April 20, 2021
April 20, 2021
Commissioners Scott Blain, Bill Bullock and Scott Miller; Administrative Officer Angela Newell; and Commissioners’ Secretary Barbara Krizek were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
9:00 First Public Hearing for Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) Opportunities presented by Steve Simonson of Beartooth Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D). In attendance: JoAnn Eder, Kat Healy, Tesla Palmatier, Myrna Lastusky, Kristen Cogswell, Carbon County News Eleanor Guerrero, Robin Adams, Steve Smith, Airport Board members Gary Herem and Steve Smith, Red Lodge Airport Manager Jeff Wise. Simonson provided an overview of CDBG focuses and goals. TSEP and CDBG will fund Joliet water project. Red Lodge Area Community Foundation CART, Roosevelt Center, and Workforce Housing coordinators provided letters requesting County consideration to sponsor a grant on their behalf. Smith asked whether CDBG could be used for Red Lodge Airport Master Plan; Simonson confirmed it could. Simonson also pointed to Federal Fuel tax dollars available and would be happy to help once a planning consultant is selected. Under the current rules, Carbon County could only apply for one Planning grant; Roberts Water-Sewer is still occupying the Infrastructure grant; Simonson hopes that requirement will be waived with new Federal Infrastructure moneys expected. Public comment period will close July 31; second Public Hearing will be August 17; due date for application is September 15.
9:30 County/Tribal Mental Health Matching Grant Application. Commissioner Blain is exploring opportunities for infrastructure funding via grants for mental health crisis services in the proposed Detention Facility; 30% match is required but can be in-kind and should be covered by Mental Health contracts, provided space, and bond proceeds. Newell and Blain are finalizing a budget proposal due Thursday. Commissioner Bullock was in support of exploring the opportunities but cautious about committing financial resources or creating expectations for services in the long-term. Commissioner Blain moved to approve the County/Tribal Health Mental Health application; Commissioner Miller seconded; motion carried.
Commissioner Blain moved to approve Claims for March 2021; Commissioner Miller seconded; motion carried.
10:00 American Rescue Plan Act Funding Allocations meeting attended by Beartooth RC&D Steve Simonson, Red Lodge Fire Rescue Jon Trapp, Red Lodge Library Director Jodi Moore, Red Lodge Senior Center: Barbara Marquardt, Bob Conover, Linnhe Reed, Red Lodge Mountain Steve Schmidt, Roberts/Carbon County Water and Sewer Steve Keebler.
Newell stated that US Treasury has still not provided guidance for funding sidebars. There are two pots of money: a direct payment to Carbon County of approximately $2M and direct payment to the State; HB 632 has allocated approximately $150M in grant funds for local government water and sewer infrastructure projects. County funds will have to be used within 4 years; half-of the funds will be disbursed up front after the County has identified what it will be spent on. No spending timeline on State-directed funds. Keebler of Roberts Water-Sewer struggle to keep up with maintenance and keeping rates low; has projects that could be ready. Newell stated that State grants include a match requirement. Schmidt would like to have further road work on Ski Run Road as well as a parking lot down at the West Fork / Ski Run intercept. Trapp would like a list from the County regarding wording of what funding would be available and what it can be used for. Simonson encouraged referring to Capital Improvement Plan when prioritizing projects. J. Moore concerned about fixing roof at the library for $30k; better HVAC for $10k; and the development of programs to promote mental health and workforce development with staff. Red Lodge Senior Center Marquardt has a shovel-ready project of paving the parking lot. Commissioner Bullock encouraged continued conversations and once official guidance/rules come out Newell will create an on-line grant application form; Treasury expected to have guidance by end of the month or early May. Applications will be due to State around the end of June or early July. Newell stated that municipalities will also have the ability to apply for funding that could be available (library/senior).
11:00 Federal Lands Access Program Grant. Brent Moore & Steve Stapp Interstate Engineering, Forest Service Ken Coffin. Stapp reviewed the project which includes: bridge replacements at $400k each, raising the road and widening it in some spots, replacing culverts, placing cattle guards, improving ditches, and improving sight distance. FLAP funding priorities are $2-5M; the grant requires a 13.42% match. Grants should be awarded this summer, if approved the project would be designed over the next fiscal with construction in 2023. Moore suggested applying for a TSEP Preliminary Engineering Report Grant as a backup plan; this funding could be reallocated if FLAP funding came through. Moore discussed some additional statistics from the Forest Service that would boost grant application including: statistics on use of campgrounds and trailheads on E. Side Road; and information regarding the road’s status on the Transportation Plan inventory. Moore also noted an Environmental Assessment would be required.
11:30 Blain presented a petition from Stuart Anderson, David Larson, Sandy Gasser, Jerri Lynn Nelson, and Eddie Marshall to post a 35 MPH speed limit on Ortiz Road;
Miller seconded; discussion about buffer before someone is likely to receive a ticket; Bullock noted concerns about the speed limit to be sustained if it is challenged and appreciates the landowners’ input; motion carried.
Miller moved to establish a speed limit on Grove Creek; Blain seconded; Miller noted concerns with significant speeds on the road especially on the lower part of the road that is wider and straighter; discussion if the road can all be the same speed limit and getting input from the landowners that would be affected by the speed limit and requesting they submit a petition; discussion regarding using the form to Petition to Establish, Alter, or Abandon a County Road. Commissioner Miller withdrew his motion.
Miller moved to require a formal petition to alter the speed limit of a County Road using the petition to Establish, Alter, or Abandon a County road; Blain seconded; motion carried.
Discussion regarding smaller cemeteries that are included in a larger cemetery districts (ie: Gebo, John Henry, and Carbonado). Commissioners expressed concerns that folks that are paying taxes to a cemetery district are not getting tax funding where their family members are buried.
1:00 Commissioner Work Session meeting with Nathan Bilyeu of Jackson Murdo and Grant (Detention Facility Bond Counsel) to finalize language for Bond and Mill Levy Election Resolutions. Election Administrator Macque Bohleen, Deputy Clerk and Recorder Crystal Roascio, and Hulteng CCM Shane Swandal were present. Discussion regarding the timeline for the bond election and certification. Swandal noted current schedule has some costs that could be incurred prior to receiving bond proceeds. 1:15 Eleanor Guerrero joined the meeting. Swandal could run a cashflow analysis to determine the figure that could be a potential liability should the bond face a challenge. Bilyeu reviewed draft resolutions. 1:25 Walter Clapp an attorney from Red Lodge joined the meeting.
Discussion regarding bond issuance, debt limitation, and term of bonds. Discussion regarding definition of qualified elector; determination needs to be made by County Attorney as he would have to defend any challenge. Review of General Obligation Bond ballot language. Discussion regarding the necessity for both ballot measures to pass for the project to move forward. Swandal noted the construction project would have to be rescoped if the operating levy fails. This is due to construction escalation while waiting for an operating levy to be approved at a later date. Discussed financing option for bond (level levy or level debt service). Bilyeu reviewed the draft Operating Levy Resolution. Discussion regarding reimbursement resolution – up to $100,000 for costs incurred for education regarding the bond. Discussion regarding use of bond premium payment for some of the startup operational costs (computers, uniforms, etc.). Swandal discussed the need to have 85% of the bond proceeds encumbered in three years.
Clapp discussed his support for the facility. He inquired about data storage and noted there could be an opportunity to provide secure data storage to private individuals as a revenue stream for the County. Clapp is a member of the Beartooth Electric Company board. Discussion regarding power redundancy that is already provided as part of the facility could allow the facility to serve as a high security data storage facility. Discussed electrical grid vulnerabilities. Discussion regarding federal dollars not being used to guarantee components of federal tax-exempt bonds.