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

Commission Minutes – September 19-23, 2022

Commission Minutes – September 19-23, 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.


          Lynda Herbst, Inside Custodian Supervisor-Discussed carpet for courthouse hallways; no carpet was ordered. Permission to order the carpet for the small hallway and main hallway.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the minutes from September 12-16, 2022, with corrections. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 2 Ayes. 0 Nays. 1 Abstain (Commissioner Baldwin). The motion carried. 

9:30 AM DISCUSSION ON UPCOMING SECTION MATCH/Shane Bettenhausen, Shooting Match Supervisor; Jim Leischner, Shooting Range Manager

          Discussion-Got a bunch of RO’s (Range Officers) coming. Would like to give all the RO’s a gift; they would like to give a $50.00 stipend to help with expenses. Permission to give all RO’s the stipend with exception of Jim.

          Purchasing propane was discussed; will price check propane before purchasing.


          Expiring Terms for the Fair Board this year are Matt Plaisted and Alyse Weber.  Letters of interest were received from three individuals.

          Due to lack of advertising of Fair Board term expirations in the local paper, the board members will not be appointed until October 4th at 2:00 PM.               

10:00 AM ROAD/SHOP UPDATES/Bobby Wiedmer, Road Superintendent; Mitch Overn & Carl Overland, Shop Mechanics

          Shop Updates-Jeff and Carl will go pick up the hook truck for the Landfill.  Working on various maintenance items for Road and other Departments.   

          Road Updates-The Road Crew has almost finished mowing; District 3 is finished, and that mower was sent to District 2.  The rest of the crew is working on cleaning and maintaining car gates.  They poured the walls on the Ismay Bridge on Friday.

Will have a road crew member assist repairing leaks at the golf course. Discussed dust control in Herbst Industrial Addition; let Bobby know when the Commission decides what they want the Road Department to do.  Commission would like the culvert cleaned on Thielen Access road. Discussed a washed-out culvert on a road to Dan Thielen’s; Bobby will go view the road.

10:19 AM Bobby, Mitch and Carl left the meeting.

10:22 AM Richard Menger, Sanitarian joined.

          Discussed slowly draining the upper lake October 1st.  Rich was notified the biology class is doing some testing on the Baker Lake for a project

10:40 AM Rich left the meeting.

10:43 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering

          Bridge Projects-The contractor has requested an extension on the project.  The completion date was supposed to be October 8th and would like to extend that to October 14th. Due to cure time, they are not sure they can complete the dirt work by the October 8th deadline. The last pour is scheduled for the 26th of September.

          Ismay Bridge-Walls are poured; they will finish the south wall today. Then they will form the roof and tie rebar this week.

Commissioner Braun made the motion to accept the proposed extension for the bridge projects, (moving the date from October 8th to October 14th), made by Diamond J.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The Motion carried unanimously.

          Bonnievale bridge-The road is open to traffic. The contractor has fencing, mulching, erosion control fabric and clean up left to complete for this bridge.

           Storm sewer-The contractor dug through the approach to the ball field and hit a fiber line; they had to move the pipe around it.  Mid Rivers is repairing the fiber line.  All of this will be shown on the as-builts.  All the pipe has been placed; they are working on the manholes this week, sewer repair and clean-up work. They expect to be finished within two weeks.

10:59 AM Josh Lewis, System Administrator joined.

          Road Plat Project- They are moving forward on the document scans. Shannon plans to try to get a presentation ready for December. Discussed adding layers such as culverts, to the road plat software. Discussed culvert inspections can be done by the Road Department or Brosz, will discuss the process later.  Shannon explained the road project process to Josh.  Discussed hosting ESRI software and the county getting a license to host or stay with Brosz.

11:08 AM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator joined. 

          ESRI Software-Discussed training for this software.

11:12 AM Trenton Harbaugh joined.

11:12 AM Shannon left the meeting.

11:12 AM IT UPDATES/Josh Lewis, System Administrator

          Toured fairgrounds on Friday; discussed resolution to internet problems for the food booths.

11:14 AM Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Communication Dispatch Supervisor and Eric Steele, Tab Electronics joined.

         Discussed ideas for wi-fi for vendors; may update the router in the livestock barn. Discussed making the transition for the new Fairgrounds Manager as smooth as possible.  Is working on inventory stock to keep on hand; will be taking the old batteries to Baker Metal for recycling. 

11:20 AM DISPATCH CONSOLE UPDATE/Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

          Dale went to Boulder on Thursday regarding the dispatch console updates.  The state has agreed to pay for the SUA, (service user agreement), and the consoles. These would be last year’s consoles and were originally for Gallatin County, had they not removed themselves from the State side.  They will give the consoles to Fallon County by way of ownership transfer. Discussion as to why Gallatin County backed out of the state system.  Dale explained Fallon County will use our system the same way as always; the cost to connect to the state is $500. Discussion on what happens if the state does not get funding and watching legislative bills very closely.  It is felt the county would save $100,000 up front, plus the SUA cost savings.  Dale explained the SUA’s are attached to the consoles, they have to go with each other.

          Dale stated the Grant Fund may be reinstated, they did not use the funds and the grant funds keep accumulating. The state had hoped to use the grant for the Next Gen 911.  

          Various concerns were voiced, especially for the use of the towers, if we receive the consoles. The agreement will have to be looked at for specifics. The Commission granted permission to move forward on the agreement. 

          Trenton will visit with Gallatin County regarding their decision to remove themselves from the state side. If something were to change, it would be minor to get us back to where we were as stand alone.  The biggest timeline would be programming and getting equipment here. Our system will not go down, we are on a backup controller.

All involved with keep everyone informed of incoming information. 

11:57 AM Dale, Brenda, Josh, Trent and Eric left the meeting.   

12:00 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.

                    NOON RECESS


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



          Melissa Thielen phoned in and would like some road work completed.  The Commission will discuss this with the Road Foreman.

1:30 PM INTERIM PLAN FOR FAIRGROUNDS/Julie Straub, HRM; Shyla Hadley, Fairgrounds Manager; Wendy Wagner, Amanda Williams, Extension Agent

          The group met to discuss items that will need to be addressed until a replacement is hired for the Fairgrounds Manager position. Julie has an employee that has expressed interest in working 2 days per week to help during the interim. Discussed check-in and check-out for events and use of floor scrubber and cleaning after events.

           Discussed changing Shyla to intermittent, at the current rate of pay.  Shyla would not be able to assist the first week but may be able after that. Wendy’s concern is convention without Shyla. Shyla is willing to go to Convention in November to assist the Fair Board and new Manager (if one is hired by that time). Shyla would not expect to be paid while at convention as long as rooms are paid.  Further discussed changing Shyla to intermittent.

           Stallers will receive a letter with their needed information.

           Discussed 4H groups assisting with cleaning after events with a donation to their group.  Amanda has not heard back from everyone; those that have responded were not interested but they will do a good cleaning after their events.

           Grandstands-daily fire alarm check; will check with DES.

           Minutes-Fair Board member could take minutes; if available, Shyla could take minutes.

           When, or, if the stallers move up to the indoor stalls the stalls below will need to be cleaned.

1:58 PM Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator was asked to join.

          Alarms-Dale will take care of the alarms. Grandstands pump room-this needs to be checked daily during the winter months. Johnson Controls can program Dale’s phone to take the calls. Shyla will train and get Dale’s phone set up. Big generator was discussed; Dale stated the big generator is not useable on most of the buildings but is stored at the Fairgrounds and was serviced by Fairgrounds Lead Crew Hand.

          Temperature alarm was taken care of by Dustan, we may need to check with Josh, System Administrator on this.

          Snow removal-Golf Course Superintendent and Outside Maintenance will take care of this; they may also work on the stalls.

          Winterization-Mike Menger and Lane Straub have been contacted to winterize hopefully before Shyla leaves.

          ATM line-Will discuss with Kimberly, AP Clerk. 

          Convention Registration-Early bird registration is the first week in October; Shyla will help the board with that.

          The Commission is okay with having someone man the office 2 days per week; the hours are not definite at this time. The phone will be transferred to the County Extension Administrative Assistant. 

2:20 PM Barb Ketterling, Treasurer/Assessor was asked to join.

           Money-Barb agreed, the Treasurer’s office could be the main drop off for stallers, deposits for hall and hall rental until someone is hired. 

           The employee that will be assisting will be there for in-person traffic, cleaning, etc. The phone will then be routed to Extension when the office is not manned. The Extension Office will also get the mail for the Fairgrounds. 

2:30 PM Barb left the meeting.

         Stove-Wendy can be called to turn the gas, for the stove, on and off.  Commission will follow-up on winterization. If stallers have questions, they will first contact the Fair Board and then Commissioner Braun.  Discussed stalling fees and changes that may be made; arena fees are due every January.  They will discuss various items tonight at the Fair Board meeting, such as the E-mail.  Bank account signatory will be handled by the Treasurer and the Fair Board. Will discuss when to winterize the livestock barn restrooms and replace with porta-pottie.

Wendy, Amanda, Shyla, Dale and Julie left the meeting.


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

          School Budget-Commissioner Rost signed the Plevna Public School Budget Report.

Adopt Resolution 1096 Requesting Authority for distribution of County Minimum Allocation Grants for Water and Sewer Infrastructure Projects (Town of Plevna):

Commissioner Braun made the motion to adopt Resolution #1096 for distribution of county minimum allocation grant for the Town of Plevna Camera-Sewer Project in the amount of $48,000.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


The Commission reviewed and approved mid-month September, 2022 claims in the amount of $427,152.79. They are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

4:20 PM Kimberly Jensen, Clerk joined to take minutes in the absence of the Clerk and Recorder.

4:25 PM Bart Burdick joined meeting.

4:27 PM Tom Owens and Phillip Rusley joined meeting

4:29 PM Chase Marston and Laird Scheer with Invenergy joined meeting


4:31 PM Chris Linsmayer with Invenergy joined meeting.

          Updates last time Invenergy was here to chat was 9 months ago. The updates are as follows:

Still targeting 1000MW capacity.  Projecting $180 million invested in local economy; no changes to that or growth.  They have 90,000 acres of land signed and counting; the target operation date is the 4th quarter of 2026. Construction will take place 2024-2026. The project begins 10 miles south of Baker and 10 miles north of Ekalaka, on the border of Fallon and Carter County, along Highway 7 on both state and private lands. 

Updates Since January 2022

Signed additional land; Initial layout exercises; completed a transmission routing analysis and have continued environmental studies.

Next Steps

DEQ MFSA (Major Facility Sighting Act)

Discussions with MT, DNRC for State Land


Land Acquisition; Offtake Opportunities; Transmission; Environmental & Cultural Studies

Next Steps

Layout Designs; Offtake Negotiations; Engineering Constraint Studies


450 jobs will be supported during construction and 30-35 full time operations and maintenance jobs. Projecting more than $180 million state and local tax revenue during project life.

Commissioner Braun questioned, out of the $180 million projected state and local tax revenue during project life, how much will come directly to Fallon County – Laird or Chase will get back to Commission.

A new crop, enabling dual usage of the land and passive income for property owners; efficiency of wind power for landowners. Can still use 98% of the land for existing operations; 25 years of guaranteed income.

Commissioner Rost questioned how many life years for the blades. They figure 25 years; they are trying to keep them out of landfills.  GE is grinding them and using them as sand for concrete in foundations also reconfiguring and grinding to utilize for items that are built with plastic. Blades are made mostly of fiberglass.

County agreements and engagement was discussed, i.e., Road use agreements; will need to coordinate with weed and pest control. Local co-ops would not use enough power and will be sent to Colstrip.  On the best day they will produce 42% efficiency; 42MW on average for a capacity of 1000 MW.

5:00 PM Bart Burdick, Tom Owens, Phillip Rusley, Chase Marston, Laird Scheer and Chris Linsmayer left the meeting

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

                                                                                                                FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2022

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



2:00 PM-Wells Fargo Trust Account-Old Business/Shawn Wiseman and Jessica Batterman, Bank of Baker; Barb Ketterling, Treasurer/Assessor; Julie Post, Deputy Treasurer/Assessor; Via conference call-Cricket Barlo-IntraFi; Ron O’Donnell, Stockman Wealth Management; Tim Stepp, MT-DEQ

          Wells Fargo Trust account for the Coral Creek Landfill for the Closure/Post-Closure funds.

The Bank of Baker discussed placing the County funds from the Wells Fargo Trust in CD’s (Certificates of Deposit). Per Tim Stepp, DEQ this would be allowable.

         Wells Fargo Bank has forced the County Commission to look elsewhere to invest the County funds due to the continual charging of high fees incurred through Wells Fargo Bank.

          CD Assignment from MT DEQ through the Cedars program was discussed, of which Cricket is associated with.

The Commission feels the County funds are better invested in CD’s and would be assigned through the DEQ to make sure money is set aside per Montana Administrative Code 17-50-540. The Commission would like to move the money to a local bank and get a better return for their investment.  Shawn had earlier discussed this with Cricket and the Attorney for the Bank of Baker, and they feel they can make the CD’s work.  Crickett explained the workings of CD’s. The Agreement is signed once, and the funding never leaves the bank through the reciprocal program; the money is FDIC insured.

2:15 PM Roy Rost, Chairman joined.

          Commissioner Rost was updated on the prior conversation.

          The Bank of Baker does the investing at the direction of the Commission and DEQ. Shawn will get contact information to Tim.

2:40 PM Tim, Crickett and Ron hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting.

2:58 PM Julie, Barb, Shawn and Jessica left the meeting.


                                                                                                                s/Roy Rost, Chairman


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder