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

Commission Minutes – May 15 – 19, 2023

Commission Minutes – May 15 – 19, 2023

MONDAY, MAY 15, 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.


          The Town of Plevna asked Sara if she would spray weeds in various areas for them this year. Sara wanted to get the Commission’s thoughts and decision regarding this as she has not been asked by the Municipalities before.  Decision: The Commission has no problems with the Weed Department spraying weeds for the Town of Plevna as long as they are charged for the chemical and labor to do so.

9:20 AM Sara left the meeting.

9:30 AM DISCUSS/DECISION REGARDING UPDATES TO SAFETY TOE SHOE POLICY/Julie Straub, HRM; Safety Committee Members/Josh Lewis, Dale Butori; Debbie Wyrick, Safety Committee

          There was much discussion regarding wearing safety toe shoes and should it be mandatory for all outside maintenance type departments. Should the seasonal employees be included in the decision to make this mandatory. It is already mandatory for the Road and Landfill Departments to wear safety toe shoes; other departments discussed were Outside Maintenance, Weed, Golf, Fair and Cemetery. Dale discussed chemical resistant safety toe shoes for the Weed Department. Dale used to have muck boots, in various sizes available for use but most of the seasonals chose to wear their own shoes. Dale stated the chemicals used by the Weed Department do not require chemical resistant footwear. Also discussed making it mandatory and how to police this requirement if the Department Heads do not enforce this.

          Debbie discussed benefits running through payroll versus a reimbursement through claims. Dale did not feel they should make it mandatory for seasonals for reasons already stated. Josh discussed purchasing if the employee wants them.

9:41 AM Robbie Christiaens, Outside Maintenance Supervisor joined. Debbie left the meeting.

          Robbie stated when he worked for the City of Baker, they used to require them to wear Safety Toe Shoes.  Discussed how this discussion started related to the Road Department asking if they could purchase composite, versus steel toe footwear and has now encompassed other departments and their seasonals.  The group discussed making safety meetings a requirement for ALL employees. Discussed putting teeth into safety meeting requirements and does that include all elected officials and their employees. 

Decision: The Commission would like the Safety Committee to come forward with a proposal for the Safety Toe Shoe guidance and recommendations for reimbursement.

9:59 AM Julie and Josh left the meeting.

Outside Maintenance-Robbie asked for permission to purchase weed eaters from this FY budget. These would be purchased to replace the weed eaters returned to the City of Baker, due to the termination of the City/County Park Maintenance agreement. Decision: The Commission granted permission to purchase as long as there is sufficient budget. Robbie has ample budget. 

10:00 AM Robbie left the meeting. 

DES pickup-The Commission granted permission to repair the DES pickup per the quote received from the body shop. The repair amount is less than the deductible and will not be turned into insurance. Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder will be notified.

10:01 AM Dale left the meeting.

10:01 AM EMULSION BID OPENING/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent

          BID RECEIVED:  Western Emulsions Inc.

              Commissioner Braun stated the bid bond was included, with the required information.

         BID AMOUNT:  $755 per ton x 200 ton-$151,000

Decision:  This will be further reviewed and discussed, and the final decision will be made next Monday, May 22nd

10:15 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Mitch Overn/Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics

          Shane Mintz, Glendive DOT District Administrator approved the request for Fallon County to receive 2,500 cubic yards of millings. The county will be notified when they can start hauling the millings.

          Discussed landowners blading their own roads. The road crew will start hauling millings as soon as they are notified. Discussed parking lot maintenance; some have potholes that need to be filled. Bobby will see what needs to be done.

10:16 AM Julie Straub, HRM joined.

1.Discuss/Decisions/Road Crew Position Advertisement/Rate of Pay/Julie Straub, HRM

Operator position-Decision was to advertise the starting range of the position at the current rate of $25.50 and after 6 months they will move to the same wage as everyone else. They must have a current CDL and blade experience.

10:20 AM Julie left the meeting.

2.Decision regarding 2014 Freightliner salvage quote/repairs-Carl discussed the company contacted will not be able to give them an estimate to repair the truck because there are no cabs available for that truck.  The

             Commission will continue discussions with the insurance company. They discussed this truck having some engine problems so feel it would be of no value to the county to buy it back. The Commission will follow up with Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder so the claim can be closed.

Loader-Discussed a Road Department loader that they found had antifreeze in the oil pan. Worst case scenario would be overhauling, which they could do themselves for approximately $7,000.

Golf Course-Completed maintenance on a Golf Course Toro mower that is up and running. They have not assisted in cleaning the pump filters at the Golf Course due to the fact Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent, is currently watering. If they assist in the process, they will make sure Kevin is available so he and his seasonals can complete that job the next time it needs to be done.

10:24 AM Bobby, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the May, 2023 mid-month claims in the amount of $120,202.35. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously. 

11:30 AM POLLUTION POLICY DISCUSSION/DECISION/Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder

          Debbie stated Roger Meggers, Airport Manager is of the consensus the pollution policy is not necessary because the clean-up side of the state program (DEQ) will take care of those types of issues. Debbie is not sure if the clean-up fund would pay after the insurance funds are exhausted or how that would work. In order to utilize the state program, the county (Airport) would have to register with the DEQ. This will be discussed with Craig Canfield, KLJ. Per Jade Boggs, Insurance Agent, the county is not required to have an SPCC (Spill, Prevention, Control, Countermeasure) program.

11:53 AM Debbie left the meeting.

11:53 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



          Josh Lewis, System Administrator met to review various options he has been researching for recording Commission sessions. The Commission discussed various options they would like to see, if available. Josh will look into those items as well and schedule a meeting at a later date.

1:27 PM Josh left the meeting.

1:30 PM DISCUSS/DECISIONS SALARIES, WAGES, BENEFITS, LONGEVITY, SALARY SCHEDULE, ETC/Julie Straub, HRM; Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder; Christa Alford, Payroll Clerk; Julie Post, Deputy Treasurer; Salary Commission-Trenton Harbaugh, Anna Straub, Barbara Ketterling, Kyle Medearis and Jeraldine Newell

          The Commission had discussed other thoughts they had regarding salaries for the elected officials after the Salary Commission had left the meeting held May 1st.  Commissioner Baldwin asked those of the Salary Commission, that were able, to meet again regarding those thoughts. Commissioner Rost stated he had mentioned a smaller scale COLA and the remainder to be given as a bonus, so we are not consistently building the wage and down the road tapping out our resources. Anna felt the bonus may be illegal for elected officials; she is not comfortable with the bonus.

Commissioner Rost feels certain no one else in the community is getting an increase such as we are. Kyle stated they have bumped their employees’ wages up and that some of the private sector wages are performance driven.  Kyle feels everyone is doing the best they can to increase wages to retain employees. Commissioner Braun has no problem with the COLA that was discussed. Barb does not like the idea of a bonus because it does not go toward retirement.  Commissioner Baldwin wanted the Salary Commission to have further input. Trenton asked the Commission to please notify the Salary Commission if there is a potential to make a change.

1:54 PM Jerrie left the meeting.

1:55 PM-Trenton, Kyle, Barb, Julie Post and Anna left the meeting.

Commissioner Braun made the motion, based upon the recommendation of the Salary Commission, to give the elected officials a 6% COLA. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; Commissioner Baldwin again asked for any other discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. (Commissioner’s Baldwin and Braun). 1 Nay. (Commissioner Rost). The motion carried.

          The deputies and employees will receive a $1.86 per hour increase for the new Fiscal Year, with the exception of Sheriff Deputies. The Commission discussed adding more steps to the salary schedule and further discussion will take place regarding the longevity as well. This will be placed on the agenda for Monday, May 22nd.

3:00 PM Brittany Renner, EMS Program Manager joined.

          Julie asked if the Commission had given more thought to the Manager of Landfill Operations increase due to the CDL requirement.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to give the Manager of Landfill Operations a .50 cent per hour raise to bring him in line with the duties he is performing and in accordance with the CDL requirements. This will be effective the date the hook truck was purchased. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

3:26 PM Debbie, Christa and Julie left the meeting.

          The Commission visited with Brittany regarding what could be done for the EMT’s such as an increase in on-call pay. Brittany discussed some have mentioned a difference in pay for holidays. Brittany will do further research. Also, discussed some type of longevity.

3:27 PM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator joined

          Discussed increasing fees in accordance with what is paid by Medicare/Medicaid. The enterprise funds need to be self-sufficient, per our auditors. Discussed billing the individuals that refuse the service after the ambulance is called out. Discussed the difficulties of billing refusals if the person the call is for is not the same person that made the call. Brittany had four (4) people sign up at the open house. Ekalaka has no one that is interested in taking any courses. Jen Lecoe with Marmarth will put the word out. Will contact Wibaux County to see if they have anyone that would be interested in taking the training. Discussed advertising; Brittany has been advertising on Facebook, etc. 

3:39 PM Brittany 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)

           No updates or decisions made.

    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

             No updates or decisions made.

      e.)Work order for County land on Section 15-7-59-Discuss decision to survey

           No discussion or decision made.

Executive/Action items:

       a.)Decision regarding Parkview Alarm System so Parkview Project can be closed out

The Commission stated Johnson Controls will take care of the deficiencies so the project can be closed out.

       b.)Discussion weapons policy

Will submit information to the County Attorney.

       c.)Mosquito control letter cost share decision

The Commission agrees to the continued cost share as has been done in the past.

        d.)City parks interlocal agreement/completion of work items before final termination date

The Commission will discuss with Outside Maintenance.

        e.)Sign letter of Support-Red Ants Pants Foundation Grant

The Commission signed the letter of support for the grant.

        f.)Johnson Controls Job proposal/Courthouse

The Commission approved the job proposal for Johnson Controls to repair a courthouse fire alarm.

        g.)Immunization Task Order 24-07-4-31-113-0/FY23-24

Commissioner Baldwin signed the immunization task order.

       h.)Sign EMS staffing service agreement renewal/extension

The agreement was not prepared. 

        i.)Sign gravel contract with Wyrick Construction

The Commission signed the gravel contract with Wyrick Construction.

4:00 PM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering, Inc.

Discussed changes to specifications to allow bid. 

1.Troubadour Drive/updates on easements from adjoining landowners

May 19th is the deadline for the landowners to contact the County regarding Troubadour Drive regarding easements. Only one (1) of the three (3) landowners has contacted the County regarding the easement. One of the landowners has sold their property to the party that contacted the county, and the other landowner has never contacted the county.  Will wait to see what the 19th of May brings. Possibly the landowner needing the signed easements will have to do this on their own. 

2.Discuss parking lot maintenance/repairs

Shannon reported conditions of county parking lots for PV1; North and South Courthouse; Triangle and Iron Horse Park. Discussed the type of maintenance that needs to be completed. Also discussed drainage issues and potholes that need to be filled. The county could complete the seal coating.  Shannon will get some price quotes and bring them back for the Commission to review. 

4:40 PM Shannon left the meeting.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the May 8-12, 2023 Commission minutes.  Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

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

          ADJOURN                                                                               ATTEST:

s/ Steve Baldwin, Chairman                                                                   s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk & Recorder