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

Commission Minutes – June 26 – June 30, 2023

Commission Minutes – June 26 – June 30, 2023

MONDAY, JUNE 26, 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.


          The Clerk and Recorder’s office was notified of a correction to the minutes from June 20, 2023. The minutes pertained to a waterline that goes to the Kirschten stock tank. The Clerk and Recorder recorded the minutes as follows:

           The Commission feels it (the waterline) was installed as a trade for Kirschten land when the Airport was increasing the size of the runway or the area around the runway.

           Mike Kirschten phoned and stated the waterline going to his stock tanks came about in the 70’s because they (Kirschten’s) lost some water holes.

          The Clerk and Recorder would like to apologize for this error.


          No one appeared for Public Comment.


          Cemetery Budget/Brenda stated she filled out the budget and would like the Commission to check it and asked for their input as she was unsure if any equipment would be needed this year. The Commission felt it looked okay.  Commissioner Rost would like to advocate for a wage increase for Iven Felt, Seasonal Baker Cemetery Caretaker and the Dahl’s, (Larry Dahl, Seasonal Plevna Cemetery Caretaker and Eileen Dahl, Seasonal Plevna Cemetery Assistant Caretaker), based on the Cemetery Budget cash carryover. Their budget requests are usually small and with cash carryover they have not had to levy the full mills allowed. After some discussion, Commissioner Baldwin asked if there were further questions on the budget submitted. The Commission was fine with the operating budget as submitted. Commissioner Rost again stated he still feels an increase in wages was in order. The Commission discussed the Commission’s wage plan for the next fiscal year. 

          Other Budget’s-Permission to add $2,500 to the Trap Shoot supply budget; they initially only budgeted for targets but will also need parts, etc. Permission for the Shooting Range budget to include $200 per month for bug and rodent control.  The Sheriff’s Office will probably have two (2) vehicles coming out of the FY24 budget due to the fact the one ordered FY23 has not yet arrived. If the Commission plans to use one of their vehicles for another department, he will need to know if he needs to hold one and notify the dealership of the decision as well. Trenton mentioned the Sheriff vehicles all have upwards of 100,000 miles or more. Discussed talking to the Road Superintendent about trading his vehicle FY24 instead of FY25, and hand his vehicle down to another department. Discussion regarding departments now have the EMS pickup available for use as well. Possibly budget for a new fleet vehicle and turn an existing fleet vehicle over to Public Health. Discussion regarding the building at the old landfill possibly being moved to the county Road Department and may place it on a cement floor. 

9:45 AM BID AWARD/DISPATCH CONSOLE PROJECT/Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator; Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff

        The bid amount for consoles and system upgrade equipment and installation for the project was $586,205; Dale stated we do not need Essential Plus Services-$180,736; but do need the SUA II-$133,407.  The total bid amount accepted would be $719,612. The 911 funds are derived from 911 taxes, which encompasses three (3) counties: Carter, Fallon and Wibaux. The cost for this project will be shared by the previously named counties.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to accept and award the bid to Motorola Solutions for consoles and system upgrade equipment and installation, inclusive of SUA II, less Essential Plus, for a total of $719,612; with a completion date of June 30, 2024. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion. Commissioner Rost asked if Motorola acknowledged receipt of the addendums.  Dale stated both addendums went out together and does know Motorola received both addendums and no one else asked for bid documents. Discussed the contract and making sure all of the correct and pertinent information is included in the contract.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

10:00 AM Trenton left the meeting.


          Wibaux and Carter Counties signed the agreement and acknowledged the contribution amount of $33,333.33 that will be paid to Fallon County by each county, for 911 Dispatch Services. 

Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the 3 (Three) County Interlocal agreement for 911 Emergency Services.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion. Dale stated he appreciates the support regarding this process.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

10:05 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Mitch Overn and Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics; Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

          Dale asked about moving the building from the old landfill to the county shop. Discussed the need for electricity to have the ability to charge the signs. They will look for the best location to place the building.

10:07 AM Dale left the meeting.

          UPDATES/RDO brought the new skid steer Friday, June 23rd; they took the Fairgrounds skid steer in trade.  Will move the skid steer from the county shop to the Fairground and will train the Fairgrounds Manager on proper operation of the skid steer. They will receive an overhaul kit for the loader, hopefully this week; the issue was a cracked liner. Updated on the City of Baker project SW of Baker Lake and E of Hwy 7 S; they have 1½ blocks completed. That area was exceptional to work in, due to the sand under the surface; now they are into the gumbo. The county has been hauling the gravel in for this project; but is not sure how much gravel has been used. Blading today where moisture was received. Jasen Wyrick and 2 county employees will be placing a culvert on Cap Rock Road. They have started mowing around Baker area for the 4th. Once it dries up, they will work on the city streets again. Discussed millings from the state job and how much the county crew has left to haul.

10:12 AM Bobby, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.

10:26 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined.

          Upper Dam-Rich opened the gates to drain some water from the upper lake, for flood protection.

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

          UPDATES/Tom Parker, Geum Environmental will be here the week of August 21st. Rich advised the lake should be drawn down in July so plants can emerge and grow better. The upper lake is still full but not at an urgent level.

10:36 AM Connor Beach, Public Member joined the meeting.

Discussed the water from the upper lake be held until after the 21st of August. Discussed the best process regarding the delineation of the wetlands. Since the wetlands look good, Tom Parker recommends the county draft a letter to the EPA and ask to be released as a whole, (which would include the private landowner’s property), rather than having an onsite meeting. Rich stated he could request a support letter from FWP. Shannon would rather wait and ask Tom what his thoughts are.

          Test results-Irrigation Pond at the Golf Course/They found silty sands with some clays. The recommendation is to do a water balance study to determine the seepage loss through the existing pond bottom. They ran some seepage comps on the soil but only got approximations. There is still no guarantee we can meet the rate; there was no ground water infiltration present in the borings. The decision was made to schedule the water balance study as soon as they are finished irrigating this fall. Shannon stated the golf course crew can do the testing with Shannon’s assistance and will be a 2-week test period. The Commission discussed cleaning the pond but will wait to see where we are at with a liner. Commissioner Rost attended a meeting, and they were given information pertaining to limestone and ash, when mixed with water sets up like cement. Shannon stated the only issue he would see is that limestone is not impervious.

          Commissioner Baldwin asked Connor if he had something to share with the Commission.  Connor brought a gravel sample from the Beach 2 pit. Connor left the sample to see if the Commission wanted to test it to see if it would meet specs.  The Commission thanked Connor.

10:51 AM Connor left the meeting.

10:52 AM Rich left the meeting.

          Parking lots quotes/Shannon sent parking lot information to various contractors. They should have quotes to the county by July 10th.

10:54 AM Brittany Renner, EMS Program Manager joined.

           Thielen Access/The rain received put the surveyor behind so they are hopeful he will be able to finish it this week. They pulled a sample of the aggregate to be used for the City of Baker project; they feel the aggregate will be good for the project. The further north they go the more the streets turns to clay. Bobby and Rod Morris, Director of Public Works, have been working together on this project.

11:00 AM Julie Straub, HRM joined.

          Discussed land around the softball field being used as a garden; discussed whether this land would be in the wetlands. Shannon stated it would not be in the wetlands. Shannon will take the Beach gravel sample and test it. Commission discussed permitting their own pits and the amount others, in our area, are paying landowners for gravel. 

11:09 AM Shannon left the meeting.


          Ambulance Update/Brittany stated there may be a 4-wheel drive ambulance available later as long as it fits in the timeframe to spend the ARPA funds. This will be discussed further.

           Hours/Brittany has been working her normal scheduled hours during the day and also extra hours during the evenings during ongoing EMT classes. Brittany’s hours will be more than her 30 scheduled hours. Brittany would like permission to work up to 40 hours per week. Permission granted, during this time, if overtime comes into play and/or if flexing hours, Brittany needs to keep the Commission in the loop.

          EMT classes/They are very pleased and excited to have five (5) individuals taking the EMT classes! The classes are going very well and are scheduled Monday-Thursday 5:30-9:00 PM.

          EMT Trainees/Brittany would like permission for the EMT Trainees to join on ride-a-longs. Brittany would have a calendar for scheduling. They would need to sign a waiver form and HIPAA compliance form and they would have no contact with patients. The Commission felt this would be a great learning opportunity for them and granted permission.

          EMT Trainer/John Carlbom, EMT Trainer would like to join the service while he is here training. Brittany would like permission for him to join the service. 

          Lock box/Brittany would like permission to purchase a lock box for storage of PCR’s, etc. Permission granted.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to hire John Carlbom as a volunteer for the Fallon County EMS Service. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The Motion carried unanimously.

          The Commission thanked Brittany for doing a good job.

11:20 AM Julie Straub and Brittany left the meeting. 


          Lacey would like to propose a new collaboration and change the location of the Community Forest Garden to county land, located north of Texas Avenue and east of 6th Street East. The correct process was discussed, the Commission would need to hold public comment sessions first. Lacey met with Michelle Gorder from the Conservation District about soil analyses at various locations. The soil at her first location choice is not suited for the use she has planned. The county land, in the new location, has silty clay and a farmland classification and would be well suited for the intended forest garden. This is not a community garden; the garden would contain a few raised beds and berry bushes.  Currently the area is mowed by the county maintenance department. The Commission asked if they would mow and maintain that area.  Lacey felt they would once the agreement/lease is in place. Public Comment will be scheduled and after that a decision can be made.  Lacey thanked the Commission.

11:38 AM Lacey left the meeting.

11:56 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; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder



Karol Zachmann and Lacey Berg joined Public Comment.

          Karol Zachmann met for Public Comment-Karol updated the Commission on the events proposed for the 4th of July. They will need some spectator seating by the volleyball courts and would like the large tent set up in the same spot as last year.  The Commission will visit with Outside Maintenance about these items.

1:19 PM Vaughn Zenko, SMART/EMEDA joined.

Karol stated they received a grant from EMEDA for advertising; therefore, will be advertising the events all week thanks to the grant.

1:20 PM Karol left Public Comment.

          Lacey Berg met to discuss transferring the county land to another governmental entity (EMEDA/Port Authority). Vaughn contacted the Port Authority Board and tentatively the Porth Authority Board is on board with allowing this land to be used for the Community Food Forest. The Commission will schedule Public Comment for Monday, July 10th at 11:30 AM. At that time the Public will have time to comment regarding this matter.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the Closed Session minutes from June 20, 2023. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Abstain (Commissioner Rost, due to absence from attending out of town meeting).

Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the regular session minutes for the week of June 19-23, 2023. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Abstain (Commissioner Rost, due to absence from attending out of town meeting).

2:00 PM GOLF COURSE BUDGET MEETING/Kevin Hill; Golf Course Superintendent

          BUDGET/The Golf Course budget was reviewed and discussed. Kevin will get some more quotes for filters and tarps and return to be included in the budget. They have changed out several sprinkler heads and are still in need of approximately 20 additional heads and will need extra to have on hand. The FY24 budget submitted should cover that amount.

2:28 PM Julie Straub, HRM joined.

Discussed the reels for the green’s mower are in very poor condition; there are 3 cutting units on that mower. Will probably need to purchase new reels for this mower. 

2:37 PM PERSONNEL ISSUE/Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent

          The Commission asked Kevin H. if he wanted the meeting to be open to the public or closed.  Kevin would like this meeting to be closed.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to go into closed session meeting.  Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

2:58 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to come out of closed session. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

No decisions were necessary or made.

2:59 PM Golf Course budget continued/The Commission asked if the chlorination communication system was necessary. Kevin H did not feel it was necessary but felt the Commission would need to visit with Richard Menger, Sanitarian. The Commission will visit with Rich about this.

3:01 PM Julie and Kevin H left the meeting.


          Overview Justice Court increase in hours/Anna updated Commissioner Rost on the discussion that took place last week during her budget meeting. Anna would like to increase Justice Court work hours by 1 hour per day for those working Thursday and/or Friday. The extra hours will help process the case management portion of their work. Anna is planning to propose this on the City Court side as well. Anna explained they would really like to have a full time Justice Court due to various things they process on the county side of things such as Sheriff; Highway Patrol; Small Claims Court; Landlord Tenant disputes, etc. The functions for the City of Baker are less to process. Anna is here on behalf of her staff; it is something they have asked for. Holding office hours from 11-5 is ridiculous; you can’t get anything done and really can’t get started until 1:00 PM. In visiting with the County Attorney, she would also appreciate more time for hearings. Anna provided the Commission with some reports to view. In reviewing the payroll comparison spreadsheet provided to the Commission by the Clerk and Recorder, it was found there were errors made.  The Clerk and Recorder will take this back and get accurate figures. Full time Justice of Peace was discussed; Anna does not know what would happen on the city court side.  Anna discussed her case load and feels her budget is very conservative and could withstand the difference when including the extra hours. The Commission does not feel they need any further information from Anna at this time.

3:25 PM Anna left the meeting.

3:30 PM AIRPORT BUDET MEETING/UPDATES/Roger Meggers, Airport Manager; Darrin Meggers; Assistant Airport Manager

          Budget/Discussed various upcoming projects and the need to rebudget the remainder of the fuel system project; they would like to budget for a card reader building; they received a grant to replace the beacon and they also have pavement maintenance to complete this year.

3:35 PM Anna Straub, Justice of Peace joined.

Discussed the professional services line item; this is where David Turch and Associates is paid from. Would like to continue using them for another year and they encourage other people to use them. Commissioner Braun stated we need an overpass, due to continued railroad crossing issues. Roger will contact them and see if they have any information, they can provide us with. 

3:48 PM Roger and Darrin left the meeting.

          JUSTICE COURT/Anna forgot to mention the issues they have scheduling jury trials and making them two (2) day trials instead of a (1) day trial. Since they are a court of limited jurisdiction, she only has 6 months to discharge a case.

3:52 PM Anna left the meeting.


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

Old Business

    a.)Moving Wells Fargo Trust to the Bank of Baker (Coral Creek Landfill)

            A letter was received from Wells Fargo stating they are working on the transfer issue.

    b.)Hospital Basement maintenance

            No updates or decisions made.

    c.)Chamber of Commerce MOU for Rec Department Services

             MOU not received.

     d.)EMS Medical Director (decisions as needed)

             No updates or decisions made.

     e).EMS billing practices/rates (decisions as needed)

             No updates or decisions made. 

     f.)Decisions regarding weapons policy

             No updates or decisions made.

    g.)Approval of Fair Contracts (as needed)

           See Public Comment-June 27th at 9:15 AM.

    h.) RFQ Decision for Planning Services

          Waiting for further information from legal at MACo or the County Attorney.

    i.)Discuss/Decision regarding Title Report and Appraisal for county lots in Westmore

        The Commission contacted someone to appraise the lots in Westmore. No decision regarding ordering a title

         report for the property.

    j.)Discuss/Decision regarding Employee Assistance Program

        No decision was made at this time.

    k.)Discuss/Decision regarding Disaster Leave Policy

          No decision was made at this time.

4:02 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to accept the resignation received from Mary Grube. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously. The Commission would like to thank Mary for her years of service to Fallon County.

6. Executive/Action items:

Review, Approve and Sign Whiteline Consulting and Training Agreement

          The County Attorney will be addressing and adding some verbiage to the agreement before the Commission approves and signs.

Review and approve and Sign RDO Skid steer Purchase Order

           The Commission reviewed and approved the RDO skid steer purchase order in the amount of $62,500 less the trade-in allowance of $13,000 for the Fairgrounds skid steer. Total – $49,500.

4:38 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.

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


TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2023


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

ABSENT:  Kevin Braun, Member



         Robbie Christiaens, Outside Maintenance Supervisor joined.

         4th of July/Robbie will try to get the bleachers moved for the volleyball tournament. After some discussion the decision was made not to set up the large Fairgrounds tent. Karol Zachmann will be notified.

9:33 AM Robbie left Public Comment.

9:34 AM Larry Singer joined.

          Larry, as well as several other individuals, have concerns regarding the speed limit on Coral Creek Road. Larry feels the Commission needs to address this matter. The Commission will visit with the County Attorney about the correct process. 

9:41AM Jennefer Wheeler, Fairgrounds Manager joined.

Larry stated there is also a littering sign that has been shot up and laying in the ditch. The Commission will keep them in the loop regarding the process. 

9:43 AM Larry left Public Comment

         Jennefer discussed the JoDee Messina addendum and contract. The Commission agreed to sign the addendum first and send it to her agent for their signature.  Jennefer does not have enough rooms to accommodate all of the acts for the Fair this August.  Would like permission to use (2) two Air BNB’s located in Fallon County.  Permission granted.  Jennefer has been watching an area near a water hydrant for a while and made the decision it was not caused by the moisture received; it was a water leak.  The plumber has been called to make repairs; he shut the hydrant off so it would quit leaking and will return to make the necessary repairs. The Commission thanked Jennefer for doing a good job!

9:53 AM Jennefer left the meeting.


          a.Approve/Sign KnowBe4 Security Awareness Training Subscription

              The Commission reviewed, approved, and signed the Know Be4 Security Awareness Training subscription.


                    This meeting was cancelled.

10:00 AM Commissioner Rost made the motion to adjourn. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent. (Commissioner Braun). The motion carried.


                                                                                                            s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk & Recorder