August 27, 2019
August 27, 2019
Commissioners Scott Blain and Bill Bullock, and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioners discussed the tour of the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on Friday August 23.
9:00 Commissioner Bullock moved to appoint Bryce Turk to the Interdisciplinary Child Information Team; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.
Commissioner Bullock moved to approve Commissioner meeting minutes of August 1, 6, and 8, 2019; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.
Commissioner Blain noted he met with Gary Bichsel regarding Mathes Road regarding expanding the row to 40’ through his property (currently only have 30’). He is agreeable to expanding the easement; Commissioner Blain will contact Red Lodge Surveying to survey the easement.
DES Coord. / Fire Warden Tom Kohley met with Comm regarding purchasing large format printer for EOC 50% of the cost would be covered by the EMPG reverted funds. noted Tom Dunne will be in town today to discuss internet options for EOC and Fairgrounds facilities. Also discussed PDM grant application partnering with town of Joliet for rip rap. Also discussed Stillwater County’s informal request about consolidating dispatch services.
10:00 Montana Association of Counties Field Services Representative Harold Blattie met with Commissioners. They discussed jail planning, State prisoner costs, the history of State prisoner payments to local jurisdictions, and the current per day cap for prisoner housing that was enacted by the legislature. Harold cautioned Commissioners not to replace Public Safety Fund revenues with jail revenues. Harold is in the process of rewriting the commissioner reference book with updated local government statutes. They discussed the 2019 legislative session; Commissioners agreed that MACo provided good representation for counties. Commissioners informed Harold regarding the Pryor Mountain Wind Farm and they discussed wind farm impact fees and new and expanding industry tax abatements. They also discussed School Trust Land easements; Harold noted some counties have been successful partnering with utility companies to pay for State easements.
12:00 Break for lunch
2:00 Commissioners participated in a conference call with Ken Clark and Bob Van Engelenhoven from PacifiCorp to discuss impact fee, tax abatement, and road use agreements for the Pryor Mountain Wind Farm. Commissioners also asked if the project had an eagle take permit. Ken noted PacifiCorp is waiting for US Fish and Wildlife to evaluate the new turbine number, location, and size as submitted in the permit application. He also noted US Fish and Wildlife has only issued 3 or 4 permits in the whole country; Ken assured Commissioners that PacifiCorp operates projects in compliance with regulations, but not having a permit does not necessarily shut down the project. There was a discussion about tax revenues, centrally accessed taxes, and how taxes are split between the State and local jurisdictions.
Regarding the Impact Fee Agreement, Commissioners noted the proposed total was 1.25% of construction costs (a combination of an impact at 1% and .25% in a Road Use Agreement). Ken noted there would also be additional tax revenues for construction work in progress (CWIP) in 2020 for the work planned for this fall estimated to be $55,000,000. There was a discussion regarding impacts on school and county tax revenues and the influx of revenue for the school that is possible through an impact fee. There was a discussion regarding the Road Use Agreement; PacifiCorp will video record roads prior to construction so there is documentation for the state the roads need to be returned to. 2:30 Bill Phillips Bridger School Superintendent and Bridger School Board Chair Krystal Zentner joined the meeting. There was more discussion regarding the bridge replacement the Pryor Mountain Road Bridge over Bridger Creek; the County requested the deadline for bridge replacement be moved to June 1st; Pacific Corp agreed. There was more discussion regarding the Impact Fee. Commissioners requested an additional .25% in the Road Use fee to meet the full 1.5% they are able to assess under law. After a brief hold to the call, Pacific Corps agreed to a .5% road and bridge fee.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer