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

Commission Minutes – July 31 – August 4, 2023

Commission Minutes – July 31 – August 4, 2023

MONDAY, JULY 31, 2023


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


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


           No one appeared for Public Comment.

9:15 AM COUNTY ATTORNEY BUSINESS SESSION/Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney

     1.Discuss-Decision/Approve/Sign Chamber/Fallon County MOU for Recreation Services

          Darcy will further review the laws for the county to sponsor the Recreation Department.

     2.Discuss-Decision/Adopt Resolution of Intent to Adopt an Ordinance Establishing speed limits on county roads

         This was discussed and no determination made.

     3.Discuss-Decision/Approve/Sign Townsend Computers Agreement

          Some revisions were made to the agreement and reprinted for approval and signatures.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to accept the agreement between Townsend Computer and Fallon County. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

     4.Discuss-Decision/Approve/Sign Peaks Planning Agreement

        Reviewed and discussed changes that need to be made to the agreement. Darcy will contact the contractor and discuss revisions.

     5.Discuss Delinquent Taxes/absentee landowners

         Discussed sending taxes to absentee landowners when the tax notice comes back in the mail. Liability of old buildings when owned by absentee landowners. 

     6.Discuss/Decision/Weapons Policy

         Darcy has not had time to look into the laws.

     7.Discuss/Answer to question regarding (180-day completion date for COS/Plats)-determine date to be used

       Darcy feels if the surveyor turns the COS/Plat into “a county department”, this would be the start of the 180-day time frame per MCA (not the surveyor’s signature date). Darcy also did not feel we could reject the COS/Plat if it has gone beyond 180 days (as long as all of the pertinent information/signatures required are on the document).

     8.Discuss/Decision-Recordability of Custer County transfer documents

        Darcy is still reviewing this information.

     9.Old Business/other County Business Discussion/Decisions

         Darcy is reviewing the documents for a gate permit system.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to go out for Contract Planning Services (RFP). Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

Darcy will work on the RFP for on-call contract planning services.

10:11AM Darcy left the meeting.

10:11 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Mark Sieler, Road Foreman, and Mitch Overn Shop Mechanic

          UPDATES/Gravel billing was not paid because the measurements were not received beforehand. Mark felt the pile was separate from all other piles and was ready to be measured. Brosz Engineering will be measuring the pile so the contractor can be paid. No equipment maintenance issues at this time other than the loader, which should be finished sometime this week. They continue to work on the City of Baker Street project SW of Baker Lake and East of Highway 7. Mark feels they will be working on that project for a few more weeks. Before the City chip seals that area, they will need to be re-bladed as there will be some low spots and will need to work on drainage as well. The hook truck will be parked in the county yard during the fair; this is the best location since they will be loading/unloading county garbage containers. Mark stated they would find a location for the truck to be parked. They will notify county departments they will be locking the gates at the county yard and will make sure keys are available to the departments that need them. The road department will remove the old pickup from the Fairgrounds. 

10:16 AM-Mark and Mitch left the meeting.

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

     1.Discuss/Decision/Award concrete maintenance quotes for various county projects/Levi Swyres, Contractor; Robbie Christiaens, Outside Maintenance Supervisor; Derrick deHaan, Outside Maintenance Assistant

          Discussed the quotes received from Levi for various work for the County. Discussed removal of the main Library entrance steps and various cement sidewalk pads that need to be replaced. This quote also included work to Chief Fallon in the back courtyard. The work to Chief Fallon will be sealed as well. The Commission asked Levi to also evaluate the condition of the steps at the NE Courthouse entrance as well. Commissioner Rost mentioned removing/moving the light pole, located next to the curb and in front of the library; that pad would need to be included in the repairs as well. Shooting Range cement repairs were discussed as well as work at the Skate Park. Levi plans to pressure wash the skate park cement and seal it.  The sealant is supposed to be good for 3 to 4 years. The Skate Park would likely need to be closed down for at least a week. Levi is unable to complete these repairs until possibly next spring.

          Levi hopes to complete the repairs at Parkview this week.

10:35 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined.

Commissioner Baldwin spoke with Kevin Dukart, Clerk/City of Baker about moving the light pole located next to the curb and near the library. When vehicles are parked by the pole you cannot open your door; also the pole leans toward the street. Kevin indicated the City of Baker has no problems moving the light pole. Discussed replacement of the cement at that location as well. Discussed a metal plate used to cover the sewer access to the courthouse.  The Commission would like this replaced with a manhole, (if that is the best option), and finish the cement work for the pad as well. 

10:40 AM Levi, Robbie and Derrick left. 

Rich would like permission to purchase a product for the golf course pond that will clear the muck and should prolong the life of the filtration system. The total cost is $1,044.97.  The Commission granted permission to purchase.

10:46 AM Rich left the meeting.

Shannon further discussed the cement quotes received and drainage in front of the courthouse. Shannon tried to contact David Espeland, FMC-CEO last Wednesday but received no response.  Commissioner Baldwin will contact David and will also contact Shannon to make sure everyone is on the same page before beginning work on FMC/Parkview Parking lots.

    2.Discuss/Decision/Award parking lot quotes

          Shannon contacted Wyrick Construction and he is willing to remove the milling and overlay portion of his quote.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Wyrick Construction quote in the amount of $42,750 to reconstruct asphalt.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion. Shannon will get an updated quote from Top Gun for their portion of the work on the parking lots.  Commissioner Baldwin asked if there was further discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

10:57 AM Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder stepped in to announce a phone call for the Commission. 

          Commissioner Baldwin introduced all present in the office. Melissa Thielen had noticed Shannon with Brosz was meeting and wanted to get an update on the Thielen Access survey. Shannon stated the survey to their property was complete; there is still a little bit of work to do on Burnt Station Road. Shannon will be submitting the survey information to the Commission within the next week or two.  The Commission stated when they get all of the information back a meeting will be scheduled. Melissa would appreciate that.

10:59 AM Melissa hung up the phone.

          Shannon stated Top Gun phoned and stated he would have an updated parking lot quote by Monday the 7th.

     3.Discussion/Decision gravel pile measurement

          Shannon will make sure the county’s gravel pile is measured prior to the county paying for the material.

11:10 AM Shannon left the meeting.

11:15 AM SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR UPDATES/Josh Lewis System Administrator

     1.Department Updates-Last month Josh assisted the Sheriff’s Office; he set up a computer lab for the RIMS training. In doing so, Josh found there are not enough hookups for multiple computer usage; he made it work and will know for future reference. Also, set up 3 new towers for Dispatch, to accommodate the RIMS system, spec’d out so they will last several years. Rolled out IAmResponding; Josh repurposed some computers that were needed for that. Attended an Election Cybersecurity webinar with Election and DES personnel; the presenters have free end point security software they offer with no fees. Discussed county Facebook pages and determined the county needs a policy review for this and IT needs to be the administrator for all county Facebook pages. Josh ordered some extra supplies to keep on hand with the new budget. Is currently using the new asset management system to track computers, etc. countywide. Josh will be able to put the information on his phone by scanning using barcodes.

     2.Fair preparation and other current projects-Clint Townsend and Josh have been at the fairgrounds prepping for the upcoming Fair. The biggest concern is to improve the Wi-Fi for vendors; it is not the most reliable due to the type of buildings, etc. In speaking with the Fair board, they voted to approve $1,000 to purchase equipment to beef up the Wi-Fi; the equipment has been ordered.

     3.Parks Department Camera project decision-Robbie Christianes, Outside Maintenance Supervisor joined the discussion.

          Discussed the camera systems at the softball fields, triangle park double gazebo and the splash park area.  Decision to upgrade/repair the splash and skate park cameras; also add a camera by the restrooms. This should be under $700, and Robbie felt there was enough in his current budget to accommodate that.

11:25 AM Robbie left the meeting.

Discussed family and friends sharing codes to avoid paying for memberships at the Shooting Range. Josh will look into some type of tracking program that will curtail that and assist in updating the memberships properly. 

Josh has 2 more security cameras to install at the Museum; the cameras have already been purchased.

      4.Discuss/Approval for Wasabi Cloud backup subscription to back up onsite data

          Josh has enough in his budget to accommodate the Wasabi Cloud subscription.  This backs up the server and other information to the offsite cloud station. The cost is less than $20.00 per month and is a US based company. The real time backups would be automatically scheduled to do this weekly. Commissioner Rost asked if this could be an annual fee rather than paying monthly for ease in paperwork; Josh will check into that.  Permission granted to purchase.

      5.Request permission/approval to dispose of IT’s outdated equipment stored in the vault

          Josh stated this had been previously discussed, however, he now knows what he has. Josh would erase the hard drives and has several computers and towers that are 10-11 years old that also need to be destroyed.  Permission was granted to take them to the landfill before they close so the hardware can be covered before leaving for the day.

      6.Discuss Schedule for upcoming project:

         a.Phone System Switch (schedule presentation with Company for Commission & Supervisors listen/learn/question session)

          Permission granted to schedule the webinar presentation.

         b.Server Replacements (tentatively scheduled for extended weekend of October 7th-9th)

          Clint and Josh are planning to replace servers during the Columbus Day weekend, so they have 3 days to install new servers and move data over; the schedule may change. Commission granted approval.

         c.County non-365 email account transition deadline

          Josh plans to get the remaining non-365 emails switched over the by end of this year. The licensure has already been purchased so will be available when needed.

         d.MFA enrollment finalizing deadline (after non email account transition)

          Multifactor Authentication should be complete by the end of this year.

         e.Meeting recording AVCaptureAll soft rollout

          The decision is to wait on the video portion and will check into the equipment needed in preparation of the soft rollout.

         f.Website hosting move to GoDaddy (After Elections)

          They are swapping from the onsite webserver to Go-Daddy, which is more secure and less for him to oversee. This will ease when moving to .gov; possibly next spring.

11:58 AM Josh left the meeting.

11:59 AM Commissioner Rost made the motion to recess.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.  

          NOON RECESS

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

ABSENT: Kevin Braun, Member



          Lynda Herbst, Inside Custodian Supervisor met to discuss issues with the front handicap entrance.  The Commission will have Outside Maintenance look at the door.


          Brittany would like permission to attend EMS Manager training on the 20th of August; will also be attending the EMT training on the 21st and 22nd.  Permission granted. There will also be a debriefing held in Sidney Brittany would like to attend; this will be held in October.  Permission granted.

1:40 PM Kevin Dukart, Clerk-City of Baker joined.

          Kevin stated MDU will move the light pole and did not believe there was a cost associated with that.


Melissa Rost, Museum Curator

          Commissioner Baldwin stated the Commission encourages our employees to be involved and this would be part of county business so would have permission to attend during workdays/hours.

1:49 PM Melissa left the meeting.


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

Old Business (as needed)

          a.Moving Wells Fargo Trust to Bank of Baker (any decisions needed)

             No new reporting at this time.

          b.Hospital basement maintenance (any decisions needed)

             No further decisions have been made as of this time.

          c.Decisions EMS billing practices/rates  

            No further discussion at this time.  

          d.Approval of Fair Contracts (as needed)

             Commission signed Fair contracts for the night shows.

          e.Decision on RFQ for Planning Services or going out for Applications for Planner

             The decision was made to go out for on-call contract planning as per the motion made this morning.

          f. Approve/Sign/Chamber of Commerce MOU for Recreation Services

              The County Attorney is still working on this.

          g. Approve/Sign Townsend Computers Agreement

               The Commission approved and signed, per the motion made this morning.

          h. Approve/Sign Peaks Planning Agreement

               The County Attorney is still working on this.

Other old business

          Emergency Disaster Leave Policy Effective Date-The Commission agreed the effective date would be October 1, 2023. 


3. Review & Approve Encroachment Permits (as needed)

4.Review Board Minutes/Agendas (Boards other than Commission)

5.Review Department/office reports/sign journal vouchers (as needed)

6.Executive/Action items:

          a.Approve/Sign Fireside Copier Contracts for the new fiscal year

             The Fireside Maintenance Contracts were approved and signed for the Clerk and Recorder; Clerk of Court; Baker Senior Center and Treasurer Copiers.  

          b.Permission to apply for MT Childhood lead poisoning prevention local partnership project funding

           The Commission approved applying for the MT Childhood lead poisoning prevention grant. 

          c.Approve Lakeshore Permit

             The Commission approved the Lakeshore Permit for Del and Melanie Espinosa for placement of a boat dock.

           d.Adopt FY24 Salary Resolution

              The DOJ has not released the figures as of this time.

          e.Approve quote for pond/muck removal product

             The Commission approved purchase of the pond/muck removal product, for the golf course pond, earlier this morning. 

          f.Approve quotes received in relation to the Baker Lake water sampling

            The Commission approved Linda Rost, BHS Science Teacher to purchase supplies for the Baker Lake water sampling. The quoted supplies would cost approximately $1,093.33.


          This will be rescheduled.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve increasing the Extension Administrative Assistant hours to 32 hours per week. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion.  Commissioner Rost stated, if agreeable with Commissioner Baldwin, he felt the effective date for this should be the beginning of the current pay period.  Commissioner Baldwin agreed.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Braun). The motion carried.

Amanda asked if she would still be okay to work hours over 32 per week of needed.  Permission granted.

        4H Barn Fair Set up-Kodie stated they had given the Fairgrounds Manager a list needed so pens could be set up for the Fair. Kodie stopped on her way through town on Sunday and there were no panels in the barn for set up. Kodie and her husband hauled beef pens to the 4H barn. They have 4H family members come to help set up and if things are not ready for them, they will lose their help. By the time they arrived to set up, there were more panels than needed and seemed to be some dissention. Kodie did not want to step on any toes or cause any problems, just wanted clarification on set-up and tear down, (mostly tear down). They would like to know the expectations from the Fair Manager and Fair Board regarding how to tear down and what to do with the panels and if they are responsible for cleaning up the sawdust, etc. The Commission will visit with the Fair Manager and keep Kodie and Amanda informed.  

3:48 PM Kodie and Amanda left the meeting. 

3:53 PM RED BUTTE CAMPGROUND, PRELIMINARY PLAT/PLAN APPROVAL-ACTION/Forrest Sanderson, Contract Planner and Anna Vickers, IMEG-both via conference call

          No members of the public were present.

          Forrest presented the Staff Report MNR-23-01 for the Red Butte Campground Minor Subdivision

Red Butte Campground Minor Subdivision has proposed a four (4) lot Recreational Vehicle Campground on approximately 10.0 acres located in the E1/2 SE1/4 Section 25, Township 7 North, Range 59 East, P.M.M. in Fallon County, Montana. The remainder is greater than 160 acres in size. 

The Owner of record is John M. Bertsch with the agent being IMEG

          The Commission reviewed the Staff report and Commissioner Rost noted a correction to 7-H Streets and Roads.  Commissioner Rost noted the Commission issues the approach permits, the County Road Department also reviews them but does not issue them.

          Forrest also noted an update that needed to be made to #8 of the recommendations. This should read (The property is in Flood Zone X – “areas determined to be outside the 500-year flood zone”. Flood Zone D “areas possible but undetermined flood hazards.” As such, a statement shall be included with the final plan documents reflecting the nature of the flood hazard).

           Commissioner Baldwin asked if anyone had anything else to add to the discussion regarding the Red Butte Campground staff report or Subdivision. No further comments from the Commission, Forrest or Anna and no Members of the Public were present.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to adopt Staff Report MNR 23-01 as findings of fact with revisions as recommended. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked if there was further discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Braun) The motion carried


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Red Butte Campground Minor Subdivision, a four (4) lot Recreational Vehicle Campground on approximately 10.0 acres located in the E1/2SE1/4 Section 25, Township 7 North, Range 59 East P.M.M., Fallon County, Montana, subject to conditions.

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

A formal approval letter will be submitted to IMEG.

4:14 PM Anna hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting.

4:15 PM Forrest hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Commission minutes for the week of July 24-28, 2023. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Braun). The motion carried.

4:20 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to adjourn.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Braun). The motion carried unanimously.



                                                                                                s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman

s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder