Commission Minutes – October 23 – October 27, 2023
9:00 AM CONVENE
PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Kevin Braun and Roy Rost, Members; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder
FALLON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
9:00 AM The Pledge of Allegiance was held in the Commissioner’s Office to start off the week.
9:00 AM AGENDA/NON-AGENDA ITEMS – PUBLIC COMMENT
Jennefer Wheeler, Fairgrounds Manager met to let the Commission know the Fair Board is working on By-Law updates.
9:15 AM PUBLIC HEARING TO ADOPT THE AMENDED SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY-5.02 & SIGN RESOLUTION #1116 ADOPTING THE AMENDED SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY-5.02/Josh Lewis, System Administrator
9:16 AM Commissioner Baldwin opened the Public Hearing.
No members of the public or employees attended the Public Hearing.
No written or oral public comments were received regarding the amended Social Media Policy-5.02. Josh also felt the final draft was good as submitted.
9:17 AM Commissioner Baldwin closed the Public Hearing.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to Adopt Resolution #1116 for the amended Social Media Policy-5.02. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
9:18AM Josh left the meeting.
9:20 AM Dale Butori, MT DES District Field Officer joined.
Dale wanted to remind the Commission about 911 equipment belonging to Fallon County that is stored at the Tab Electronics facility. Most of the equipment is new and some was kept as spares in case needed in the future. The new DES/911 person will be informed, and the Commission will also keep this information in mind in case statuses would change with the three counties (Fallon, Carter, and Wibaux) and Tab Electronics.
9:22 AM DISCUSS GRANT FOR TV DISTRICT/Wayne Mangold and Dale Butori, TV District Board Member
Discussion regarding combining the Baker and Plevna TV Districts. Wayne will visit with the County Attorney about this.
9:32 AM Vaughn Zenko; Cheyanne Dame, SMART joined the discussion.
The group discussed the Grid United Grant and how to best apply for the funding for the district(s). Discussed asking for a grant to purchase equipment for both districts. Vaughn feels it is best to apply for each District separately because they (Grid United) only have $84,000 per grant cycle and they prefer to fund projects that will be completed, with the funding received. The district would not be able to complete the work for both sites based on the amount of funding that would be available and could risk being funded for the entire project. The Commission asked about the projected cost to repair both sites (Plevna and Baker) and whether those figures included labor. The answer was no; Wayne does as much as he can and does this as a service to the districts. Wayne informed the Commission, the gentleman that used to repair the equipment in the past will no longer be traveling to Baker. Wayne may contact Direct Electric to see if they would be able to assist in replacement of components and would ask for a quote. Dale feels Wayne should receive some compensation for all he does. Vaughn stated they wanted to be certain the County would assist the district if the grant does not cover the entire costs. Commissioner Braun stated the Commission had agreed they would subsidize if needed. The decision was to apply for a grant for each District separately. They can apply for the other District grant during the next grant cycle.
9:48 AM Dale left the meeting.
Wayne stated he will meet with Darcy to discuss the process for combining both Districts and move forward with that as well. The process of charging the taxpayers fairly and accordingly will also be addressed so the district(s) can maintain the facilities adequately.
9:50 AM Wayne, Vaughn and Cheyanne, left the meeting.
9:51 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Mitch Overn and Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics
UPDATES/Discussed finding a solution for the pipe located at the lagoon, (for the golf course irrigation system). The pipe is sagging, putting stress on the pipe, which may cause it to break. Bobby stated he contacted the Golf Course employees and told them they will be pulling the pump this morning. The Commission stated the lid had been set on the culvert at the golf course.
The road crew is hauling scoria; the county will need to go out to bid for more crushed scoria. Discussed some road crew members put road closed signs up to repair a car gate. A vehicle came through the road closed signs and could have easily hit someone. By the time anyone realized they were there, they had already driven by, (too fast). Did not get a license plate number; so, there is no way to get contact information. Commissioner Braun complimented the road crew on the placement of car gate on 981 Pennel Road. The car gate by Strangford’s has been repaired, several other car gates were cleaned and received general maintenance. They are preparing equipment for the change in the weather. RDO made the needed repairs for the loader, so they can start putting it back together. Carl stated they, (shop mechanics), could have repaired the loader but needed a special tool, which they could not get until after the first of next year.
1.Permission to hire Road Department Operator(s)/
No decision at this time; will be put back on the agenda next week.
10:11 AM Bobby, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.
10:17 AM COMMISSION WORK SESSION
The Commission reviewed revenues received, reports, emails and other correspondence, board minutes and agendas.
1.Old Business (as needed)/
10:17 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined.
Rich reported on the golf course irrigation micronutrients and coliforms testing. The report came back incredibly good. There were no micronutrients or coliforms that even came close to the listed limits.
a.Coral Creek Landfill Trust Account (any decisions needed)
No further discussion needed.
b.Any decisions regarding the agreement between Fallon County and EMEDA for use of County Land for purposes of Food Forest
The County Attorney contacted EMEDA regarding the contract and there has been no word back on the agreement.
c.Policies/procedures for gate permit system (discussion/decisions as needed)
The Commission and County Attorney are working on the permit and process.
d.Indigent Burial Policy (discussion/decisions as needed)
The County Attorney is working on updating the policy.
e.Decision to move forward with Credible minds or Sapphire Resource Connection
10:20 AM The Commission phoned Mindi Murnion, Public Health Specialist regarding the Credible Minds program. The Commission asked what types of information would be received to know how much the program is utilized. Mindi will find out that information and get back to the Commission. Discussed the grant for Credible Minds; Mindi feels we have gone past the deadline for application of the grant but will find that out also. The Commission will move forward with Credible Minds, public program and decline the public program through Sapphire Resource Connection.
10:24 AM Mindi hung up the phone, leaving the meeting.
f.Review/Discuss/Approve 911 GIS Data Maintenance Agreement between Fallon County and KLJ Engineering, LLC
KLJ is working on updated language with their attorneys and will get back to the County.
g.Review/Discuss/Decision to sign Task Order for various on-call engineering survey services with KLJ
Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Task Order for various on-call engineering services with KLJ. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
h.Decision to approve termination of interlocal agreement for the funding and operation of the Fallon County Planning Board and use of Planning Staff with the City of Baker
Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the termination of Interlocal Agreement for the funding and operation of the Fallon County Planning Board and Use of Planning Staff with the City of Baker. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
i.Decision to approve Interlocal Agreement with the City of Baker for the City to provide solid waste disposal for the County
Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Baker for the City to provide Solid Waste disposal for the county. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
j.Other Old Business as needed
k.Review/Approve agreement for on-call planning services/flood plan management with Peaks Planning and Consulting, LLC
The County Attorney needs to review before signing.
l.Review/Approve revised interlocal agreement with the City of Baker for the Planning Board
The County Attorney is working on revisions to the agreement.
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.Review/Discuss/Decision – any Parkview Rental Agreements/Addendums (as needed)
7.Executive Action Items:
a. Approve Community Health Assessment Task Order 24-07-1-01-198-0 to the Master Service Contract Effective July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2026 between the State of Montana DPHHS and Fallon County
Mindi Murnion, Public Health Specialist discussed the Health Assessment in a prior phone conversation. The Health Assessment has to be completed; this is the grant that will fund the Health Assessment.
Mindi further discussed a $25,000 grant to fund the Community Needs Awareness Program and asked if the Commission would grant permission to apply for this grant as well.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve signing the $10,000 grant for the Community Needs Assessment and permission to apply for $25,000 grant for the Community Needs Awareness Program grant. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
b.Sign letters notifying life-flight companies Fallon County is increasing transport fee/for the Fallon County Ambulance Service
Commissioner Baldwin signed the letters notifying the life-flight companies, Fallon County is increasing transport fee/for the Fallon County Ambulance Service. The letters were mailed to each flight company.
11:00 AM CLICK SEND TRAINING FOR COMMISSION/Josh Lewis, System Administrator
11:30 AM Josh left the meeting.
11:35 AM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined.
Discussed the process for the test that has to be performed at the golf course pond to determine if the pond will need to be lined or not per the DEQ. Shannon stated the City of Baker has a piece of pipe that can be used to perform the test. Much discussion on lining the pond rather than performing the test. Shannon feels they should perform the test and hope they do not have to line the pond. The bed of the pond would have to be dry before it can be lined. In order to do that, they would not have enough water to adequately irrigate the golf course next season. The decision is to look at the upcoming weather next week and determine if they will do the test now or wait until the spring.
12:06 PM Shannon left the meeting.
12:07 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.
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 appeared for Public Comment.
1:30 PM CITY OF BAKER UPDATES/Steve Zachmann, Mayor; Kevin Dukart, City Clerk; Cindy Irgens, Recording Clerk; Kimberly Jensen, AP Clerk
Refuse discussion per the new agreement-The county has black refuse containers at the Fairgrounds/Softball Field/Triangle Park Gazebo and the Golf Course. Discussed the number of containers that would be needed at each location if the city were to pick up daily. Some locations would be seasonal as they put some containers away in October and bring them back out in May. Kimberly will contact departments and give numbers to the City of Baker. If adjustments need to be made, they will take care of that at a later time. When a start date is decided, Kimberly will contact G & G to let them know of the decision made.
1:52 PM Kimberly left the meeting.
Water shut off for the Triangle Park-The valve is closed but water is still running down the line, which will make it hard to blow the lines down. Discussed the best way to repair it without digging up a street, just newly completed during the street project. Mayor Zachmann stated this repair would be on the county’s dime as it is a service line. Clerk Dukart further stated the city does not charge for water at Triangle Park.
1.Discuss Planning moving forward/handling of Plats, COS’s, etc./Clerk Dukart stated the City has contracted with Forrest Sanderson for Planning services. Forrest recommended all City plats and COS’s be taken directly to the City of Baker. Brenda asked that they continue to bring them (plats/COS’s) to the Clerk and Recorder’s office so they can check legal descriptions, landownerships, etc. Cindy stated we want to make sure everything our office checks for is good to go before they go to final. Clerk Dukart stated Forrest recommended they change their review fee from $200 to $400.
2:03 PM Cindy left the meeting.
2.Other business/updates/Steve reported it worked really well having the county road crew doing
the roadwork southwest of Baker Lake and east of Highway 7. The street project is close to being closed out; there are punch list items remaining to complete.
2:07 PM Linda Howard, KFLN joined.
Discussed looking into a maintenance plan moving forward. Ron Shepherd stopped by the city office and wanted to thank them for the work on the streets. Mayor Zachmann wanted to be sure to let the Commission know since the county did most of the work. Further discussed getting a plan started for the county to assist with maintenance of the streets. The restrooms at the city park received damage during the fair this year. The city plans to apply for a grant to remove it and replace it with a larger building, which will accommodate storage as well. They will also be moving the RV dump station. The work the county completed for the Parkview drainage left some of the disturbed areas unrestored. The city would like some topsoil for those areas. Discussed how the first year of having a contractor maintaining the city parks has worked out.
2:14 PM Kimberly joined the meeting.
Mayor Zachmann discussed flooding in the city park; feels it is partially due to the overgrowth blocking the channel between 4th and 5th Streets West. Discussed the joint permit the city and county have; Mayor Zachmann would like to clean that portion of the creek channel. Commissioner Baldwin discussed waiting until there is a decision from the EPA regarding the wetland mitigation project. Mayor Zachmann feels it would be beneficial to clean that area now before the spring thaw. No decision was made at this time.
Kimberly wanted to let everyone know she made an appointment with the Fairgrounds Manager to meet next week to discuss dumpsters. The city will be adding a streetlight on Martin Avenue and asked if the county would consider adding a light pole in the Fairgrounds parking lot that would shine over that way as well. The Commission will be meeting with the Fairgrounds Manager next week and will discuss this.
2:21 PM Kevin, Steve and Kimberly left the meeting.
2:22 PM DISCUSS EMERGENCY ANNOUNCEMENTS, ETC. AND REASSURE THE PROCESS THEY WILL BE HANDLED BY KFLN/Linda Howard, KFLN Representative
Linda met to make sure the commission understands and to reassure them, KFLN will have staff available to handle emergency announcements, etc. They have staff, including Linda, that can go on the air from their homes, as well as Jay Newell, owner. KFLN has new equipment which allows staff to do whatever is needed, whether in the station or by computer at their homes. Linda can log in and take care of the social media postings, while others are handling the announcements/postings live. Linda again wants to reassure everyone, KFLN can still get the job done now and provide public service. KFLN hires a person to plow out their employees, so they are able to get to work; it is a high priority. Linda has been in radio for 43 years and loves to help people; KFLN/KJJM will not let the people down. The Commission stated they received the information from the public. The Commission will use the radio and any other source that is available to get the word out when necessary. Linda provided the Commission with contact information; Linda wants to be proactive, to help and do whatever is needed to keep everyone safe. The Commission appreciated Linda taking time to inform them and appreciates what they do as well.
2:44PM Linda left the meeting.
2:45 PM PERMISSION TO HIRE DES/911 COORDINATOR/Julie M. Straub, HRM
Commissioner Braun made the motion to hire Amanda Frickel as the new DES/911 Coordinator. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
2:50 PM REQUEST LEAVE WITHOUT PAY
Kimberly Jensen joined the meeting. Commissioner Baldwin asked if Kimberly would like this closed. Kimberly did not feel it was necessary. Kimberly would like permission to be granted leave without pay as she exhausted all her leave and was unable to be at work the week of October 16, 2023.
Commissioner Rost made the motion to grant leave without pay to Kimberly Jensen. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
2:53 PM Kimberly left the meeting.
3:00 PM GOLF COURSE UPDATES/Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent; Doug Varner, Seasonal Lead Ground Crew Hand
They are blowing out the irrigation system and should be finished by Wednesday. The pumps were serviced, and watering will not be an issue now; all leaks have been repaired. Discussed managing the time when they water due to DEQ guidelines; need to water in the evenings. They can hand water the greens during the day, using city water. Discussed the road department removing the pump from the lagoon today. Commissioner Braun had asked that he be called first before removing the pump due to the test the county needs to perform for DEQ. Kevin noted the road department told them they were removing the pump today and assumed the commission made the determination. The driving range is coming along; they may need to purchase some pipe to repair irrigation for the driving range and will also need to purchase some more grass seed. They will finish placing snow fence this week; may have to purchase more snow fence. Discussed, the City of Baker will start emptying the dumpsters for the county and would empty them daily. The Commission wondered how many dumpsters they felt they would need. Kevin felt they would need one dumpster if they dump daily. Will need to repair the fertigation pumps and will also have more irrigation heads that have to be repaired. They currently have 16 irrigation heads that have to be hand keyed. The lid was placed on the inlet last week; discussed asphalt that is breaking up; need to get hold of Midland to get them to take care of problems that remain with the irrigation system. Kevin contacted the company regarding the sand; they said they made the sand, forgot to call us and there is not more sand. The Commission discussed getting pea gravel from the county yard rather than purchasing more; just need to let the road department know they need some and they will take care of it. Discussed bolts that need to be replaced with stainless bolts and also discussed covering the stainless bolts with wax tape for further protection. Discussed areas that need washed rock due to erosion.
3:47 PM Kevin and Doug left the meeting.
3:50 PM APPROVE OCTOBER 16-OCTOBER 20, 2023 COMMISSIONER MINUTES
Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the October 16 – 20, 2023, minutes with the following correction: Regarding the meeting held at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, pertaining to the county land west of Baker. Added a sentence after the following sentence which reads: (Also informed Richard of the appurtenances related to the workforce housing land such as chain link fencing, 300 hydrants, 600 electrical hookups, sewer and water hookups are in place but would have to get City of Baker approvals and would need an easement for the electrical). (“Added the following sentence: The public needs to know they will also need approval from the State of Montana, as a new development”). Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
4:00 PM FY25 SALARY SCHEDULE WORK SESSION
The meeting was cancelled due to lack of full attendance.
4:30 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to recess and adjourn after the meeting on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2023
1:00 PM MEET WITH PARKVIEW 1 & 2 RESIDENTS TO DISCUSSION PROJECT(S) AND OTHER CONCERNS/MEETING HELD AT PARKVIEW 1 COMMON AREA/Steve Baldwin, Commission Chair; Kevin Braun, Commission Member; Brandon Janshen and Kelsey Merritt/SDI (via ZOOM); Derrick deHaan, Maintenance Assistant; Parkview 1 & 2 Residents: Shirley Barth; Robert Boggs, Norita Fried; Betty Johnson; Marlene Karch; Rebecca Jimison; Renhild Martin; LaVerne Schell; Delores Cumber; James Rambur; Rose Straub; Leonard Becker and Peggy Bagley Smith.
Brandon and Kelsey explained the project the County and FMC are doing together and how it will benefit both parties for the future of all buildings.
After Brandon and Kelsey were finished with their portion of the meeting, the Parkview residents had questions and concerns to discuss with the Commission. The Parkview Residents voted Commissioner Baldwin the point of contact. Commissioner’s Baldwin and Braun recommended the Commission Chairman be the point of contact.
2:30 PM The meeting was concluded.
FALLON COUNTY COMMISSION
s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman
s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder