Commission Minutes – November 13-17, 2023
9:45 AM CONVENE
PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder
FALLON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
9:45 AM The Pledge of Allegiance was held in the Commissioner’s Office to start off the week.
9:45 AM AGENDA/NON-AGENDA ITEMS – PUBLIC COMMENT
Josh Lewis, System Administrator-The City of Baker is going to use Verizon as their phone service provider. The city would like to know if the county commission would allow the city to be on our system so they can receive better pricing for monthly lines. The Commission asked about billing the City of Baker. Brenda stated as long as we know how much to bill the city, we can include it in their monthly billing. The Commission is fine with that.
10:00 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Mitch Overn/Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics
UPDATES/Loader-Carl reported they will need to tear down the loader again; feels it may be an issue with a head. The cost for a new long block engine is $14,800, which they already have on hand. If a new head is needed, Carl has no idea how long it will take to get it, probably next year. The Commission granted permission to purchase the engine and find out what type of warranty there would be. They will start tearing it down now, so it is ready for the new engine. The road department removed the golf course irrigation pump at the lagoon since the pond is now full. The silver car has a slight vibration and has been taken to Rolling Rubber. The crew is replacing car gate 21 on the Anticline Road with a new one; the old car gate will be rebuilt. They will finish hauling the rest of the crushed scoria and will haul the rest of the pit-run scoria to the landfill. They will use some of the scoria for the pad for the Rec Department conex box.
10:15 AM Bobby, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.
10:30 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering
UPDATES/Shannon was unable to attend.
11:00 AM DISCUSS DECISION TO INCREASE HOURS FOR LIBRARY TECHNICIAN/Julie Straub, HRM; Beth Meggers, Director of Library Services
Beth would like to increase the hours for Sienna Schuler, Library Technician, to work up to 40 hours per week. The Commission asked if there was enough work for her. Beth stated she has plenty of work for her. Julie explained the library used to have three (3) 30 hour per week Aides (now called Technicians). Beth met with the Library Board and received their approval. Commissioner Baldwin asked if Beth would decrease the hours after the projects are complete. Beth stated she did not have plans to decrease the hours. Julie stated this would also help with coverage in the library. The Commission asked if Sienna would continue to spray weeds next year in addition to her library job. Beth was not sure about her plans to spray weeds but did not feel she planned to. Julie stated this will increase the stability of the workforce and will demonstrate increased productivity. Beth also checked and her budget will withstand the increased hours.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the increase in hours for Sienna Schuler, Library Technician (up to 40 hours per week). Commissioner Braun asked if anyone in the past had worked 40 hours per week. Julie let the Commission know who had worked 40 hours in the past. Commissioner Braun asked, and you have plenty of work? Beth stated she did. Commissioner Braun then seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 1 Nay. (Commissioner Baldwin). The motion carried.
Julie asked the Commission when this would start. The decision was to start the 40 hours per week for Sienna with the new pay period.
11:06 AM Beth left the meeting.
11:08 AM Julie left the meeting.
11:15 AM GUIDANCE/DECISION REGARDING ALLOWING COUNTY EMPLOYEES TO CARRY MACE OR PEPPER SPRAY/Julie Straub, HRM
Julie was asked by an employee if they can carry mace/pepper spray at work. Julie stated our policy does not address this and mace/pepper spray are legal in the state of Montana. The Commission is okay with employees carrying mace/pepper spray.
11:21 AM Julie left the meeting.
11:30 AM INTERESTED IN PURCHASING OLIVER TRACTOR FROM THE COUNTY/Iven Felt
Iven did not attend the meeting.
11:40 AM Brittany Renner, EMS Program Manager joined.
Brittany discussed the decision from last week regarding the extension of the Best Practice Medicine contract for an additional month using one (1) contract EMT. Best Practice Medicine stated they could have one person work 3 shifts one week and 4 shifts the next week. Brittany does not feel that will work. The Commission granted permission to have 2 contractors from Best Practice Medicine for an additional month.
11:50 AM Brittany left the meeting.
11:50 AM 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.
PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder
FALLON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
1:15 PM AGENDA/NON-AGENDA ITEMS – PUBLIC COMMENT
No one attended Public Comment.
1:30 PM COUNTY ATTORNEY WORK SESSION/Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney
1.Indigent Burial policy discussion/decision
The Commission provided Darcy with the information received from Stevenson Funeral Home and stated Stevenson’s would like the county to increase the amount the county contributes toward indigent burials to $3,500.
1:34 PM Dale Butori, MT DES District Field Officer joined.
Darcy and the Commission discussed the county would still need an agreement with Stevenson’s or any other funeral home seeking funds for indigent burials.
2.Policies/procedures for gate permit system (discussion/decisions as needed)
Darcy will change the language in a few areas and return to the Commission for review.
3.Old or other county business (as needed)
Darcy is working on the petition to terminate the trust with Wells Fargo Bank for the Landfill Trust Account.
1:49 PM Darcy left the meeting.
Dale discussed the dispatch console project. Eric, Tab Electronics stated he plans to complete the console project. Dale needs to visit with Eric to see if he spoke to Motorola; Motorola may be having someone else do the work. Dale would like to be kept in the loop when the county has 911 meetings. Dale may get to be on the State of MT 911 Council as an alternate. Dale plans to meet with the new DES person when she arrives.
1:54 PM Dale left.
2:30 PM STAHLY ENGINEERING/TERM ENGINEER PLANNER/Greg Benjamin & Amy Strainer
Greg introduced Amy to the group. Greg will be the liaison for Fallon County; Amy will be the outreach person if Greg is unavailable. They will send some business cards to hand out to the public with their contact information. Discussed putting the county logo and Stahly’s logo on the cards to differentiate between cards they may hand out themselves.
2:36 PM Greg and Amy left the meeting.
3:15 PM PERMISSION TO REDUCE GOLF COURSE SEASONAL LEAD CREW HAND HOURS/Julie Straub, HRM
Commissioner Rost made the motion to reduce the golf course seasonal lead crew hand hours for the winter months to (20 hours per week). Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
3:30 PM Julie left the meeting.
3:30 PM COMMISSION WORK SESSION
The Commission reviewed revenues received, reports, emails and other correspondence, board minutes and agendas.
1.Old Business (as needed)/
a.Coral Creek Landfill Trust Account (any decisions needed)
The County Attorney is working on the petition to terminate the trust.
b.Any decisions regarding the agreement between Fallon County and EMEDA for use of County Land for purposes of Food Forest
EMEDA will discuss this at their next board meeting.
c.Policies/procedures for gate permit system (discussion/decisions as needed)
The County Attorney is changing the language for a few paragraphs.
d.Indigent Burial Policy (discussion/decisions as needed)
The County Attorney will review papers given to the county by Stevensons’s Funeral Home and draft an agreement that can be used for all funeral homes that plan to provide indigent burial services for those who pass away in Fallon County.
e.Hospital Basement Project (discussion/decisions as needed)
No further discussion.
f.Update EMS policies and procedures
No further discussion.
g.Approve/Sign Modification of Interlocal Agreement (Document #99902) for Planning Board and Profession Staff between Fallon County and City of Baker
The agreement was taken to the City of Baker for their review and approval.
h. Other old business as needed
Commissioner Baldwin signed the warranty and purchase order for the new motor grader purchased from RDO.
3.Review & Approve Encroachment/Approach Permits (as needed)
4.Review Board Minutes/Agendas (Boards other than Commission)
5.Review Department/office reports/sign journal vouchers (as needed)
6.Review/Discuss/Decision – any Parkview Rental Agreements/Addendums (as needed)
7.Executive Action Items:
a.Sign Agreement between Fallon County and Peaks Planning & Consulting, LLC
Commissioner Baldwin signed, as Chairman, the agreement between Fallon County and Peaks Planning & Consulting, LLC for On-Call Planning/Flood Plain Services. The agreement was already approved by the Commission but had not received the signed contract from the contractor after the County Attorney updated the agreement.
b.Discuss/Approve/Sign Proposal and Service Agreement with Johnson Controls for replacement of 81 fire
extinguishers for various departments.
The decision was to ask Johnson Controls for the difference in cost to replace and recharge the existing fire extinguishers before approving the proposal/service agreement.
4:15 PM APPROVE NOVEMBER 6-10, 2023 COMMISSION MINUTES
Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the November 6-November 10, 2023 minutes. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
4:30 PM PERSONNEL/PREDISCIPLINARY MEETING/Julie Straub, HRM; Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent
Commissioner Baldwin asked Kevin H if he wanted the meeting to be closed. Kevin H asked if that meant there would be no minutes. The Commission stated there will be minutes taken but they will not be part of the open session minutes, with the exception of the decision made. Kevin H asked that the meeting be closed.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to go into Closed Session. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
4:46 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.
Commissioner Braun made the motion to issue Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent, a written warning. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
Golf Course Superintendent Work Hours Decision:
Commissioner Braun made the motion to change Kevin Hill’s hours from 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM to 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday-Friday, with no lunch, until Kevin H comes before the Commission to ask permission to change the hours for the spring and summer. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Baldwin asked if there was any other discussion. Discussed decision made regarding the meeting held at 3:15 PM regarding Doug Varner, Golf Course Seasonal Lead Crew Hand hours. The decision was to grant permission for Doug’s hours to be reduced. Discussed Doug working from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM Monday – Friday. Kevin H will discuss this with Doug tomorrow. The Commission stated Kevin H is Doug’s Supervisor; Doug needs to let Kevin H know if he is not able to come to work. Doug is not eligible for vacation but is eligible for sick leave and will not be eligible for vacation until November 28, 2023.
The Commission stated Doug can work more than 20 hours per week but cannot work less than that without using leave. Doug is also able to flex his hours such as working an 8-hour day, and less hours the remainder of the week, etc., as long as it is approved, in advance, by Kevin H.
The Commission asked about an accident that happened in which Kevin H ended up going to the doctor. Kevin explained what happened at work. Commissioner Braun stated this is another reason established work hours are important. It is also important that the employee informs the supervisors if there is a reason for coming to work earlier, later or for any absence. Employees need prior approval to come to work later or take vacation or sick leave, so if someone gets hurt during hours different than normal work hours the Supervisor knows why. Julie stated workers’ compensation requires scheduled work hour information when filling out the forms. They need to know if this happened during work hours and what those scheduled hours are. Julie asked Kevin H to come to her office tomorrow so the report can be filled out and sent in. Kevin H will do so.
Commissioner Baldwin asked if there was anything further. Kevin H asked if he could ask the Commission a couple of questions. The Commission agreed. Kevin H would like to ask these questions because he needs to know how he is doing and for a future reference. Kevin H would also like them to be part of the minutes.
Questions from Kevin H.:
1.Are all 10 greens in substantially better condition than in July of 2021? Commission-Yes.
2.Is water chemistry in significantly better condition than in July 2021? Commission-Not positive that would be information that the Sanitarian would have.
3.Is the soil health in significantly better condition than in July 2021? Commissioner Rost-Yes, visually.
4.Is white calcium carbonate gone or much less evident than in July, 2021? Commissioner Rost does not know he has not been out there.
Julie felt these questions could be better addressed if the Commission were to do an appraisal.
5.Is the condition of the pump house and lagoon pump in significantly better condition than July, 2021? The Commission stated yes, the pump house and pump are new.
6.Are the pumps and pump house on site, at the golf course, running much more efficiently than in July, 2021? Commission-Yes.
7.Are the irrigation pipes flowing much better & high GPM than in July, 2021? Commissioner Rost stated yes, based on what you told us, I trust what you told us. Commissioner Braun stated yes, we spent a lot of money fixing leaks/irrigation system.
8.Are sprinklers on course working in much better condition than in July 2021? This was answered above.
9.Are we in a much better position in all things with irrigation now versus July, 2021? Julie stated again, this could all be addressed if they were to complete an appraisal since one has not been completed since probation period was completed.
10.Did every issue Kevin H brough up regarding salesmen, Road Department, water, irrigation, plan of attack, shutting down the course, things that you later agreed with what Kevin H had stated? Kevin H stated Commissioner Braun told him uptown he wished he would have listened to Kevin H as Commissioner Braun stated he agreed the course should have been shut down. Commissioner Braun stated he felt the course should have been shut down during the year of the drought, not this year.
11.Is there anything on the golf course or within the golf course that is in worse condition than in July, 2021? Commissioner Rost stated the course is better. Commissioner Baldwin stated he felt all the Commission would agree things were better this year. Commissioner Rost stated he was not sure about the equipment, he does not know what the equipment looks like now but last winter they struggled getting things serviced and they were not put away clean, etc.
12.Is the golf course overall in much better condition than in July, 2021? Commission-Yes. We are all looking forward to next spring.
Commissioner Rost asked Kevin H if he was excited for next spring? Kevin H. Yes.
Discussed work they are doing this week; Kevin H stated they are spraying fungicide this week.
5:04 PM Kevin H left the meeting.
5:11 PM Julie left the meeting.
5:12 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to adjourn. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
FALLON COUNTY COMMISSION
s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman
s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder