February 29, 2016
February 29, 2016
Commissioners John Grewell and John Prinkki were present. Commissioner Doug Tucker was out sick.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Grewell moved approval of the February 11th and 18th Commissioners Proceedings as presented; Commissioner Prinkki seconded; motion carried.
8:35 John Husar met with Commissioners to discuss the February 18, 2016 Mud Springs Wind Project Impact Fee letter to EverPower. EverPower is requesting the County rescind the letter as they do not believe the work performed constitutes the start of construction on the project. The Commissioners requested a written response from EverPower to that effect, so the issue is documented. Mr. Husar also requested future letters also be sent to him via email. Regarding eagles, EverPower has found all eagle nest locations identified by WEST. At this time most of the nests appear to be abandoned; the status of the nests will be confirmed during nesting season.
9:00 Commissioners reviewed the Encroachment Permit fee currently set at $100 for the 1st 100 ft and $0.75/ft after that. Commissioners discussed creating two fee structures: one for encroachments in the right-of-way but outside of the road structure and a higher fee for encroachments to the road surface.
Commissioner Grewell moved to keep the $100 minimum fee, and set the subsequent fee/foot at $0.10 if the encroachment is in right-of-way and does not impact road surface and at $0.50/ft if the road surface is impacted; Commissioner Prinkki seconded; motion carried.
9:30 Tom Kohley, Marcia Henigman, and Lola Ashby met with Commissioners for their discussion on the next steps for the open Road and Bridge Superintendent position. Lola raised questions about the position and Commissioners relinquishing their road related duties. Commissioner Grewell noted that he is in support of the position and will relinquish all road related duties to the Superintendent. Both Commissioners agreed their roll supervising their road district takes up a significant portion of their time and limits their ability to fulfill their commissioner responsibilities. Marcia and Tom expressed concerns regarding the salary offer made to Mike Black and asked if the Commissioners advertised for an engineer. Commissioner Grewell noted that although the position was not advertised to require an engineering degree, the Commissioners believe the salary was warranted as having a certified engineer would save the County the cost of contracting some engineering services. Attendants noted that had the position been advertised with engineering background preferred the County may have received more applicants with that qualification that would have taken the position at lower salary rate. Commissioner Grewell noted the salary offer was based on what applicant can bring to the table with his degree, not the degree itself. Lola asked if the Commissioners will continue to have County vehicles without the Road Department supervisory duties. Commissioners stated they would continue to have County vehicles; Commissioner Grewell noted that Commissioner Prinkki did an estimate when his Subaru was purchased and it would have cost the County more money to reimburse him for mileage on his personal vehicle than to purchase a County vehicles. Commissioners also noted that they have purchased more fuel efficient vehicles because they don’t need pickups for road supervisory duties. Lola expressed concerns with how the position will be funded and if there are budget shortfalls in the future if the Commissioners intended to eliminate the position or reduce salary increases to other employees to keep it. Commissioners agreed that federal funding was always an uncertainty, but they believe that would impact capital projects more than personnel. Commissioner Grewell also noted that employee salary increases are based on a recommendation from the Compensation Board and do not reflect increased operational costs. Tom asked if the position would have supervision over the Bridger District. Commissioners noted that under statute the Superintendent would oversee all road and bridge operations in the County. The Commissioners also noted there are challenges to a person coming into a newly created position and it was not fair to hire someone who did not have the experience to lay the groundwork for the position. The Commissioners believe efficiencies can be gained by one person being in charge of the department and allocating resources appropriately.
10:20 DES Coord. / GIS Mgr. Tom Kohley and Lola Ashby met with the Commissioners for Tom’s probation review. Lola presented a letter noting she believe Tom is a valuable asset to Carbon County. Commissioner Prinkki noted that Tom has met their expectations for the position and exceeded them in some cases. Commissioner Grewell moved to approve Tom’s successful completion of his probation period; Commissioner Prinkki seconded; motion carried.
Commissioner Prinkki asked if the being the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Chair was a necessary part of his duties as DES Coordinator; Tom noted that LEPC is requirement of for the Emergency Management Planning Grant and Homeland Security Grant. Tom believes noted once LEPC is built up he would like to see it become its own entity and step back from serving as the Chair. Commissioner Grewell asked Tom to review his activities and confirm that they fall under the scope of his position so he does not become overextend; he wants to ensure that Tom’s activities benefit the County. Tom will review job description and make sure there are not significant deviations. Tom noted that he believes good working relationship with the Sheriff’s Office and other departments. 10:25 Sheriff Josh McQuillan joined the meeting to note Tom is doing a good job in position. Commissioners thanked Lola for her comments.
10:30 Commissioner Grewell moved approval of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks Agreement #P1655 for Law Enforcement Services at Cooney State Park from 5/1/16-6/30/17; Commissioner Prinkki seconded; motion carried.
Tom noted there will be an all call test for the emergency notification system tomorrow; he hopes the test call will increase enrollment in the system. Tom also discussed the burn permit system. There have been some challenges with large segments of ditch being burned he has recommended applicants note two locations for burn permit designating the start and end of burn.
Josh discussed potentially remodeling the jail for dispatch and Emergency Operations Center operations and bringing scram bracelet monitoring in house.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Assistant