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

Commission Minutes – October 10-14, 2022

Commission Minutes – October 10-14, 2022



PRESENT: Roy Rost, Chairman; Steve Baldwin and Kevin Braun, 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.


Approval tabled until next week to have more time to review.

9:45 AM PERMISSION TO RECRUIT FOR LIBRARY TECHNICIAN/Julie Straub, HRM, Stacey Moore, Director of Library Services

          Stacey would like permission to recruit for a Library Technician, since she has received notification of resignation from one of her employees. Stacey would like to start advertising so there is time to recruit and interview before the employee leaves.  Julie stated she is proud of the employee for giving the county notice early in the game.  The Library Technician is a 30 hour per week position.  Commissioner Rost asked what the start date would be if the individual would be available and accepts right away; would it be beneficial if the position would be filled early.  Stacey would like to have them in place before the employee leaves, if that is agreeable with the Commission.  Commissioner Rost asked if this would be advertised as opened until filled or with a closing date.  Stacey would prefer to have a closing date and if needed it could be extended.  The Commission agreed; decision is to advertise with a closing date of October 28, 2022.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to grant permission to recruit for a 30-hour per week Library Technician with a closing date of October 28, 2022.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. O Nays.  The motion carried unanimously. 

9:50 AM Stacey hung up the phone therefore leaving the meeting. 

9:59 AM Julie left the meeting.

10:00 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Carl Overland, Shop Mechanic

          Shop Updates-The snowplow will be finished today; have a couple belly dumps they are working on.  They will get the senior buses scheduled for a service.

          Road Updates-Bobby stated he drove across the Ismay box culvert yesterday; the by-pass has been removed.  Commissioner Braun had a member of the public ask if there were plans for guardrails. There are no plans for guardrails; the county has not included guardrails for any of the box culverts that have been previously placed.  Commissioner Baldwin was notified of a tree that is down (Section 33) on Cabin Creek Road; Bobby will go view it.

Discussed the Road Department employees driving the hook truck to assist when the Landfill Manager is gone or unable to drive the truck. This would probably not happen very often, however, the driver needs to have a CDL. Carl is still interested in being a trainer for CDL drivers. Carl will do some checking on the process he would need to follow to be a trainer and any CDL possible exemptions there may be for county employees. The road crew will start on the Ollie Road when the crew is finished with work on the Ismay Road. Commissioner Rost was driving on Ash Creek Road and wondered if that is maintained by Wibaux or Fallon County.  Bobby stated the west side by Rising’s is maintained by Wibaux; Fallon County has the east side.

10:17 AM Carl left the meeting.

Discussed a portion of Johny Creek Trail that needs to have some maintenance; the area is near the culvert before Selle’s.

10:20 AM DISCUSSION ON ROAD SPECIFICATIONS, WIDTH, ETC./Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering

          Standard width of Fallon County roads was discussed; we have nothing official but 24’ is standard for Fallon County. Commissioner Rost discussed portions of county roads are less than 24’, especially after mulching. Commissioner Rost would like to have some of these areas measured because he is not sure if he is measuring them correctly. Bobby stated the blade operators are supposed to measure them, they each have a tape measure in their blade.  Bobby will go measure the road in question. Commissioner Rost would like to discuss what process to take when the width is determined. Bobby felt they would push the material back in the ditch. Discussed how many passes the blade takes when blading.  Discussed variables such as how wide the mow board and the road are; usually 4 passes on a 24’ wide and 3 passes on a dirt or private road. Various counties at the MACo meeting stated they make a minimum of 5 passes. 

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

          Discuss/Decision to move forward with Bergstrom Hill Road Intersection Survey-Shannon brought a copy of the proposal for review. The estimated max cost on the quote for the topographic survey is $4,000 and they feel it will take them 2 days to complete; Legal survey estimated cost is $4,500.  The Commission made the decision to start with the topo survey and speak to the landowners before moving forward.  The soonest the project would get started would be next spring; because they have to get permits, easements and design the road. 

Commissioner Braun made the motion to move forward with a topo survey of Bergstrom Hill Road. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously. 

 Commissioner Rost will contact landowners to let them know the surveyors will be out at some point in time.

10:33 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined.

Several decisions will need to be made before proceeding; speed of road; will county do the work; will traffic control be needed. Should be finished with dirt work on the Ismay box culvert today and then gravel on Thursday. Bobby explained the road crew would lay scoria base and cover with gravel. Discussed possibly surveying on Thielen Access Road to obtain the correct legals. Shannon will call in for the 3:15 PM meeting today. They were hanging panels on the Bonnievale box culvert, there were no cows out today; landowner was contacted by the contractor.

10:48 AM Bobby left the meeting.

Lakeview Drive Storm Drain project is progressing, should be done this week; seeding will be the remaining item. Currently working on both manholes. Discussed winterization of the waterfall and who will complete the process.  Shannon stated they need to be sure to exercise the gate valve and drain the water. The process will be discussed with outside maintenance. Would need to get a key from the City of Baker or may have to have a key made because this manhole is 12’ deep (average depth is normally 10’). Rich will contact Rod Morris, Public Works Director-City of Baker about borrowing a key before having one made. 

Discuss Grant Requirements for engineering-Discussed the current grant and the engineering costs would be paid by the county as part of our required costs. The county will get an updated RFQ for engineering prepared.

11:00 AM Shannon left the meeting.

11:00 AM IT UPDATES/Josh Lewis, System Administrator

         UPDATES-Josh has tried to start installing PC’s which has been time consuming; he has noticed several of the monitors are getting quite old.  Josh has had to order adapters to compensate for that. At some point we need to budget to replace the older monitors; he will make note of the departments that need new monitors. The Commission stated they need to be disposed of if they cannot be recycled. Josh put out an email asking departments if they have bags for their laptops; he had noticed someone carrying their laptop without a case and just wants everyone to be mindful of our equipment. Jason will continue to send information out for cybersecurity awareness month. Working with Brenda in Dispatch to get CJIN training; has a training scheduled with Stacey in the Library for the Word Press program for the county website. Working with Clint Townsend tomorrow afternoon to touch base on a few items. Waiting on some parts for a printer and hoping that will fix the problem. Will move the extra printers to the mother’s room for now. Discussed familiarity with security cameras; we have several different departments that have various systems that are not working. Discussed setting them up so the County can monitor them. Josh will contact the departments and check on a program to monitor.

11:21 AM Josh left the meeting.


Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to approve the closed session minutes from October 3, 2022. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  The motion carried unanimously. 

11:30 AM EMS UPDATES/Lisa Mitchell, EMS Program Manager

          UPDATES-This month they have already been busy (11 calls and only 2 billable). Last month there were 27 calls with 11 being non-billable.  Working on reports for a Medicare/Medicaid audit. Checking on supplies. Lisa’s EMS meetings will be moved from weekly to the 2nd Monday of the month. Recruitment was discussed; only received one letter of interest to date. Will get together with Julie and brainstorm.  Longevity and stipend rates were discussed; the attendants and drivers do not get longevity; will look into all of that before next budget year. Also need to decide when to readvertise for EMT’s.

11:47 AM Lisa left the meeting.

11:48 AM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.

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

                    NOON RECESS


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



No one appeared for Public Comment

1:45 PM BAKER LAKE WATER TESTING RESULT DISCUSSION/REQUEST FOR PAYMENT OF SUPPLIES/DISCUSS & DECISION FOR FURTHER TESTING &/or WHAT THE COUNTY PROPOSES TO DO NEXT/Linda Rost, BHS Biology Teacher; Keely Heaton, Kimber Custer, Hope Gonsioroski, Kayl Hadley, Kyal Hadley, Jasia Stieg, Kennedy Lyson, Cheyanne Dame, Chance Follmer, Jackson Moser, Austin Gaub, Drake Graham, Kane Olsen, Chase Follmer, Bodee Swarts, Malachi Marshall, Conrad Hess, Aidyn Schwartz, Brylee Swarts, Eternity Tiedemann, Taiklyn Wyrick, Emily Burdick, Nathaniel Rissler, Biology Students; Richard Menger, Sanitarian; Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator; Mary Grube, Planning Administrative Assistant-Met in the Library Basement.

          Introduction of attendees-Linda explained most of the students are Sophomores/Slide show was presented by Linda Rost and student scientists.

          Rich asked where the collections took place. They chose the most used areas such as around the boat docks, beaches etc. at approximate depth of 6”.  Linda explained the bacterial analysis for e-coli exceeded the state guidelines. Rich asked which guidelines they were using.  Linda explained they used the MT DEQ guidelines for surface waters.

          Discussed having limited data from June so something has changed since those tests were taken. There were also tests taken of the upper lake showing mostly coliforms but fewer to no E. Coli.  Rich explained the upper lake water is shallow which allows more UV light, water movement is also different on the upper lake than that of the lower lake. Linda explained they would like to do more testing on the upper lake and would also like to do seasonal testing. 

           Linda asked if the Commission would like them to continue testing and if the County would like to partner with them. Commissioner Baldwin asked if their goal is to identify. Linda responded, yes. 

           Rich commended the students and the teacher for their interest and efforts. Storm water feeds the lake, the runoff from individual yards, livestock waste, etc. runs down the streets and ditches and into the lake. The new storm water improvement project will help the water quality of the lake. This year also saw more human activity on the lake as well. We also have improved the wetlands, which has brought more waterfowl to the lake; people need to be responsible and shower after recreating in the lake.

          Linda stated a student took a boat on the middle of the lake; high levels were found there as well, not just along the most used areas of the lake.

          Dale asked if they would be doing other testing. Linda-That is why they want to do genetic testing.

          Commissioner Rost explained we had a major drought; the lake is now full; he would be interested in seeing if that changes the levels.  Linda stated it would be great to have the data and would like to continue with quarterly testing.

          Mary asked if the increased waterfowl contributes to this. Linda stated it does but without the data……

          Cheyanne would like to see management of (seaweed); after researching the health concerns for individuals, with an open wound coming in contact with the (seaweed), there may be adverse effects.  Dale explained the county has treated the lake for milfoil for many years.  Commissioner Rost discussed the wetlands work the county has been mandated to do and constraints this has put on the county. Rich discussed the major improvements the county has made and continues to make to the Baker Lake.

          If the county is interested in partnering with BHS, they would like to request assistance with the cost of supplies and testing. Linda felt this year the cost would be approximately $1,350. Linda personally paid for the initial costs to get them started.

         Commissioner Braun discussed toxicity testing’s that were completed on his dams. Discussed the difference in testing if there is moisture/runoff, verses no moisture and how it changes toxicity levels high enough to kill livestock. With the drought, Baker Lake is going on two years with no runoff.

           Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to grant $1,500 this FY for the purchase of supplies and/or testing of the Baker Lake/Upper Lake. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

2:18 PM Everyone left the meeting.

2:20 PM DISCUSS BUDGETING FOR FULL SCALE EXERCISE/Mindi Murnion, Public Health Specialist and Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

          Mindi would like to budget for a full-scale exercise in next fiscal year’s budget.  The state will help to facilitate the exercise, but it will not help fund it. Discussed getting a planning committee to assist with this also. Mindi would like to do this before school starts, possibly in July; Wibaux County would like to join in the exercise also. 

         Discussed an upcoming zoom meeting regarding fentanyl.  Mindi explained this is a 3 day zoom training; however, you have a month to complete it.  Discussed waiting on the training until after the November Health Board meeting.


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

Sign MT DPHHS and Board of Health Cooperative Agreement-Commissioner Rost signed the Cooperative Agreement effective January 1 – December 31, 2023.  The agreement will be placed of record as soon as all signatures are obtained.

3:15 PM DISCUSS/APPROVAL OF OBTAINING A SURVEY OF THIELEN ACCESS ROAD/Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney; Cindy Irgens, Recording Clerk; Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering via conference call.

          Discussed making a decision whether to get a professional survey of Thielen Access and/or the 1915 Giles Petition. Shannon will get the work order completed and ready for signage next week. 

3:25 PM Shannon hung up the phone, leaving the meeting.

         Original Road Grants have been filed in the basement vault. The contractors have been scanning them in as part of the Road Plat project.  Cindy asked if they should be scanned and placed in the document program as well.  Darcy and all of the Commission agree they should be placed in the county document program also. 

3:43 PM Darcy and Cindy left the meeting.

3:45 PM Commissioner Baldwin left the meeting.


4:00 PM Kimberly Jensen, AP Clerk-Discussed the inspection reports received from Johnson Controls for county department fire extinguishers.  There are many that did not pass inspection for various reasons. Johnson Controls sent a quote for replacement of those extinguishers.  The Commission asked that this be put on next week’s agenda and asked to have Tom Bruha, Rural Fire Chief attend the meeting.

4:05 PM Coral Creek Landfill Trust Account/Anders Berry, Wells Fargo Bank-Las Vegas, NV and Shawn Wisemen, Bank of Baker, via speakerphone

         Terminating Trust Agreement-Anders asked if the Bank of Baker is a qualified corporate trustee. Shawn stated the Bank of Baker is not, but the MT DEQ has come up with a program for a CD Assignment in lieu of the trust. Fallon County wants to terminate the trust (per the agreement) and place the funding in a CD at the Bank of Baker.

Anders stated the ball is in his court and will need to find out of Wells Fargo has interest in getting rid of the trust. Commissioner Braun stated those funds are taxpayer dollars and it is the duty of the County Commission to manage those funds to the best of their ability. Commissioner Braun further stated the Commission wants to keep our taxpayer dollars close to home.  Anders will send his contact information to the Commission and find out if it is the desire of Wells Fargo Bank to terminate the agreement and will let the Commission know the decision.

4:30 PM Anders and Shawn hung up the phone, leaving the meeting.

4:30 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to adjourn.  Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent Commissioner Baldwin.  The motion carried.


                                                                                                                s/Roy Rost, Chairman


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder