51 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering

UpdatesShannon brought the Final Pay App and Change order for the 2022 Bridge Replacement Project. This will be placed on the agenda. 

Approve Task Order to go to bid for replacement of 6th Street West Box Culvert

           Shannon brought the task order for the design of this box culvert; the projected engineering cost is $36,000 and that should include everything.

11:00 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined. 

          EPA Representative-Rich stated Monica Heimdal, EPA recently retired. Mike Boeglin will be our new contact source.   

Shannon discussed the permitting for the 6th Street West culvert project.  Also explained we are going to run off the same delineation as the wetlands for this project. Will try to get all permitting done before the award date; this project will be similar to the 4th and 5th Street box culvert projects; he will just need to update the information. This project will not be MT DOT inspected.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Task Order to go to bid to replace 6th Street West box culvert.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  The Motion Carried unanimously.

Approve Lakeview drive – Final Pay Application & Change Order

          Shannon discussed the change order for this project; $3,389.62 was the total increase. 

Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Final Change Order in the amount of $3,389.62 for the Lakeview Drive Storm Sewer Project.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the final retainage for Lakeview Drive Storm Sewer Pay Application, (with the condition Fallon County receives an access release statement from the landowners-Roger and Darin Meggers). Pay Application is in the amount of $17,423.38 to be paid to Wyrick Construction and 1% Gross Receipts to be paid to the State of Montana in the amount of $175.99. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The Motion Carried Unanimously.

Lakeview Drive Storm Sewer Miscellaneous

          Compliance certification-The Compliance Certification for this project was signed and will be sent to the Army Corp of Engineers.

           Discussed the permit that will need to be completed by the permittee (Fallon County); Shannon will bring it next week for approval after he gets clarification on some items.  Shannon will also get the as-builts for the project. Certifications will be provided next week as well.

           Rich discussed the rock that was to be placed to prevent erosion.  Discussed the process they can take while the ice is on the lake.  Shannon will check on extending the flood plain permit before starting this process and will pull a centerline for marking purposes. The county will need to get the remaining rock necessary for the project. Lakeview Drive Storm Sewer Project – the pea gravel for this project was placed, (for filtering purposes). 

11:20 AM Rich left the meeting.

          Bridge Replacement Projects-Shannon explained the changer order and final pay app for this project.  There was a $66,000 cost savings on the project.  Did not have to do stabilization on either box culvert and there was less borrow used than planned.  The total project was $50,000 under the original contract. This will be placed on next week’s agenda.

          Thielen Access Road-Surveyors feel there should be enough information for the preliminary to be completed.  They are missing three (3) miles of stones on the north end.  They will pull an old topo map from the 70’s; after review will make a decision on how to move forward.

         Road Project-Michael will be back to work on the project this week.

11:30 AM Shannon left the meeting.

11:30 AM IT UPDATES/Josh Lewis, System Administrator

          Unable to attend.


          The December, 2022 Payroll and Withholdings, in the amount of $580,540.16 were approved by the Commission and are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

12:00 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.

          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 WEED DEPARTMENT UPDATES/Sara Berger, Weed Control Coordinator

          UpdatesAll weed spray bills were mailed out and there are only three (3) left to be paid. Sara explained the BLM (Grant) invoice.  One of the landowners asked a contractor to spray for them rather than the County.  The Contractor in turn bills the county and we send the bill, including the contractor amount to the BLM.  The BLM will pay Fallon County; when we receive payment, we will pay the Contractor. Sara asked for a heads-up next time this happens.  This year Sara billed out approximately $30,000 for the County’s portion (without BLM).  The Ollie Grant went really well, there will not be a grant pursued for the Ollie area next year due to spraying until November 1st.  That is an in-depth grant and there would not be time to complete it.  Sara would like to do a program in the school with the younger kids; this would be weed ID and would do that in place of the grant this year.

          Sara presented a winter check list and monthly project list to show the status of all items. A board member asked Sara to do the monthly duty breakdown.  Commissioner Baldwin asked about one of the weed vehicles.  Sara feels the pickup is mechanically sound and they should be able to get by for a couple more years.

           The Upcoming events were discussed-Winter Ag Series with Extension is January 18th.  The MWCA Annual conference will be held in Helena February 6-9th.  Sara would like permission to attend and would like to ride with Jessie Scott from Ekalaka.  Permission granted to attend the conference and to ride with Ekalaka Weed Coordinator in the Ekalaka vehicle.  Fallon Carter spray days will be held February 22nd – 23rd

          Crew outlook-Sara only has one (1) previous crew member returning this year.  Sara feels 3 crew members, plus herself will be enough; they work two (2) people in each of the two (2) crews.  The Road Department did help last year due to getting a late start because of the weather. 

          Commissioner Baldwin thanked Sara for a good job on the receivables.  Sara extended the invitation to the Commission to attend the weed conference.

1:40 PM Sara left the meeting

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

          Updates-Kevin has scheduled a meeting next week with the Commission regarding the HCT process.  Todd Eden will be speaking via Teams.  Todd mentioned it would be a good idea to have someone in the medical field attend the meeting. Kevin will get more information for distribution before the meeting. The Commission explained the County has to chlorinate the water from the lagoon, (used for irrigation purposes), in order to meet the DEQ standards.  Gas chlorination will be less expensive in comparison to the Sulphur burner.  The Commission agreed to listen to the HCT presentation and then a plan will be discussed.  Kevin explained he has to explore the options for his conscience and reputation; if this does not work out, he has a job lined up.  Commissioner Braun stated the county does not have an endless source of money. Kevin does understand and wants to do the right thing.  Commissioner Braun discussed the extenuating circumstances of the irrigation system issues and the drought and the impact this had on the golf course. Kevin does not want to leave….but.  January and February Kevin will be doing regular maintenance on equipment and sharpening reels and bed knives. The Commission discussed placing cover for the wetlands.  Kevin discussed the three (3) irrigation systems that are failing and his concern the old systems are not dug up and removed before placing new. Commissioner Braun discussed asking Kevin to repair as many leaks as he could before it was too cold. Kevin stated there are a lot of leaks remaining to be repaired; he did not get many repaired due to his work on reseeding the greens.  Commission discussed updating the control boxes but noted the county will not be replacing the irrigation system.  Kevin discussed the roots are on their last breath the soil is anaerobic. The cost for HCT process will be discussed next week.  The Commission needs to receive notification from Kevin when he will not be able to make it to work due to vacation, etc.  Kevin did not know he was to notify them.  The Commission wants to know where he is at if there is adverse weather or otherwise. The Commission wants a text to all three (3) Commissioners from this point forward.  Kevin will do so.  

2:23 PM Kevin left the meeting.

2:30 PM SMART/EMEDA UPDATES/Vaughn Zenko, SMART/EMEDA Executive Director

           Updates-SMART will be receiving a new grant to turn the Wosepka building into a visitor center; the grant will be for $26,000 and they are in hopes they can get the Montana Tourism Grant, which could potentially be in the amount of $60,000. The initial grant should get the construction portion completed; the rest would be for signage, windows, and technical items. The timing for this has worked out because DCI completed the digital project.  The City of Baker has to put it out first before others can use it. Junction 39-Things are going well; they seemed to do well during the holidays.The roof grant is still on track for the old Baker State Bank building; that would also include the old Wosepka building.  Mayor Zachmann and Vaughn went to Helena for the Child Care Project.  Vaughn was one of the featured speakers; spoke on the Child Care Project in Baker and how it ended in failure. Many were inspired by the speech even though it ended the way it did. Fallon County now has a licensed childcare facility (Jessica Enos) and there has been another person asking about getting her facility licensed (Carrie Schwartz). The Head Start Program is moving full speed ahead, this would be for children from 3-5 years of age and would encompass 12 to 14 children.  Discussed putting up a modular to house it, or lease, or rent a place for Head Start. The rent would pay for the cost of the building.  They will be receiving a $75,000 grant to put up a pocket park between the old Baker State Bank and Prairie Rose Classics.  This will not be maintained by the County.  Commission asked about the Co-op progress. Unfortunately, the person working on the Co-op recently resigned. It will be worked on when time allows.  Discussed the upcoming Growth Policy meetings.   

2:51 PM Vaughn left the meeting


The Commission reviewed and approved end of month December, 2022 claims in the amount of $145,783.02.                They are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.


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

3:25 PM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator joined.

3:28 PM Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Dispatch Communications Supervisor joined.

 Old Business

          Dale and Brenda discussed how pleased they are with all that has been accomplished by using the services of Third Signal. Ryan, Third Signal was able to assist with proper routing of the Prairie County calls to Custer County. Dale and Brenda asked to renew the contract for another year; this is paid using 911 funds. Discussed calls received can be easily located on the map. The Third Signal contract includes annual ESRI license and Third Signal Carrier Data Management for 2023 which entails:

          Dale discussed the back-up county (Richland County) for call overflows has not been completed and would like to get that wrapped up in the near future.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to renew the Third Signal agreement in the amount of $6,000.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

          Brenda discussed past snow events and how helpful it was to have Dale there to assist while they were taking care of other emergency items. Brenda had discussed this at a previous meeting and would like permission to train Dale on radio operations.  The Commission granted permission to train Dale on items that he would be allowed access to and permission to assist in the Dispatch center. 

          Brenda would like to move the open Emergency Communications Dispatcher position from 24 hours to 36 or 40 hours per week.  This would fully staff the Dispatch Center and would also allow for an extra 12 overlap hours for the Dispatch Center. After some discussion the Commission agreed to 36 hours per week. 

3:45 PM Dale and Brenda left the meeting. 

Encroachment Permits-Commissioner Braun signed encroachment permits for Bryant Steen to runwater lines across Tatley Road in Section 6-9-61; 31-10-61 and Tatley Road in Section 7 & 8-9-61. Collected fees of $300.00.

Commission Board Appointments

EMI-Commissioner Braun currently and will remain on this board

Health Board-Commissioner Rost currently; Commissioner Baldwin will replace after this week’s meeting.

Mental Health-Commissioner Baldwin currently; Commissioner Rost will be the new member. 

Planning-Commissioner Baldwin currently and will remain on this board.

Tri-County Alcohol & Addictive Disease Board-Commissioner Baldwin currently and will remain on this board.

Approve Master Service Agreement with GIS Workshop, LLC

           The Commission reviewed and approved the Master Service Agreement with GIS Workshop LLC for the Road Department Mapping Software renewal. 


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the minutes from December 26-30, 2022, as presented. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

4:10 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, Presiding Officer; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder



       No one appeared for Public Comment


          This meeting has been moved to Monday, January 9th.

11:00 AM DISCUSS SNOW DAY POLICY/Jeraldine Newell, Clerk of District Court; Barbara Ketterling, Treasurer/Assessor; Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff/Coroner; Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney; Julie Straub, HRM; Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder; Christa Alford, Payroll Clerk

The discussion today is only to determine if a Snow Day policy is warranted. County Policies have a process to go through before final adoption. 

          The meeting was called to discuss and get thoughts from the Elected Officials regarding snow day events. Barb does not feel it is fair for people that cannot make it to work to have to use vacation. Would like to see those that make it to work be rewarded with a comp day. Commissioner Braun stated the only reason it would be an issue is if the public were to come to the courthouse and it was closed. Commissioner Rost agrees. Barb does not think we have to close the courthouse. Commissioner Braun discussed the Department Heads and Elected Officials keeping the courthouse open and send everyone else home.  It would take all elected officials to agree to do this. Jerrie is willing and it does happen that employees are not able make it in. Barb stated it is a safety issue. Commissioner Rost stated the County closed the courthouse for COVID; we should be able to do it when it is 60 below. Julie-However, Detention Center, Dispatch Center and EMS must remain staffed. Commissioner Baldwin stated it had earlier been discussed that possibly there could be a limit such as 24 hours and also feels it is not fair to the elected officials to have to be the only ones to keep offices open.  Commissioner Braun-Last spring the Commission granted a day and there was backlash from that, employees stating it wasn’t fair. We don’t know how, and we cannot make everyone happy. The other option is to stay home and give comp to those that want to come in and work. The snow day granted last spring was abused by someone that went out of town to shop.  Discussed abuse and falsification of time sheets; parameters would need to be set.  Discussed road closures; Trenton discussed some roads are closed and some are not during the same storm. Commissioner Rost commented on school snow days and how they are derived. Trenton-He does not get paid extra but has to be here, but his officers, DO’s and others need to be compensated.  Dispatch had a Dispatcher stay in town in case she was needed.  She paid for a room and did not want compensated for that. Julie-We won’t make everyone happy; she proposed comp time.  The biggest concern is the risk to the employees. Administrative Leave was discussed as was used during COVID. Trenton – Clarification regarding comp time; making sure the discussion was to pay the employees time and one half.  Yes, that is how the comp time would be paid out.  Commissioner Rost stated the employees should not come in just to get paid comp time.  Julie-Again discussed setting parameters and abuse needs to be addressed with employees on an individual basis. Supervisors need to deal with the issues when the time sheets come in.  Debbie asked who was to make the determination regarding closing the courthouse.  Trenton asked if the Commission would close the courthouse. Elected Officials offices will determine who will be designated to come in. Debbie feels the Sheriff’s Office should be involved as far as making the determination as they are out on the roads etc.  Trenton stated the Sheriff’s office has picked up employees to get them to work and back.  Jerrie stated she was very thankful for the Sheriff’s office; they had to help Jerrie get to work two (2) days in a row.  Debbie discussed the matter of allowing 24 hours in a year; for those Departments/Offices that work shifts that could be 2 days or 2 ½ days.  Darcy stated the policy could discuss three (3) shifts, rather than hours.  Discussed forming a policy to start with and amending it if needed.  The Commission asked if Darcy had an opinion; Darcy did not. Debbie discussed a system that would need to be put in place for notification purposes.  Trenton wondered if Code Red could be used; would just be a matter of downloading an app. 

11:26 AM-Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator was asked to join.

          Dale was updated and asked if Code Red could be used as the process for notifications.  Dale stated Code Red will not work for this. Discussed other Apps would have to be available for a use such as this; Trenton discussed paging Department Heads.  Christa discussed an App the Plevna School District uses to notify parents or guardians of various items, such as closing schools early, sending buses home early, etc.  They receive a text and moments later an automated voice message.  Christa will get the information from the Plevna School District. There are probably many free Apps that could be downloaded and used.  Discussed various approaches and the best way to contact and who to contact; maybe best to contact the Supervisor and the Supervisor contacts their staff. Julie-Maybe notification to the Department Head and their designee.  Discussed procedures to adopt the policy; law for elected officials offices to remain open. Dale discussed declaring a local emergency, which would involve no mills, and this could be justification to be sent to the State of Montana. Also discussed, if you are scheduled to be on vacation, it would still be vacation. Will have to make many case by base determinations such as someone that is on vacation but gets called in to work a shift.  Dale will check on code red and other apps; Josh Lewis, System Administrator will be contacted.

11:53 AM Everyone except Barb left the meeting.  

          Barb asked the Commission if they plan to adopt a policy and make it retroactive; because there are employees that are low on leave.  The Commission did not think the policy would be retro, only for snow days moving forward.

11:54 AM Barb left the meeting.

11:55 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.

          NOON RECESS

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



       No one appeared for Public Comment

1:30 PM EXTENSION AGENT UPDATES/Amanda Williams, County Extension Agent

          The Commission asked if Extension was going to be getting an Intern.  Amanda stated Extension will be getting an intern this summer for eight (8) weeks. The intern will be paid through MSU. Jenna Paul will be the intern; will learn how to be an Extension Agent.

1:31 PM Josh Lewis, System Administrator joined.

          Amanda asked Josh to join because they would like to ask permission to use the Colorado (System Administrator vehicle). They have Cloverbuds every other Tuesday and would like to check out the Colorado on those designated Tuesday’s only (January through May).  Amanda drives the Extension pickup to Ekalaka every Tuesday to work in the office. Kodie would rather use the Colorado as it is parked in the north parking lot and could be returned to the north parking lot upon returning that evening after Cloverbuds. For Kodie’s ease, if it is parked in the parking lot, she does not have to deliver the fleet car to the county shop. Commissioner Baldwin feels the Airport pickup would be better suited for this.  Amanda turned in her updates and discussed upcoming events, such as archery in Fallon County; Rifle in Carter County, Horse meetings, beef weigh-ins; Fair book revisions committee meeting; alternate beef weigh-ins; Cloverbuds; Livestock committee meetings; various  community craft nights; fruit committee meeting; Winter Ag Series; 4H Council; Fruit sales start-February 1st; Carter County Shooting sports invitational in Baker; Shooting sports leaders training in Circle was postponed to the New Year.  Larry Brence will be meeting with the Commission to complete Amanda’s Annual Review; Carter County Sheep and Cattle Growers meeting-January 15th; Management Excellence online training twice a month January – April.

1:40 PM Jim Leischner, Shooting Range Manager joined.

Amanda would like to make a correction to the Commission minutes from Amanda’s last update on November 14th at 1:30 PM. The minutes stated, “Permission was granted to move forward with recruitment for the Administrative Assistant position for 20 hours per week”.  Amanda stated that the decision was not made while Amanda was still in the room, it was made by the Commission after Amanda left the room. The Commission agreed to amend the minutes to reflect this. Also, they heard there may be a new plan for the Fairgrounds Barn; Amanda would like someone from the Commission to talk at the Livestock Committee meeting or 4-H Council meeting to explain plans with 4-H. Commission stated this has just been a discussion, no decisions have been made.  The Commission will address the proper groups. 

1:44 PM Amanda left the meeting.

1:45 PM SHOOTING RANGE UPDATES & GRANT & FREIGHT QUESTION/Jim Leischner, Shooting Range Manager

          The need to purchase rubber backing for the Shooting Range.  The place they normally order the product from will sell the product for $400.00 but the freight is over $1800. After discussed a decision will be made who will retrieve the supply, whether it be a County Truck or another freight company.

          Outdoor toilet is froze again; they will look into it. Jim wondered if this could be used for something other than the current use.  The toilet never stays thawed; the heaters cannot keep up with the weather.  Commissioner Baldwin felt we would need to check on the grant that paid for this before that determination can be made.  The toilet in the shotgun building may be froze as well; someone unplugged the heater.

          Jim discussed getting a key fob system quote for the front doors of the Shooting Range building. Jim also discussed snow blowing in behind the range and how it has affected the range; it cannot be turned on. Jim suggested placing a garage door on that end of the building to keep the snow out.  They would have to remember to open and close the garage door as the shooting range needs air to operate effectively.

1:59 PM Jim left the meeting.

2:12 PM Amanda Williams, Extension Agent rejoined.

          Amanda would like permission to order craft items for the craft workshops, the cost is $745.89.  Amanda explained they are charging individuals for the crafts; most of the costs will be recouped.  Permission granted to order.

2:14 PM Amanda left the meeting.

2:30 PM CHAMBER AND REC DEPARTMENT UPDATES/Melissa Higbee, Chamber Executive Director; Kassidee Kilsdonk, Recreation Director

         Chamber – Dean and Karol are staying on the board; Linda Howard and Josie Madler are new board members.  December was a busy month for the Chamber.  The Chamber Board made the decision to add some new items and to have more Ag-related promotions. They plan to hold an Ag banquet with Jerilyn Wiseman performing; plan to create an Ag calendar. You don’t have to be a Chamber Member to attend.  Melissa is working on the SE Montana Tourism ad now.  They are also working on a Community Garage Sale; this will be done in conjunction with the SNIP vendor show.  They plan to hold a Casino Night, this will replace the Calcutta-the Calcutta did not do well this year. Plan to hold a volunteer appreciation dinner for those that volunteer for the Chamber and Rec Department. Plan to hold a golf event-Night golf; Plan to hold a Glow Run.  Melissa discussed the Rec Department is $21,000 in the hole and asked if the County would like to help. Kassidee is leaving due to the wages; she likes doing what she is doing but she cannot make enough money in this position.  Kassidee explained the Rec Department does not look good fiscally, but it has a lot of impact on the kids. They have looked into using bed tax funds, but that is not available in our area. This will need to be put on the agenda. They are going to increase the fees, but donations are always needed.   

2:48 PM Melissa and Kassidee left the meeting.

2:54 PM MUSEUM UPDATES/Melissa Rost, Museum Curator

          Udates-Volunteers filled in when Melissa and Traci were scheduled to be gone. Traci opened and closed the building and armed and disarmed the alarm at the building for the volunteers.  Security system was discussed, currently have updated camera system. Discussed servicing the alarm system. They are working on the Historical Society 501(c)3 status.  In December there were 4 student groups for various lessons; the teachers thanked the Museum staff/volunteers for enjoyable learning experiences. Melissa had a table at Christmas in the Park where kids could make snowflake ornaments. They had activities and treats on Sundays in December. Melissa did an outreach at Compass Coffee where she read Little House on the Prairie Christmas stories and did some activities and crafts to coordinate. In January Melissa will start doing the senior programming at Superior Care Villa; she

has a list of potential topics and has enlisted Tiffany Davis to volunteer to help. Melissa received notice that two (2) of the Museums signs were not in compliance; this has been resolved. Melissa discussed the sewer smell in the metal building; Outside Maintenance found the vent was almost completely frozen over so that was addressed. The floor drain sewer gas was addressed as well.  Baker Metal should have the sign on the front of the awning by mid-January, that will close out the Tourism Grant.  Next week Melissa will be in Helena for the quarterly MAM Board meeting and will also participate in the Museum Advocacy Day at the capitol while in Helena. Melissa reached out to Montana Art Mobile about collaborating for Art Camp this summer; they take the summer off but recommended Tumblewheel Studios. Discussed budget concerns regarding extra architect billing for the project that was not able to be completed; Commission will contact JGA regarding the billing question. Melissa has also prepared a tentative schedule of activities for 2023 and presented patronage numbers for the Commission. 

3:10PM Melissa left the meeting.

3:24 PM OUTSIDE MAINTENANCE UPDATES/Robbie Christiaens, Maintenance Supervisor; Derrick deHaan, Maintenance Assistant

          The new motor was placed in the mower, and it is working good now. They will get in touch with the new Fairgrounds Manager regarding maintenance items. There is an issue in the women’s restroom in the Fairgrounds barn; will need to look into it further if it continues to be an issue.

          A new oven was installed in one of the Parkview apartments. They will put the Public Health furniture back in place now that the flooring has been placed. Direct Electric ordered correct lighting for the Parking lot south of Public Health. Boiler updates were discussed: Ice melt boiler was not up and running when the Traveler’s inspector was here, so they were unable to test it.  The remote shut offs have been repaired by MTI.  MTI will have to make sure the kill switch works for the boiler recently placed online. Derrick is getting quotes for low water cut offs for the new boilers.  Derrick has prepared a draft letter to be sent to Travelers Inspectors; waited to send until the letter was approved by the Commission. Permission to send when ready.

3:53 PM Robbie and Derrick left the meeting.


          Updates-Dara and Alissa both resigned their positions.  They received new applicants; two were interviewed and hired. Tara Burman in Glendive will do the Ag side and Lizzy Robertson will be located in Terry. Hosted an excel training workshop; working with four (4) different start-up businesses; working on wrapping up ARPA grant items; discussed SMART receiving a Tourism Grant; a Visitor Center Grant and Main Street Grant for a Pocket Park.  Discussed a Technical Assistance Program through the Department of Transportation; Montana Historical Preservation Grant for the old Baker State Bank building, (not awarded) but ranked 3rd in the State.  Beth is looking into a Façade grant as a possible way to repair the old clock at the old Baker State Bank building.  The Commissioners are invited to the Annual EPEDC Meeting.  Discussed the Shooting Range Grant for trap and skeet shooting upgrades through FWP.  Beth will need a Resolution from the Commission for the application.  Beth will need to be listed as a collaborator in the Funding MT Portal for this grant; that permission has to be given by the County.  Beth discussed the grant is a one (1) for one (1) grant; also discussed the amount the County would have to agree to provide toward the grant.  The Commission asked that this be placed on the agenda next week for further clarification and discussion.  Beth also discussed a policy that would need to be in place for lead abatement.

4:35 PM Beth left the meeting.

4:35 PM LANDFILL UPDATES/Jeff Frank, Manager of Landfill Operations

          Updates-Discussed the loader repaired by the road department.  They still need to repair the window in the office at the Landfill.  The Commission recommended Rick Madler be contacted for repair work.  Jeff felt it was possibly ice off the wind towers that broke the window.  Barry Damschen, Landfill Engineer was out about one (1) month ago for his inspection and said everything looks good.  When the lids are placed on the containers, one will be placed at the Road Department and the Landfill will keep the other one until needed at the Shooting Range.  Discussed placing containers at the Fairgrounds as well.  Having issues with the air dryer on the truck; a new one was placed, and the problem still exists.  Will contact Carl at the County Shop regarding this. Discussed tarp systems for the 30-yard containers; the Commission wants the netting placed on the truck instead. 

4:58 PM Jeff left the meeting.

4:59 PM Hospital Mill Levy Election-The Commission was notified the Hospital Board decided not to ask the Commission to take another run at the Special Mill Levy election for capital improvements. 

5:00 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess.  Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes.  0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously. 




PRESENT: Kevin Braun, Presiding Officer and Roy Rost, Member; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder

ABSENT: Steve Baldwin attending interviews



       No one appeared for Public Comment

10:00 AM FMC REPORT/David Espeland, CEO; Marjorie Losing, CFO

          Cost report payables-FMC Auditors need a letter notifying them of the Commission’s decision on the cost reporting payable; will the county want FMC to reimburse the difference in the payables of approximately $32,000 or not?  This would be the difference in the payables ($310,000 +/-), with related party costs or ($342,000 +/-) without related party costs. Due to the absence of Commissioner Baldwin the Commission asked to have this placed on the agenda next Monday, January 9th.

          Ambulance reporting is behind due to the software conversion, a new payroll system and low staffing at FMC.  Public Health will be taking over the billing as soon as they have had adequate training, 

         Hospital Statements-Marjorie explained the statements are printed through Trubridge. If FMC would have printed the statements, they would have had to purchase all new dot matrix printers, etc. At some point FMC will be accepting electronic payments.  

          New Payroll System-Marjorie and David discussed the new payroll system is also taking some getting used to. Timeclocks and employee timesheets were discussed as well as the cost of the program. 

          Reviewed financials-November was a slower month and financials were reviewed with the Commission by Marjorie.  There are some software issues that Marjorie has to look into; some of the numbers are skewed. 

          The board elected new officers.

          Hospital Projects-They are working on bundling the projects as the Architect feels they will get better bids if the projects are bundled.

         Hospital boiler- They are operating on two (2) boilers but need three (3); requested price quotes.

         MTI-Commission asked if David has experienced issues with MTI.  David stated they are disappointed with their performance. It is felt they may get better service if they would send a different technician.    

10:49 AM David and Marjorie left the meeting.

10:49 AM PLANNING & GROWTH POLICY UPDATES/Mary Grube, Planning Administrative Assistant

          The meeting was rescheduled.

10:50 AM 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, Presiding Officer; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder



       No one appeared for Public Comment

1:30 PM DISCUSS INSPECTION OF MAN CAMP FOR APPRAISAL REPORT/Richard Sparks, Appraisal Professionals of MT, LLC-via conference call.

          Commission never received any of the paperwork from Luther Appraisal. Commissioner Baldwin will stop at their office in Miles City tomorrow.  Richard asked if there was a current certificate of survey for this property; will look and let Richard know.  Richard emailed a letter of engagement for the Commission to review; it will be sent to the County Attorney for her review. Discussed researching costs for upgrades and infrastructure on the property currently and costs to subdivide the property. The Commission will need to decide if they plan to sell the property as Ag land or if it is legal to do so as is.

1:54 PM Richard hung up the phone, therefore, left the meeting. 

1:58 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to adjourn.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


                                                                                                   s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman                            


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk & Recorder