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

Commission Minutes – October 3-7, 2022

Commission Minutes – October 3-7, 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.


       Troubadour Drive-Isaac Potter, Farmland Reserve Inc. phoned in for an update on Troubadour Drive. Isaac asked if the County would accept a resolution for this to be a county road. Commission explained there are easements all the way through the property. Fallon County has a lot of county roads that are the same way, the county is not going to go back and make those county roads either.  Isaac stated the title company will not grant title insurance, saying there is a lack of proper access to the property; further stated the title company is a Montana company. Commissioner Braun stated the county has done the research and according to our research there is nothing missing.  Isaac stated his research has brought forth the same information as the county. The Commission stated they have never had this issue come up before with any other properties. Once the access is deemed public, everyone has the right to use it. Isaac thanked the Commission for their time.

9:10 AM Isaac hung up the phone; therefore, leaving the meeting.


The Commission reviewed and approved timesheets for the month of September, 2022 and approved payroll and withholdings in the amount of $596,819.37. They are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

9:11 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined.

          Rich reported there has been zero germination on the golf course greens. Rich discussed his thoughts regarding the sulfur burner.  Discussed private drain field issue; landowner is waiting on the contractor. In completing his inspections, the businesses are all looking super. Rich feels that is tributed to the training provided and knowing what the inspector is looking for. Rich discussed the outlet for the Lakeview Drive Storm Sewer Drain project and the rock for erosion.  The water for the upper dam is slowly draining in the lower lake.

9:25 AM Rich left the meeting.             


Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the minutes from September 19-23, 2022, with corrections. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


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

10:05 AM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to come out of closed session.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

10:06 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Mitch Overn & Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics

          Shop Updates- Hook truck ran good when driven back to Baker; discussed replacing a tire, so far, the only thing they have had to do. The Commission discussed replacing the container at the county shop with one of the county containers. Carl has found a tarp that would work for the containers at an approximate cost of $300. Discussed another Landfill employee getting his CDL to operate the hook truck; Carl is interested in being a CDL trainer. Discussed various maintenance items they are working on.

          Road Updates– All blades are running (2 North and 3 West of Baker), the rest of the crew is working on car gate maintenance.  Mowing has been completed.

10:18 AM Mitch and Carl left the meeting.

10:30 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering; Rich Menger, Sanitarian

          Storm Drain-All pipe is in the ground. The contractor has manhole bases and walls completed, working on inverts today and getting roofs cast so they can wrap up the project. They will clean up and seed to complete the project.  Pay Application #1 was submitted. They went over projected cost on the utility work due to extra unforeseen work.

Commissioner Braun made motion to approve Pay App #1 for the Lakeview Drive Storm Sewer Project in the amount of $252,624.00. The Contractor will receive $250,097.76 with the 1% contractor gross receipt of $2,526.24 to go the State of Montana.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

          Ismay Bridge-Contractor and Brosz are on site this morning. They are backfilling and getting riprap finished.  They broke cores, which broke at 4000 and 4300 psi which is great.  They can pull scaffolding this week and complete the dirt work. The landowner wanted to move cattle; the contractor will set up panels for the cattle to go through at the contractor’s cost. 

          Bonnievale Bridge-They were going to mulch and place ECB (erosion control blankets) on the north slopes. Shannon has not visited the site yet.  Commissioner Baldwin stated he had viewed the site and all of that is there.

          Road Mapping project-Michael has been coming over and scanning when he is available; they are still planning on a December presentation.

          Bergstrom Hill Road-For safety reasons there has been discussion on cutting down a hill on Bergstrom Hill Road.  Commissioner Rost spoke to a couple of the landowners that would like to move forward; the Sikorski’s have not been contacted yet.  There is no signage presently but would need to be designed to have signage placed, per Shannon.

10:50 AM Rich left the meeting.

Shannon will move forward with some options; Bergstrom Hill Road intersects with old Highway 7.  Get is surveyed with utility location included. Before moving forward, Shannon will bring a task order next week for this project.

          Pine Creek Road-Commissioner Rost feels something needs to be done with this road as well.

          Bridge Projects-The fencing should be completed soon for the Bonnievale Bridge; and also when the Ismay Bridge is complete.

          North Baker Water Sewer Meeting-Shannon will be attending their meeting this week to discuss water/sewer drainage and possibly requesting and using some of the County’s ARPA funds, should there be any available.

11:03 AM Shannon left the meeting.

11:04 AM PLANNING DEPARTMENT UPDATES/Mary Grube, Planning Administrative Assistant

          DNRC-Tracey Sears and Nadene Wadsworth with DNRC completed a floodplain audit.  The audit shows, the County has done really good the last few years. The DNRC has not received grant funding for mapping as of this time, but they are very sure they will. The first draft will be available in 2024; the DNRC will do the leg work and Mary will put a link on the County web page, so the public has viewing access. DNRC will want the 100-year historical data; the governing body is responsible for the cost of advertising and public hearings.  DNRC is pleased with the lake; they did ask if the County had plans to complete maintenance on the channel through town. Mary explained she was sure that was still on hold.  Commission stated Fallon County is hopefully on its last year and can move forward with that as soon as released from the cease and desist.

          Growth Policy-Forrest wants the Commission to look through the agenda for the November 7th Growth Policy kick off meeting.  KLJ will have representatives in attendance at that meeting.  Mary has asked both Councils and would like the Commission to attend as well. 

          Planners conference: The conference was good. Mary is the only one that is still carrying on from Eastern Montana; most everyone else has quit.  Forrest represents most of the eastern counties but chooses not to go these meetings. The majority of representation now comes from the Western part of the state. They discussed case law – regarding extension of a subdivision; this will probably hit the legislature next year. Spot zoning will probably hit the legislature as well. 

          Hazard mitigation planning-Mary stated DES needs to work with the Flood Plain Administrator and Planning, through LEPC, because it goes hand in hand. MAP is working on new legislation for big cities to have local control. Mary had heard MACo pushed for Eastern Montana not to be included; this will go before the legislature. The Commission did not feel that was discussed at MACo Convention last week.

          Ground water testing-They discussed large cities and their influx of new people causing the ground water supply to be contaminated. Discussed the larger cities have a lot of private wells in town rather than being on a public water supply. They are putting a task force together to study the effects of drought. Mary did not feel this would affect our County.

11:19 AM Mary left the meeting.

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

Updates-Lisa stated September was a busy month; included 1 public assist; 1 agency assist to Superior Care; standbys are for football games.  There have been 55 non-chargeables so far this year. They will have education at the meeting tonight and will review legal jargon.  Caleb Bettenhausen, PA is interested in being the medical director for EMS. So far there is 1 person interested in taking courses to be an EMS Attendant.

The front door to the Ambulance garage does not latch; Lisa contacted outside maintenance, and they will come look at it. Discussed settling caused by water getting in under the building.  EMS has an electronic white board that is no longer being utilized. A memo will be sent to the departments/offices to see if anyone is interested in this item.  Lisa will send a photo, along with measurements of the board.

 EMS services is running right on course regarding the number of calls in comparison to previous years.  On call time is going good right now; varies between 2 and 3 individuals per day; if they are short, Lisa will put her name on the board as well.  Lisa has 2 PCRs to validate, and she will be caught up. Will be having an educational training, (rescue/CPR), with the Baker Fire Department, Lisa and Caleb. 

                Fentanyl concerns have been discussed at several attended meetings (most recently, MACo). Commissioner Rost stated this may be discussed at the Health Board Meeting.  Lisa will join that meeting; tentatively scheduled for December 7th at noon in the Library basement.

11:45 AM Lisa left the meeting.   

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




The Commission reviewed and approved end of month September 2022 claims in the amount of $623,366.60. They are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

2:15 PM IT UPDATES/Josh Lewis, System Administrator

          Updates-Josh was able to get the Fairgrounds office phone forwarded to the Extension Office.  Emails will temporarily be forwarded to Wendy Wagner, Fair Board member. Discussed changing the Fairgrounds Manager emails to something specific to the department rather than the employee. Discussed changing the email address on the Fallon County website also. Josh asked if the previous Fairgrounds Manager had left log-in credentials with someone; Josh will check with HRM.

          Josh unboxed and set-up 17 computers, added them to the network and inventory; Josh will schedule with the Departments and get them installed.  All computers will have windows 11 installed. October is cybersecurity awareness month; Josh would like permission to send out a couple emails of useful videos, etc.  Josh got the phishing program set up with his logins, etc.  Commissioner Rost stated last year our cybersecurity contract was discussed; the decision was made to finish out the three-year contract and when it ends, check with the program MACo has. There is not a fee for the MACo program.  When the time comes the Commission and Josh will decide what they want to do. Josh received some feedback on previous phishing campaigns; most feel it is good now, at one time some felt they were getting them too often. Josh took 45 batteries to the recycling center and received $20.00 for all of them and ordered some to keep on hand. Continues to look for additional training; he is going to talk to Stacey Moore about Word Press for the website.  Will reach out to Sheriff Harbaugh regarding CJIN training.  Josh welcomes any information regarding training the Commission or others would like him to attend.

2:30 PM Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder left meeting. Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk & Recorder joined to take the minutes.

2:30 PM IT OTHER BUSINESS DISCUSSION/Josh Lewis, System Administrator and Clint Townsend, Contract Computer Tech/Trainer via conference call. 

          Discussed how things are going and continue moving forward with what we are currently doing.  Clint and Josh will set up a schedule for additional training items.

2:35 PM Clint hung up the phone – leaving meeting.

          Commissioner Rost proposed that we keep Clint for backup in the event of family emergency, illness or vacation leave.  Josh would not be opposed to this but will leave it to the Commission. Would need to have this conversation with Clint and get his feelings; Josh stated Clint has been very helpful.

2:40 PM Josh left the meeting.
2:42 PM Commissioner Baldwin left meeting.

2:45 PM COUNTY EXTENSION UPDATES/Amanda Williams, Extension Agent
          Updates-Amanda presented the October and November calendar of events and Travel/Trainings for herself.  Amanda will be out of office October 18-21; Kodie will be out of the office some during that time also. Commissioner Rost asked that they manage OT as best they can. Fairgrounds transition, just getting started, will work through it. Linda Rost, Science teacher – Class has been conducting a science experiment, utilizing Baker Lake water. Amanda sent the sample off to the lab and has not heard anything yet.

3:00 PM Commissioner Baldwin re-joined.

3:05 PM Amanda left the meeting.

3:15 PM INSIDE MAINTENANCE/Lynda Herbst, Custodian Supervisor
          Updates-Clerk of Court/benches are finished, the carpet should be done by Wednesday.  Direct Electric removed the electrical boxes from the floor and placed them on the walls, today. Lynda asked if the phone jack/boxes on the walls can be removed.  Commissioner Rost asked that they wait until we get ready for our new phone system. Discussed the MTI check list. Commissioner Rost discussed Inside Maintenance cleaning the exhibit hall in the interim until we get a Fairgrounds Manager hired.  Lynda indicated that they are not interested in cleaning the exhibit hall.  Commissioner Rost said that we need it done in the interim, there was a wedding over the weekend it needs cleaned before October 5th.  Lynda asked when the Commission wants the cleaning done, tonight? Commissioner Braun stated, no, during their regular work hours. Lynda is concerned about moving items in Clerk of Court vault. Lynda said they would clean this month only.

3:30 PM Lynda left the meeting.

3:45 PM SHOOTING RANGE UPDATES/Jim Leischner, Shooting Range Member; Shane Bettenhausen, Shooting Match Supervisor; Kirk Lineback, Board Member and Matt Weber     
          Updates-Jim stated the match this past weekend went great, with 55 shooters in attendance, extremely windy but a good match.  Some shelving has appeared in their back room. They do not know where it came from, no inventory/fixed asset tag found. Commissioner Rost asked Jim to send pictures to Brenda Wood, to find out if it belongs to a County Department. If they do not need it, we can possibly get rid of it.  Commissioner Rost discussed propane purchases. Fallon County owns the tank; get quotes for the winter season.  

          Kirk discussed the Trap Club; they have up to 16 shooters. They would like to host ATA shoots in the future, the last time they were held was in 1989. Presented a list of necessary upgrades to be able to hold ATA shoots. Matt explained ATA shoots are (Amateur Trap Assoc shoots), they keep records of all individual shooting records. Would be in the circuit of ATA shoots and would like to hold them 3 times per year.  Commissioner Rost/Braun/Baldwin asked if they had some ideas where the Trap Club could get some grant money or assistance for the shoots.  Matt stated they would possibly have one or two shoots next year, depending on the County budget year. Camping spots for the shoots were discussed. Shot reclamation was discussed. Targets – Baker ACE might be able to get a discounted price. Kirk had previously donated a trap gun to 4-H Shooting Sports, but it has never been used, just sitting there wonder if it could be used.  Commission Braun felt they should get permission from 4-H.

4:20PM Jim, Shane, Kirk and Matt left the meeting.


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

          The Commission signed the WIC Grant Program Satellite Agreement for October 1, 2022 -September 30, 2023, in the amount of $5,265

4:25PM Barbara Ketterling-Fallon County Treasurer

         Barb presented the September Treasurer Report.

4:25PM Iven Felt – Cemetery-
Is looking for good dirt for cemetery; beet farms around Sidney area have good soil. Commissioner Braun is checking to see if we can get some good dirt locally.
4:30PM Iven left meeting

Discuss extra charge for Landfill Non-Account Holder paying cash-Commission feels this policy needs to be removed. Will discuss with Jeff Frank, Manager of Landfill Operations, tomorrow.

Discuss policy – public member setting up gift shop on County Property-The property in question was the Museum; items sold in the Museum gift shop pertain to the O’Fallon Historical Society. The gift shop has been there for years. Will get more information from Melissa Rost tomorrow

4:45 PM 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.




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



9:15 AM PERMISSION TO RECRUIT DEPUTY CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT/Jerrie Newell, Clerk of District Court and Julie Straub, HRM

          Jerrie would like permission to start advertising in the paper and on the radio for a Deputy Clerk of District Court. Commission asked if there would be any further employment requests.  Jerrie stated there would not be further employment requests. 

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to grant permission to recruit for a Deputy Clerk of District Court. Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion. Commissioner Rost asked if there would be a deadline. Decision is to advertise the position, open until filled.  Commissioner Rost asked for any further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously. 

9:25 AM Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney joined.

9:30 AM Jerrie and Julie left the meeting.

9:30 AM THIELEN ACCESS/BICKLE ROAD DISCUSSION/Robert and Melissa Thielen; Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Cindy Irgens, Recording Clerk; Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney and Casey Heitz, Thielen Attorney via conference call

          Melissa stated she went through documents given the Thielen’s by Fallon County. Melissa mapped them to make it easier to decipher them with the Commission; explained her process and what the color coding meant.

Exhibit 1-The entire petitioned area is yellow hi-lighted and discussed this in relation to their personal land ownership, which is white.

Exhibit 2-Orange-non-consenting parties from the 1915 Giles petition. Yellow-Petition Sections

Exhibit 3-Purple-Shows boundary line Townships 8 & 9; Blue-1915 Giles petition. Red Dot-Shows the 1933 petitioned bridge location. That bridge is not in existence

Exhibit 4-Shows the ROW road grants approved by Fallon Co. 

9:34 AM DeAnna Herbst, Public Member joined.

Melissa noted not all of the right of ways and easements had been recorded.

Exhibit 5-Yellow shows the petition Sections; Purple Shows recorded Deed. The only recorded deeds were Railroad-Section 31 only shows easement for the South 30’. They did not give easement on the North and entire South side of Section 31. Thielen’s stated they have the original document from his grandfather, with the Railroad.

Exhibit 6-Purple-Layer added with Railroad deeds

Exhibit 7-White-Outlines the Thielen Property

          The Thielen Access road is solely on Section 31; no roads on section 32.  Thielen’s feelings are, if the documents are not recorded, they would be void in the eyes of a Judge. The bridge discussed is not where the easements were given.

            Thielen Access was declared October 4, 1916, in the Commissioner notes. Thielen’s asked if it was ever recorded in the courthouse and if it was with a proper dedication. Casey asked if the easements were properly recorded. Commissioner Braun noted, for the sake of argument, Judge Murnion said they were going to consider what they, “prior Commission”, did was right. Casey felt that was in relation to freeholders.  Darcy did not recall and would have to look. Melissa reiterated if they are not properly recorded, they are voided in her mind.  Melissa further stated there are a lot of issues with this road and when it was built. A lot of dates and questions whether the road was even built because it is a dirt trail. The low water crossing is on their property and does not appear to be part of the petition.  Thielen’s questioned why the north landowners are allowed to have gates across the road.  Thielen’s have pictures of them in a couple of spots. Melissa asked the Commission what their position was and what their thoughts were.  Casey asked the Commission to tell them where the Commission disagreed with Melissa and Bobby. 

          Darcy stated the older standard has less than strict compliance and if we are talking about almost 100 years old, the county has a public prescriptive easement.  Melissa stated, how does that work?  Darcy that is what prescriptive easement means.  Casey asked, you believe there is a public prescriptive easement.  Darcy stated, for any portion of the petitioned road that lacks an easement in writing then the county would have a prescriptive easement after all this time. Commissioner Braun discussed the length of time the road has been there (over 100 years); it is still a publicly used road.  Protested in 1916 and for over 100 years has been used as a public road. 

          The law changed in the 90’s, if the road has been maintained and public funds were used, the Commission gets to decide level of maintenance. Thielen’s stated the law protects people from being singled out. Casey asked again what the County’s position was.  Darcy stated they would need to look into it.  Bobby stated they would like the County to quit coming through their property; neither Melissa nor Bobby have given easements.  Bobby stated he will give Billy Thielen an easement to get to his property.  Bobby further stated he has been maintaining their roads. Melissa asked if we could get to a point where this is workable, rather than going to court.  Thielen’s stated the roads north of them are in horrible shape.

9:56 AM Casey was unable to continue and therefore hung up the phone, leaving the meeting.

          If our road is open, then we are going north on those roads.  Bobby stated, quit coming through their land or they will start proceedings tomorrow. Darcy will look at the elements of easements.  Discussed the maintenance of the low water crossing; Bobby stated his dad put the low water crossing in. Thielen’s asked why the road was not put where it was supposed to be. Discussed the landowner conferring with the road foreman; at times the landowner would recommend going around a certain area to avoid an issue down the road. The Thielen’s completed their review, and they want it settled.  Commission discussed waiting until Casey and Darcy have a chance to talk. Bobby would like the County to stay off Section 31 until a decision is made.  Discussed not maintaining the car gates.  Bobby explained it is not an urgent safety issue; it is the wings that need maintained.  Commissioner Rost explained the Commissions concerns are, the Thielen’s say the County does not maintain the road and when we do try, you don’t want us to do maintenance, also discussed safety issues. Thielen’s stated in light of new evidence, they do not want the county to maintain and there are no safety issues with the car gates. Thielen’s asked if the other gates on the road on the north end were going to be open. Commission stated if there are gates, they have to be open.

          Bickle Road-What is the stance on this road and asked about maintenance. Commission stated we are in the road study process; we do not have a maintenance schedule on the road. Bobby wanted to know a time frame when they could expect some maintenance and further stated the reason we are where we are today is because of Commissioner Baldwin’s statement. Bobby stated the statement was made, if you want something done with this road, you will have to sue. Commissioner Baldwin cautioned Bobby was putting words in his mouth and that is not what he said. Commission further discussed defining the roads through the road study project and further noted the County has a lot of roads that are public access but are not maintained. 

          Thielen’s asked when the bridge was going to be open. The Commission stated the State of Montana condemned that bridge. Melissa discussed 7-14-2207, MCA there is the option to make an alternative route. Thielen’s noted you cannot cross Railroad Right of Way to get to State Land, so that is not an alternate route.  Commission discussed the trail on Ismay Road. Melissa stated the County is not following the Judge’s order which was to remove ALL obstructions; fix the bridge.  Commission would need clarity; they would defer to the County Attorney and the fact that it is not in this year’s budget. Commission discussed budgeting for a million-dollar bridge or low water crossing.  Bobby stated they were looking for an alternative route, they don’t care about fixing the bridge. The Commission stated, at this time they have no time frame for fixing the bridge.

          Melissa asked why the County purchased the car gate for Bill Bickle, stating that she could not find that the Judge ordered it. Darcy stated that an innocent, nonparty landowner was negatively affected by a Court order and the County many choose to offer a concession to the innocent landowner rather than face being sued. Melissa stated, so if we would have threatened a suit, we could have gotten car gates purchased.  Darcy stated the Judge’s order adversely affected a landowner who was not a party to the case and the status of the road changed therefore the County has the option to cover that expense to avoid/or settle another lawsuit.

          Melissa asked regarding minimum maintenance, why some roads were maintained better than others. Further stated she would have expected the County should have had a policy a long time ago. Melissa showed a picture of a cattleguard on Bickle road that needs to be replaced, also showed comparison pictures of minimum maintenance roads and stated the County is not playing fair.  The same supposed minimum maintenance, per the sign, yet different maintenance. Commission stated we do not have a policy regarding clarification of roads.  Thielen’s would like a blade to the first gate on that road so they can get their semi in for the cattle.  Bobby stated if you would blade the road, you would not see us again.  The Commission will discuss this further and make a decision. 

10:56 AM Melissa and Bobby left the meeting.

          Minimum maintenance sign-Bobby W did not know the minimum maintenance sign was on the Bickle Road and further discussed other roads and signage. Discussed gates across roads and the process that needs to be taken.  Discussed blading to the first gate on Bickle Road.  Bobby W would like to do that after taking care of the main roads due to finally receiving moisture.  Thielen Access-Discussed the resolution does not go all the way up, but the petition does. Discussed the process to get a judge to declare a road a county road. Discussed the bridge discussion and the processes that could be followed.  Darcy discussed evaluation of the bridge in next year’s budget.  Commission asked if Darcy had thoughts on a decision for road maintenance. Darcy stated the Commission could blade it up to the gate as asked by the Thielen’s; will discuss that further.

11:20 AM Bobby, Darcy, Cindy and DeAnna left the meeting.

11:20 AM MUSEUM UPDATES/Melissa Rost, Museum Curator

          Updates-Floors are finished in the metal building. The Yellowstone coach has been removed, Curt Williams will work on it this winter; the Lions club may donate parts and Curt will donate time.  Discussed cement work that was completed and issues with the finished product. Melissa cautioned this is a grant and there is a timeline that has to be followed. Melissa has an upcoming event, would like it repaired before that time or make sure it is not a safety issue by being torn up.

         Gift shop-A concerned member of the Public asked about the Museum gift shop.  Melissa stated it was there before she was Curator.  Melissa spoke to the Museum Curator in Ekalaka, and they have a gift shop, but they did quit taking things on consignment due to ease of record keeping. Melissa would like to continue to offer this to the Public.

          MAM Board-Melissa is a Board Member on the MAM board and would like to attend the meetings but is wondering if this counts toward time worked. Commission will confer with HRM and get back to Melissa.  Melissa added it to her timesheet.

          Miscellaneous-A board member volunteered to keep the Museum open when Melissa was not available.  Melissa completed Museum updates.  Museum has been busy with groups of patrons.  Discussed the Deadwood Stagecoach traveling display is in Sundance, Wyoming. Not sure if she will have an Indigenous Exhibit this fall Melissa would like the Commission to come to the Night at the Museum on the 23rd of October 6PM – 9 PM.

11:26 AM Melissa left the meeting.

11:30 AM OUTSIDE MAINTENANCE UPDATES/Robbie Christiaens, Maintenance Supervisor; Derrick deHaan, Maintenance Assistant

          UPDATES-Lakeview Drive Storm drain project is getting close to being finished. They worked on the softball fields; will work on the amphitheater as weather allows, ground is currently too soft. Marathon will take place this Saturday, will close the road and open when finished.  Monday they will finish blowing out the remaining restrooms and sprinkler systems. 

          Boilers are all running at Parkview. Derrick learned the workings of the boilers to assist troubleshooting.  Vault had 3 to 4 inches of water and they were getting water in the basement.  The Contractor is supposed to come back and resolve the water issue before freeze.  One of the PV elevators did not pass inspection due to water in the pit. Discussed landscaping Derrick would like to do at the Museum.  Commissioner Rost discussed the possibility of the Historical Society adding on to an existing building.  Derrick would like to make the area look nice in the meantime.  Permission to proceed.

11:50 AM Robbie and Derrick left the meeting.

11:55 AM Bickle Road-The Commission made the decision to blade the road to Thielen’s gate.

11:58 AM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to recess. Commissioner Braun 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

1:30 PM LANDFILL UPDATES/Jeff Frank, Manager of Landfill Operations

          UPDATES-Discussed the containers at the container site were switched from G & G to County containers. The spare 20 yard will replace the G & G container at the Road Department.  Discussed tarps verses lids for the containers.  Jeff will do some pricing.  Jeff wondered who would cover when he is gone, has to be someone with a CDL.  Commission felt Paul was going to try to get his CDL; Jeff stated Paul will not get a CDL unless he gets a raise.  Commission will contact Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent to see if they can cover while Jeff is on vacation this month.  The loader needs new tires, for sure will need them by next spring.  Discussed maintenance issue dealt with copper in the water, this may be covered under warranty and will find out for sure. They will decide when they plan to replace the loader and then make a decision on tire purchases. 

1:45 PM Jeff left the meeting.


Received 4 applicants-Pat Ehret, Chris Jorgenson, Matt Plaistad and Derrick DeHaan. The Commission reviewed all of the letters of interest. 

Commissioner Braun made the motion to reappoint Matt Plaistad and appoint Derrick deHaan to the Fair Board for three-year terms.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  The motion carried unanimously.

2:10 PM Commissioner Baldwin was excused for the day.

2:15 PM GOLF UPDATES /Kevin Hill – Golf course Superintendent
          UPDATES-Kevin updated the Commission on the seeding progress.  Discussed placing rain gauges to find out how much water is being placed on the greens.  After pump maintenance and irrigation repairs has changed the amount of water that is being placed. Kevin just received pipe so he can continue to repair the irrigation system.  Some greens are germinating more quickly than others. Further discussed the seeding process used; drainage and adjusting water placement.  Kevin is now working winter hours or 9 AM to 5 PM. Sprinkler head order should be here soon so that can be completed.

2:47 PM Kevin left the meeting.

2:47 PM PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES/Kim Bryan, Director of Public Health

          UPDATES-Linda Rost, BHS Biology Teacher contacted Public Health about an E-Coli concerns regarding the Baker Lake and the process taken.  Kim discussed the increased levels were concerning. Commission will go by the Health Officer guidance.  Discussed attending an emergency preparedness meeting and would like permission to bring a passenger from another county.  Permission granted.  Discussed upcoming flu shot and covid booster locations.  Drug training was discussed may be discussed at the next Health Board meeting.

3:12 PM Kim left the meeting.

3:15 PM CHAMBER UPDATES/Melissa Higbee, Chamber Executive Director

           UPDATES-Fall Festival was held on the 10th, numbers were down; Lucas Meschke golf tournament was down as far as participation; Calcutta numbers were down also, however there were a lot of other things going on during these events. Upcoming Events-Moonlight Madness will be held October 13th; with some businesses open until 7PM or 8PM depending on the business. Strawbale Trail votes are due October 13th and business winner will get a free ad in the paper; getting more new businesses to join the Chamber; Commissioner Candidates, Roy Rost and DeAnna Herbst will be serving at Moonlight Madness.  Trunk or treat will be held on the 31st. Melissa is stepping down from SMART and only working for the Chamber due to all of the record keeping involved with the Rec Center.

3:22 PM Melissa left the meeting.

3:45 PM EPEDC UPDATES/Elisabeth Epley, EPEDC Executive Director and Alissa Miller, Food and Ag Development Assistant

          UPDATES-Quarterly Board meeting will be held in Wibaux at 9:30 AM, at the courthouse October 19th. Will be offering Excel class via zoom; Ag Summit will be in Circle on October 26th with various programs to be presented, please register for food count. They helped SMART apply for an MDU grant for the Community Theatre, the recipients will be announced in January.  Sanctioned Trap Association asked about grant funding, so they are assisting them with that.  The Commission sent them to Beth to look for funding. Beth will check on the Museum Façade grant deadline due to work completion time constraints. Alissa discussed FDA new fertilizer expansion program will be giving a lucky recipient a minimum of $1 million with a cap of $100 million. Would like to host a suicide prevention workshop in Baker. Investment Co-op met and hoped to be incorporated by June 1st and ready to go. State small business credit initiative-small interest loans for rural businesses at 5 percent interest rates which is partnered with a local bank. Loans are for local businesses and ag producers. The interest will be blended and can be used for expansion, start up and equipment purchases.  EPEDC can be a lender to offer to all businesses in the County. There is $60 million available at this time, and they will work with all businesses and banks. EPEDC gets to keep some of the interest, but some will go to the State of MT.  The interest that EPEDC keeps goes back in and revolves so it can be loaned out again. The information is on Facebook and regional newspapers.

4:15 PM Beth and Alissa left the meeting.

4:15 PM EMEDA/SMART UPDATES/Vaughn Zenko, Executive Director and Shannon Johnson, Assistant.

          Vaughn spent last week in Helena and talked a lot about childcare and the housing cooperative. Mostly attended by the larger cities and Baker, everyone has their eye on Baker and what we are doing over here. Vaughn has received invites to the MT Economic Development meeting and Childcare Policy Workshop. Junction 39 is a handicap ramp away from opening; they hopefully have someone lined up to do the work.  The haunted house will be held upstairs in the old Baker State Bank building and will be a sequel from last year. Housing Co-op Board is finalizing by-laws later this month to send into the Security Commission so they can start the corporation process; then they can start advertising for board members. They hope to be approved by spring of next year. The old creamery was donated to them, and they are hoping to turn this into a commercial/residential building. There is a membership fee to be in the co-op and invest in shares so you can get a return on your investment.  They would have to hire a director for this and would be a “for profit” corporation. They will get to use Montana co-op attorneys for free and funds would be kept locally. EMEDA won the EPEDC placemaking grant competition. Of the $6,000 available, EMEDA received a $4,000 grant for Lacy Berg’s Food Forest. They would like to have this ready by next spring. Commission asked them to keep Robbie Christiaens, Outside Maintenance in the loop as this is one of the areas mowed by OM. They also received a $10,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust Foundation for SMART operations. Applied for a grant from the Montana Tourism Board for the Montana Community Theatre and applied for a separate grant for a visitor center and is planned to be housed in the old Wosepka building.

3:38 PM Shannon and Vaughn left the meeting.

3:40 PM Lynda Herbst, Inside Maintenance reported on a valve leaking air in Jerrie’s Office. She sent pictures to MTI and is waiting to hear back from them.

3:42 PM Lynda left the meeting.

3:45 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to discontinue the $2.50 cash permit fee at the Landfill.  Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for further discussion; being none.  2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent (Commissioner Baldwin). The motion carried. 

4:00 PM Commissioner Braun made the motion to adjourn.  Commissioner Rost seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for further discussion; being none. 2Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Absent (Commissioner Baldwin). The motion carried.


                                                                                                                                      s/Roy Rost, Chairman


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder