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

Commission Minutes-September 5-9, 2022

Commission Minutes-September 5-9, 2022





PRESENT: Roy Rost, Chairman; Steve Baldwin and Kevin Braun, Member; Debbie Wyrick, Deputy 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.


The Commission reviewed and approved timesheets for the month of August 2022 and approved payroll and withholdings in the amount of $666,097.34. They are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

9:30 AM DISCUSS/DECISION PUBLIC VEHICLE DAMAGE POLICY/Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder; Julie Straub, HRM; Robbie Christiaens, Maintenance Supervisor; Derrick deHaan Maintenance Assistant

          Discussion- Julie County Policy regarding damage to vehicle, while mowing, weed eating or from County Road trucks.

           Decision– Continue with the current policy, employee/Supervisor complete Safety Report submit to Julie Straub.  Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk & Recorder will discuss with the employee/Supervisor to determine if we were working in the area at the time of the incident, could we have done the damage.  A copy of the Safety Report will be submitted to the Commission for further investigation and determination of payment of the damaged windshield or vehicle damage.

9:55 AM Julie, Derrick, Robbie and Debbie left the meeting.

9:55 AM Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder joined.

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

          Shop Updates-Discussed Carl joining Jeff Frank, Manager of Landfill Operations, while retrieving the hook truck, purchased from Fargo.  Carl stated the truck is useable but needs some minor maintenance.  The truck is a 9-speed which can be converted to a 13-speed if that decision would ever be made.  Had to get more parts for the Golf Course mower; it should not take long to complete. The mower needs a rebuilt deck which could be completed during the winter months.  Discussed communication between departments, getting a clear understanding of the Department’s maintenance issue and making sure the Road Department maintenance comes first. Working on some of the end dumps. 

          Road Updates-Tobin School Road-A large replacement culvert was ordered for this road. Dance Hall Road received some minor dressing.  Have been repairing some typical mower problems. Pine Creek shoulders being pulled was discussed; Commissioner Braun stated the road looked good; however, it is powdered out and the rocks should have been removed. Bobby stated the spring of the year, the farmers are seeding, so it would be difficult to find a good time of year. Discussed the timing is a huge issue and possibly not pulling shoulders unless the county is rebuilding the road. Discussed placing speed limits on county roads since that is also a factor for county road conditions. 

10:27 AM Bobby and Carl left the meeting.

10:29AM Commissioner Baldwin left the meeting.

10:30 AM PROJECT UPDATES/Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering- (via Conference Call)

          UPDATES-Bonnievale Box Culvert/Agri Industries is on site to complete the change-order work.  Diamond J located the water and sewer lines; Agri Industries does not anticipate shutting water off today until they complete the tie-in, which should be done tomorrow.  Diamond J is not on site today; Shannon is not sure what the plan is for them

          Ismay Box Culvert -The mud mat was poured last week. The forms are set for the walls and floor. They will be tying rebar all week and pouring the floor next week.  Diamond J presented three (3) new mix designs; they have not been approved by Shannon yet.  They will break casts on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Shannon noted the water to cement ratios are high.

            Lakeview Drive Storm Water Project-This project began last week; Friday the contractor placed first piece of pipe in the existing manhole. The contractor did hit one fiber line that is being repaired by Mid-Rivers this week.  They will continue to move forward on the project.

            Retirement Complex-They have not watered for a couple of weeks; when last checked the water level in the vault was down about an inch. Discussed the steps to take to find out what is causing the issue.  Shannon will try to come up with the best-case scenario to dig this up and do the least amount of damage to the courtyard. Discussed hand digging rather than using equipment. Discussion whether this would be warranty work.  Shannon feels it would be warranty work. Outside Maintenance will be turning the sprinklers on today and will monitor. Shannon will be informed of the status. 

10:58 AM Shannon hung up the phone, therefore leaving the meeting.

11:03 AM FAIR UPDATES/Shyla Hadley, Fairgrounds Manager

          UPDATES-Shyla presented and reviewed her report from this year’s Fair.  Most of the clean-up is complete.  Shyla would like to help the next person hired for her position. 

11:27 AM Shyla left the meeting.

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

           UPDATES-Lisa presented the monthly call report for August.  Policy manuals are still a work in progress.  Discussed looking at someone else to be the Medical Director for EMS.  Lisa is still gathering information for the excess on call hours for the budget. 

11:38 Lisa left the meeting.

11:39 AM Commissioner Braun made the motion to recess. 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. 

                    NOON RECESS


PRESENT: Roy Rost, Chairman; and Kevin Braun Member; Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder

ABSENT: Steve Baldwin, Member



No one appeared for Public Comment

1:30 PM DES/911 UPDATES/Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

          Dale will be attending the DES Association Conference September 26-29.  Commission will also be there attending the MACo Conference.  Dale and Mindi Murnion, PH Specialist would like to hold an LEPC meeting on the 22nd at 6:00 PM in the Library EOC; they would like a couple of Commissioner’s to attend.  TWE will be here on the 12th and 13th to complete the annual service on the generators for the three counties. Dale continues to meet with the State regarding the PDM plan even though our plan is complete. Dale completed the 4th quarter EMPG grant report and payment has been received.  FY23 EMPG grant has been approved and is $10,000 more than last year; the $60,000 grant is a 50/50 grant.  The repeater site inspections will be completed; Carter and Wibaux County DES Coordinators have never been to their repeater sites.  Dale will take both coordinators with when their sites are inspected.   The microwave upgrade project is on track to be finished this month and will be operational by October.  Discussed the Emergency Communication System upgrades; If the county moves forward with the CSUB system the state should pick up the cost of the SUA.  Waiting for definite answers before moving forward with any definite system upgrades. Discussed possibly pursuing a homeland security grant.  Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Dispatch Supervisor and Dale attended the Wibaux County fair to sign people up for code red.

2:00 DISPATCH UPDATES/Brenda Hoeger, Emergency Communication Dispatch Supervisor; Dale Butori, DES/911 Coordinator

          UPDATES-Brenda does not have any updates to report at this time.  There are no new updates to report on the RIMS (Record Information Management System); Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff is working on this upgrade. Brenda agrees to proceed with the state’s CSUB, or the Kcore emergency communication system as decided on by the majority. Discussed the best option for a backup dispatch communication center in the event of an emergency.

2:30 PM GOLF COURSE UPDATES/Kevin Hill, Golf Course Superintendent

          UPDATES-The county shop mechanics finished the golf course mower. Still looking for a seeder to borrow, rent or purchase. After sending soil and water samples to a company; they have found products that will work best with our soil and water. Preparing to start cutting the native grasses; has several leaks that need to be repaired before seeding. Waiting on a filter for the irrigation system; other repairs were discussed.  Is getting the fairways watered.


The Commission reviewed and approved end of month August 2022 claims in the amount of $430,186.15. They are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

The Commission disallowed Claim to City of Baker in the amount of $14,030.74 until further information is gathered from the City of Baker. 


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

Encroachment Permits

Commissioner Braun signed Encroachment Permit #739 to trench across the North Plevna road in Section 5-9-58 for a waterline for livestock.

Commissioner Braun signed Encroachment Permit #740 to bore across the Anticline Road in Section 22-8-59 to construct a pipeline. 

4:02 PM Kathy Newell, Election Clerk joined.

          Discussed the voter information pamphlet, regarding the local ballot issue, and time frame needed to complete it so it can be sent to the public before the ballots are mailed. 

4:08 PM Kathy left the meeting.

4:06 PM Julie Straub, HRM joined.

          Fairgrounds Manager job description-Julie reviewed the current job description with the Commission and discussed updates. 

4:33 PM Julie left the meeting.

4:38 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. 0 Absent. The motion carried unanimously.





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



Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve the minutes from August 29-September 2, 2022, with corrections. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


         DeAnna Herbst joined-DeAnna asked when the Commission will answer, or if they will answer the Gotta Questions, or is the Commission waiting for the individuals to come in.

         The Commission said, yes, come in and they will answer them. They do understand that some people like to remain anonymous. 

         DeAnna asked the question pertaining to Fallon County DES employee working in Carter County.  The Commission stated a mutual aid agreement is in place with Carter County.  The aid was offered to assist with traffic control and offer any other emergency assistance.  DeAnna asked if the employee is paid by Fallon County or if paid by Carter County. The employee was paid by Fallon County and if Carter County’s employee was to assist Fallon County, they would be paid by Carter County, by way of the mutual aid agreement. No different than other mutual aid agreements with adjoining counties.  DeAnna asked if the agreement is long standing; is it signed every year?  Commission stated it is an ongoing agreement and gets updated. 

          DeAnna asked the other Gotta Question.  What is the reason the Commission does not answer the questions.  Commission-Because it never stops; we would like to have the conversations in person, or the Fallon County Times can come in and ask the questions. When we answer the questions in person, we can make sure we have fully answered their question and that they have no further questions; many times, one question opens up several other questions, just as it did today.  We like to have the dialogue with the Public. 

          DeAnna asked what happens if they are not able to come in during public comment. The Public knows how to get hold of the Commission; the Commission’s phone numbers are listed. DeAnna suggested along with the statement maybe they should list their phone numbers in the paper.  DeAnna thought she would come in and ask and then it would be in the minutes. 

10:25 AM Deanna left Public Comment. 

10:30AM EXTENSION OFFICE UPDATES/Amanda Williams, County Extension Agent

          UPDATES-Both Fairs went well this year even though they were shorthanded. Reported on upcoming deadlines for 4H record books. Upcoming events-Fall livestock judging; National 4-H Week is October 2nd-8th; 4H color run is October 2nd; October 5th is “Wear Green Day”; October 6th-Fall Homemakers meeting in Alzada; October 11th-Fallon County joint livestock committee meeting; October 30th-Fallon County achievement night.

Upcoming travel/trainings-September 9th-11th-State 4-H Horse Show. Planning a canning program, the end of October; Roubie Younkin, FCS Agent in Valley County is scheduled to come help. 

10:38 AM Amanda left the meeting.


Commissioner Braun made the motion to approve writing off old Fallon County Ambulance Service patient care debts, “PCR’s #5796; #5890; #6033 and #5923”.  Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  Motion carried unanimously.

11:05 AM Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Election Administrator and Kathy Newell, Election Clerk joined.

         Voter Information Pamphlet-Discussed timing and information needed to complete the pamphlet, for the local bond issue, in time to be mailed before the November 8th Election. Commissioner Braun will visit with the Department of Revenue regarding tax information for rural property owners to be included in addition to the information contained on the ballot. An outline of information is needed from the Commission and will be sent to the County Attorney for final review. 

11:25 AM Debbie and Kathy left the meeting.

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

          UPDATES-They are currently mowing all maintained areas. Discussed the areas close to the wetlands, next year is our last monitoring year; they will need to stay back a few more feet than in the past.  Wetlands growth needs to be apparent for report and viewing purposes.  Plan to seed the softball fields next week. Discussed various departments assisting at the Golf Course when able; Commissioners are in appreciate of that. They plan to winterize the middle of September; will leave some bathrooms open and the softball sprinklers will remain on until later. Plans to shut down the splash park soon and complete some year-end maintenance. 

         Retirement Complex-will be turning the sprinklers on at the Retirement Complex; will need to keep checking the vault for water. MTI needs to hook-up the boilers. Having some issues with phone lines in one of the apartments. Discussed installing a cleanout in Parkview laundry room. 

11:35 AM Robbie and Derrick left the meeting.

11:38 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.  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 CHAMBER UPDATES/Melissa Higbee, Executive Director; Alissa Miller

          UPDATES-Melissa had a Chamber float in the parade with all the Chamber Members listed; they are still getting new members. The Fall Festival is on Saturday, they got a grant from Mid-Rivers to do the dunk tank; EMEDA grant for $1000 for all the advertising; there will also be live remote and golf tournament. Calcutta will be held at Thee Garage on October 1st.  The Rec Department is doing well; funds have been coming in to assist with programs.  Discussed the Placemaking Grant.

1:56 PM Melissa and Alissa left the meeting.

1:57 PM Lynda Herbst, Inside Custodial Supervisor joined.

          The contractor plans to start reupholstering the courtroom benches next Monday. Will work on them on Mondays until finished.

1:58 PM Lynda left the meeting.

2:00 PM EMEDA/SMART UPDATES/Vaughn Zenko, Executive; CGI Digital videographer, Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Election Administrator and Kathy Newell, Election Clerk

          UPDATES-Vaugn reported the childcare project has received a lot of media requests. Commissioner Rost discussed the Day Care local bond issue is now in the Commissions hands. If the local bond issue is voted in, this will be a County project and the County process will be followed. Commission cautioned reviewing designs, locations and architects of the Day Care before the election.  If the bond issue does pass, the County will have to follow the bid process, etc. 

2:05 PM Steve Baldwin, Member joined. 

The Commission is working on a pamphlet to be sent to the voters; discussed wanting the public to be well informed.  If the building does not get leased, what will happen. Will need to present information to the taxpayers informing of all impacts. Discussed the costs to the taxpayer does not end at the 7.5 million projected project, there is interest on top of the project, ongoing maintenance, possible employees, etc.  This affects all taxpayers; they had the Department of Revenue figure the cost for rural properties. The information will need to be mailed out a few weeks before absentee ballots are mailed. 

2:15 PM Debbie and Kathy left the meeting.

          Junction 39 should be open in a few weeks.  They are getting close on the Real Estate Investment Coop; the final steering committee meeting will be held on the 8th of October. Vaughn will be speaking at Reimagining Rural to promote Fallon County. The haunted house will be coming back this year. They continue to apply for grants to assist in remodeling the Wosepka building to allow for a visitor center and possibly office spaces also 

the clock repairs for the Old Baker State Bank building. Discussed working on a grant to repair the roof of that building as well, that will not be available until the legislature meets; the repair cost is projected to be approximately $500,000.  Vaughn will be at the Fall Festival and is looking at times to schedule public hearings regarding the local bond issue for the Day Care building. 

2:23 PM Vaughn and videographer left the meeting.  

2:25 PM Commissioner Baldwin left the meeting.

2:30 PM EPEDC/Elisabeth Epley, EPEDC Executive Director

          UPDATES-Discussed the Placemaking Grant is open to all 5 counties; the grant is for $6,000 to be used to improve empty lots for public use such as murals, nice seating areas, gardens, etc. Discussed the State’s Small Business Initiative-This is critical for small businesses now because of increased interest rates.  The funding can be used for expansions and hiring employees. Funding can be loaned from local banks and can get a blended interest rate. There will be a farm and ranch suicide prevention training hosted through the Department of Agriculture.  This is open to everyone, not just farmers and ranchers; will show you how to help your neighbors.

Growth through agriculture is for ag producers looking at buying equipment, and or construction. They can get up to $50,000, or a loan up $100,000 or a combo equaling $150,000. ARPA funding-The minimum allocation funds for the Lakeview Drive storm sewer project was discussed. There will be enough for that project and should also be enough for the Town of Plevna for their sewer project; they need an additional $48,000.  The Commission would like the Town of Plevna to come and ask for the funding. There will also need to be a resolution completed designating the County ARPA funds for the Plevna sewer project.

2:58 PM Beth left the meeting. 

3:00 PM DISCUSS LATEST WATER ISSUE AT PARKVIEW/Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder

          Debbie had met earlier with the Commission regarding this matter.  It was determined this was not an insurance claim.

3:30 PM WEED DEPARTMENT UPDATES/Sara Berger, Weed Control Coordinator

          UPDATES-They have 4 landowners left out of 30 to complete spraying. Sara noted the canada thistle does not seem to be affected by milestone; it is taking a long time to respond.  It will not go to seed; the seed can move but will not go to bloom. They plan to try to get through the rest of the landowners this month and then move on to cattleguards.  They are working on State and BLM land if it borders land that they are spraying. Has one (1) employee that will continue to work through the end of the season. The Road Department assisted spraying county roads this year, their assistance was much appreciated. Sara will wait to see how it goes each year; if the Road Department assistance is needed, she will ask for assistance. Sara has not sold any chemical this year; she is not sure why. Sara has not been able to get anyone to come and work on the weed building garage doors.  Sara would like to attend the State Weed Board meeting in Immigrant, on September 19-23rd.  Permission granted.  There will be a Fall manager training in Havre in October. Spotted knap weed and leafy spurge are moving south. Discussed hay brought in that may contain weeds. 

3:32 PM Sara left the meeting.

3:43 PM Kimberly Jensen, AP Clerk joined.

          Relaying a message from Commissioner Baldwin who had visited with the City of Baker, regarding the disallowed water bill, before he left for the day. Commission discussed and made the decision to pay the water bill and disallow the Iron Horse Park Sprinkler bill only. They will wait to pay that bill until the city is able to come in and meet with the Commission again. Kimberly will prepare the City Water bill for payment, removing the Iron Horse Park Sprinkler billing in the amount of 7,382.99.  An appointment will be scheduled next week for the City of Baker to meet and discuss the billing.

3:44 PM Special Claim Run for City of Baker in the amount of $6,647.75

3:50 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



          Allen Rustad met to discuss trees in the county road ditches.

10:00 AM FMC UPDATES/David Espeland, CEO; Marjorie Losing, CFO

          UPDATES-Marjorie presented the June 30, 2022, financials for the Commission.

10:50 AM – Mary Grube, Planning Administrative Assistant joined.

          Discussed the Nursing Home water claim; the Commission stated they should bill for materials Hospital had on hand, to allow them to be replaced in case of future issues. CH&A implementation plan was approved by the FMC Board and will be published on the FMC website. Integrated Health Program-They are working on the focus groups for behavioral health. Looking for an MD that would be pretty much full time and hopefully little call. Rural Health Clinic surveyed FMC and they were found to be deficiency free; they will not be back for 7 years. Discussed antivenom shelf life; FMC always keeps it on hand. If they expire, there are buy-back programs to assist hospitals with the cost of restocking. 

11:05 AM David and Marjorie left the meeting.

11:05 AM RESOLUTION 1093 ADOPTING AMENDED FLOODPLAIN REGULATIONS/Mary Grube, Planning Administrative Assistant

          No one attended the meeting to make public comment.

          Mary made the two needed changes to the plan and saved the county approximately $6,000.  Reviewed the changes made per Montana Code regarding Agricultural Structures. 

11:10 AM Commissioner Rost closed Public Comment.

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to adopt Resolution 1093 amending the Fallon County Floodplain Regulations.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

11:10 AM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering met to discuss the 4” sewer service line that was grazed by the contractor. They are ordering bends, piping and more insulation to move the sewer line. The sewer line and the drainpipe are so close together, it is necessary to move the sewer line under the drainpipe so there is room for it to be insulated. They are hoping to get the parts overnighted from Fargo. This will all be documented in the as-builts.

11:15 AM Shannon left the meeting.

11:15 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


No one appeared for Public Comment


2:00 PM Commissioner Rost opened the Public Hearing for Public Comment.

No one appeared for Public Comment.

2:20 PM Commissioner Rost closed the Public Hearing.

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to adopt Resolution 1094 setting the county mills.  Commissioner Braun seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rost asked for any other discussion; being none.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  The motion carried unanimously. 

2:23 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.



s/Roy Rost, Chairman                                        s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder