February 18, 2021

February 18, 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.

Commissioners attended a meeting of the Detention Facility Citizen Advisory Committee last evening; the minutes from the Committee’s January 27, 2021 meeting were approved (see attached). The Town of Joliet formally annexed the property at their February 16 Council meeting with no further conditions.

The District Court will have a deputy clerk vacancy; Commissioners approved hiring a replacement.

9:00 Takami Clark of Big Sky Relations on behalf of Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator Cyrina Allen, Geospatial Information Systems Coordinator / Fire Warden Tom Kohley, Red Lodge Mayor Bill Larson, Red Lodge Community Development Director James Caniglia, and Big Sky Relations staff persons Kirk Spalding and Michael Rafshoon met to provide an update on the HWY 212 Red Lodge to Roberts Project. The project entails adding 8-foot shoulders, 3 sections with passing lanes, a school-bus turnout and MDT weigh station, and drainage improvements. Construction should be completed by 2023. Commissioner Bullock asked about millings and whether they might be available for County roads; Spaulding stated they will work with the County. Commissioner Bullock also referenced the speed study that had been completed on the North end of Red Lodge; no changes had been recommended at that time.

Caniglia reported on a conversation he had with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Scott Eaton. The FAA expressed concern that if Messiah Lutheran were to construct their church on Hwy 78 across from the North end of the Red Lodge airport runway, it could disqualify the airport from ever qualifying for FAA Airport Improvement Program funds; Caniglia has informed the church’s architect Susan Hovde regarding this roadblock. Messiah Lutheran’s property falls in the Airport Safety Zone as outlined in City Zoning. Potential that if the church is constructed in the airport’s Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) it could spell the end of the airport due to permanent disqualification from Federal and State grant funds. Commissioner Bullock would like an answer regarding the Church’s proposed construction as a cooperative effort between City, County, and FAA and will arrange a meeting with Caniglia and Hovde next week.

Commissioner Bullock reported to Mayor Larson on damage on Ski Run Road. It’s on the County’s right-of-way but is City of Red Lodge’s property; the City will pay.

10:00 County Attorney Alex Nixon met to discuss on-going issues. Nixon will follow-up with the Town of Joliet’s annexation of the proposed Detention Facility property for next steps.

Discussion regarding Public Health functions and their possible cross-over with the proposed Detention Facility future needs.

Commissioners discussed the $400/week stipend which has been paid to County Health Officer Dr. Bill George in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; Commissioners concurred that now that vaccinations are well-underway, the need for his increased level of services are diminishing and therefore the County will cease the increased stipend as of April 1.

Newell reported that Red Lodge Airport received notice that it is eligible for $9k in grant funds from the FAA under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA); she will submit acceptance documentation if the Airport Board agrees to accept at its meeting in March.

12:00 Adjourned.