December 5, 2019
December 5, 2019
Commissioners Robert ‘Pits’ DeArmond, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock, Commissioners Secretary Barbara Daniel, and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance
John Prinkki and Jack Prather met with Commissioners for public comment. They discussed the detention facility planning process and the meeting this afternoon. Jack asked about the longevity of the facility; Commissioners noted they are focused on the costs over the 20-year term of the bond, but are building a facility that will have room for expansion to meet the County’s need for the next 30+ years. Commissioners discussed the number and value of outstanding warrants and that we are unable to detain people with outstanding warrants and who have committed crimes because of available inmate housing. Commissioners also discussed workforce availability for different areas in the County; this will be a factor in the final site selection.
9:00 Red Lodge Airport Manager Jim Chittick met with Commissioners he noted his sub may be gone for the rest of the winter and he has some commitments that will make him unavailable for some periods in December and a week in February. Commissioners may consider hiring a temporary employee to fill in or Commissioner Bullock will fill in.
9:35 Commissioner Bullock moved to approve the District Court Fines and Fees Summary for November 2019; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.
10:00 County Attorney’s regular meeting was cancelled as he was unavailable.
10:30 Road Foreman Meeting attended by Bridger Road Foreman Vern Adkins and Joliet Road Foreman Jerrid Bergum. Commissioners and foremen discussed items to look for in the State DES surplus property program. They also discussed implementing equipment purchase schedules for various pieces of equipment including plow trucks and light duty trucks. They discussed right-of-way mowing and the benefits of hiring a seasonal part-time employee to mow vs. scheduling mowing between other road projects and staff availability. Regarding the asphalt preservation plan, there was a discussion regarding the utility of purchasing an asphalt pulverizer. There was a discussion regarding road maintenance logs. Red Lodge and Bridger would like to utilize a shared spreadsheet to track maintenance like Joliet has been doing. This allows for easy searching to provide maintenance data to Commissioners, FEMA, or other agencies. They also discussed the timeline for crushing gravel in the Vukonich gravel pit.
12:00 Break for lunch
1:30 Beartooth RC&D Executive Director Joel Bertolino, Economic Development Director Steve Simonson, and Finance Director Jillann Knutson met with Commissioners for their annual update. Commissioner Bullock moved to accept the Memorandum of Understanding with Beartooth RC&D; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.
Commissioner Bullock moved to accept claims as submitted; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.
2:00 Detention Facility Planning. Sheriff Josh McQuillan, Joel Bertolino, Jillann Knutson, Steve Simonson, Sweet Grass County Commissioner J.V. Moody, Elaine Osmun, Bill Foisy, Wanda Kennicott, Sweet Grass County Sheriff Alan S. Ronneberg, Bridger Police Chief Mike Buechler, Bridger City Court Judge Bert Draft, Gretchen Arndt, Mary Cameron, Pete Crittelli, Justice of the Peace Kevin Nichols, Montana Highway Patrol Captain Keith Edgell, Patrolman Shane Warehime, Barbara Mettler from the Mental Health Center, Susan Roi, Melvin Haisler, Diane Dimich, Pam Pitcher, Gary Moreseman, Rene LeVeaus, Stillwater County Sheriff Chip Kem, Public Health Nurse Roberta Cady, Public Health Nurse Sheila Boggio, John Prinkki, Shelly Thompson, Red Lodge Community Development Director James Caniglia, Public Works Director Jim Bushnell, Brandi Mains, Greg Paskell from the Office of the Public Defender, Russ Lord, Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde, Stillwater Deputy County Attorney Tom English, Kelly Dehio MMPOA, Andrea Mohammadi MMPOA, Contract County Planner Forrest Mandeville, Red Lodge City Judge Raphael HeDoesIt, Kristen Cogswell, Sue Cogswell, Stillwater County Commissioner Tyrel Hamilton, Becky Grey, and Denis Ruieh were present. Commissioner Blain made introductions, reviewed the history of detention facilities in Carbon County, and gave an overview of the various items that have caused the Commissioners to evaluate constructing a facility at this time. Commissioner Bullock reviewed the process that led to the County jail being closed in 2001 and the overcrowding issues at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility (YCDF). Commissioner DeArmond discussed the current issues finding a facility to take people that have been arrested. He noted the comments he has received from people worried about bringing undesirable people into the community, but those people are already here because we have nowhere to put them. Sheriff McQuillan noted 2015 if YCDF could not take an arrestee they didn’t go to jail; in 2015 the County began contracting with additional entities. Sheriff McQuillan discussed the current contract with Jail Alternatives; he noted those services will still be used as they currently are to keep people out of jail and under other means of supervision. He noted if cost is the only barrier to someone being able to utilize a jail alternative the County will pay for it so they don’t go to jail. Sheriff McQuillan noted at this time only violent offenders are in jail.
Judge Nichols noted the County needs to have options for those who will not comply with monitoring. Commissioner Blain discussed intangible items including the County’s liability exposure with transporting. Greg Paskal from the Public Defender’s Office noted the collateral expenses to other entities for Carbon County not having a detention facility. Greg noted that he made 34 trips to Bozeman to meet with Shifferens to prepare for his defense.
Commissioner Blain reviewed the land site Request for Proposals process the County has gone though. Commissioners discussed the selection criteria they would like to use: 40% for land and water and sewer costs; 20% on public acceptance; 10% lot size and ability to expand and house other things like evidence storage; 20% on workforce/labor pool availability; and 10% on the accessibility of the site for cooperating agencies. Commissioner Bullock noted the Commissioners do not want the bond measure to fail because of the site selected. Gary presented the draft site selection matrix. He noted selecting a site is crucial to furthering the facility design. Gary and Ken discussed construction and operating cost projections. Gary and Ken also gave an overview of the initial space design including sally port, booking, inmate housing, medical, visitation, and space for administrative functions. They reviewed the spaces for indoor and outdoor recreation and the flow of bringing an individual into the facility. It was noted the design would allow housing expansion in the future. There was a discussion regarding economies of scale and the efficiencies gained in a larger facility. Commissioner Blain noted the Commissioners are not interested in contracting with other Counties unless it makes sense for Carbon County; he noted a smaller facility would require Carbon County to assume the full cost of operating and maintenance.
There was a discussion regarding the cost of the facility. Ken noted in other states similarly sized facilities cost around $75/year on a $100,000 property. Commissioners are aiming for a bond cost to be under $50/year per $100,000 in taxable value. The facility would create 20-25 jobs. It was noted a larger facility would generate revenues to help pay for operating costs. While a smaller facility just for Carbon County’s needs would likely require an operating levy. Initial construction estimates for a 100-bed facility are $25,000,000 which include the land and site preparation costs and furnishings. After revising salary figures to align with current County employee pay scales, operating costs are estimated to be about $2,390,400 annually; contracting out the 60 beds not used by Carbon County could generate $1,954,575 in revenue to help offset those costs. There would also be roughly $93,000 in revenue from commissary and visitation fees that would help offset the cost of providing those items to inmates. With the revenue offset, Carbon County’s current expenses for housing inmates would increase by about $110,000 annually.
Sheriff McQuillan and Captain Edgell noted current issues with finding housing for people. Sheriff McQuillan noted every weekend his deputies are forced to turn lose felony level DUIs.
4:20 most members of public left.
Commissioners Sheriff met with architects to review the facility layout and operating cost projections.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer