March 19, 2020
March 19, 2020
Commissioners Scott Blain, Bill Bullock, and Robert ‘Pits’ DeArmond; and Commissioners’ Secretary Barbara Daniel were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance
Clerk and Recorder Christine Stovall and Treasurer Lori Lynde joined the meeting to discuss Montana Motor Vehicle Division’s (MVD) Driver Licensing in the County Administration building. The Examiner had earlier shared with County staff that she had been exposed to someone who is currently quarantined for COVID-19. Staff were concerned that the Examiner may have jeopardized the County’s measures to keep the office safe. MVD has extended license expirations by 90-days and has suspended exams for 30 days. Commissioner Bullock asked Attorney General Tim Fox’s office whether the County can close the building to MVD services.
Commissioner Bullock moved to suspend in-person MVD services until further notice; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.
Stovall reported that she has received two phone calls regarding the Abandonment of North Whitehorse Road from homeowners Pinkerton and Bray. She also received an inquiry about the width of the easement on Robertson Draw Road and determined it to be 60 feet.
Commissioner DeArmond provided an update on the Pryor Mountain Wind Farm project. The quarry met with blade transporters. They are considering a by-pass straight onto Railbed Road which should be better for everyone in keeping traffic moving. Anticipated start date is July 20th for hauling towers, followed by blades once the roads and pads are in-place; 15-20 towers/day expected.
Regarding the Highway 212 Improvement Project through Roberts, Commissioner Bullock reported that Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) will conduct a speed study at 35mph and wishes to continue with the Two-Way-Left-Turn-Lane (TWLTL). Commissioners will write a letter to MDT re-iterating that the County desires the 35mph speed, access to the Veteran’s memorial flags, and elimination of the TWLTL.
Commissioners asked Newell to advertise internally for the newly vacant Bridger Road Crew position.
9:30 Commissioner DeArmond left the meeting.
9:35 Meeting closed to discuss a personnel issue.
9:40 Meeting re-opened.
10:15 Deputy Schmaltz and Sheriff McQuillan joined the meeting to discuss the build-out of the CODAN radio system. They expressed concern over the continuing radio dead-spots, especially along Hwy 308 by Belfry-Bearcreek and the East Bench. Commissioner Bullock, Sheriff McQuillan, and DES Coordinator Tom Kohley held a conversation with CODAN communications last week. The County will delegate completion of the system to Deputy Carrington in conjunction with Dunne Communications.
10:45 Discussion regarding enforcing the County Health Officer’s March 17th order closing local restaurants since two businesses were found to be in violation. Citations will be issued to businesses in non-compliance.
11:20 Kohley provided a COVID-19 update. He has initiated a COVID-19 text line for citizens who opt-in. Will Bernard will focus on farther reaches of the County for information dissemination with assistance from MSU Extension Agent Nikki Bailey. Discussion regarding the Incident Management Team budget for COVID-19 as it pertains to the consulting contract for Emergency Preparedness.
Discussion regarding drive testing for the CODAN System. Carrington will complete the radio project while Kohley focuses on COVID-19 Incident Command.
Sanitarian Cortney Lynde joined to discuss reopening restaurants in light of Yellowstone County’s recently published re-opening strategy. The County will discuss an eventual re-opening strategy as part of the Incident Management Team.
Commissioner Bullock moved to approve Commissioners’ Proceedings for March 3rd, 2020; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.
Respectfully submitted: Barbara Daniel, Commissioners’ Secretary