January 11, 2022
January 11, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Vern Heisler met with Commissioners regarding the Phillips gravel pit. Letters sent to planner Forrest Mandeville regarding concerns about truck traffic impacts to public safety and impacts to neighboring properties. Miller discussed traffic mitigation plans including placing blinking signs while hauling gravel to alert drivers of large truck traffic and widening the road. Miller noted the frequency that crews will access that pit is intermittent. County plans to mine approximately 10,000 yards per year approximately 500 truckloads. Miller permitted a large area because they were not sure exactly where the best gravel will be. Discussion regarding the County’s desire to keep commercial operations out of the pits because of the road impacts. Heisler is concerned that signs will not control all safety concerns. Bullock noted County’s process for reclamation of pits as required by DEQ once mining is complete; also noted safety record, have not had any accidents at other pits. Discussion regarding cost of trucking gravel and the need for sites across the county. Discussion regarding preserving view shed and benefits of preventative measures to address safety before crushing starts. Heisler urged Commissioners to look at a different location.
9:30 Health Insurance Committee meeting. Road Union Representative Jerrid Bergum, Undersheriff Jeff Schmalz, Deputy Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen, Human Resource Specialist Kate Asbury, MACo Insurance Representative Pam Walling, and MACo Health Care Trust Administrator Joann Romasko were present. Bullock noted significant turnover in the last year and issues with attracting applicants with the high cost of spouse and family coverage. Walling reviewed current rates. Walling does not recommend giving different premium contributions to employees based on whether or not they are insuring a spouse or dependent. Discussion about what out of pocket premium cost would allow employees to add spouse or dependent coverage. Walling noted claim history has not been good for the Trust; they anticipate a rate increase for the next fiscal year and hope it will stay in the single digits. Discussion regarding Healthy is Wellness participation and if rates can be adjusted to reflect participation. Looking at incentives on MACo’s side to get better participation. Schmalz urged Commissioners to keep County premium contributions in line with rate increases. Discussion regarding Employee Assistance Program benefits and Mental Health Services.
1:00 Local Marijuana Option Tax. Election Administrator Macque Bohleen, Sheriff Josh McQuillan, Deputy Clerk and Recorder Crystal Roascio, Human Resource Specialist Kate Asbury, Sweet Grass Dispensary owner Michael Keys, and Denise Rivette were present. Bullock noted an argument for passage of I-190 was the tax revenue and the option for local taxes. Keys noted in the last 11 days; there would have been approximately $1,000 in taxes generated out of his store alone. Using Keys numbers Blain believes there is potential revenues of $160,000/year to be split between County and municipalities. Bohleen provided election timelines; ballot language must be passed 90 days before election. Discussion regarding having separate ballot issues for medical vs. recreational option taxes. Discussion about law enforcement impacts; McQuillan agreed that prescription pills are more of a gateway to harder drugs. Discussion regarding measuring marijuana impairment; McQuillan noted there are ways to evaluate impairment for any substance that can not be tested with a blood or breath test. Discussion about public hearing process. Discussion regarding use of revenues; property tax relief, public safety, and public infrastructure or facilities capital improvements. Rivette stated that people would like to see a general guideline for use of the revenues. Commissioners agree property tax relief should be omitted as a use as it is not likely to happen with the infrastructure needs of all local governments.
Blain moved to accept Justice Court October, November, and December 2021 reports; Miller seconded; motion carried.
Blain moved to approve Commissioners’ Proceedings for December 23, 2021; Miller seconded; motion carried.
Bullock moved to approve Mike Schilz as Building Maintenance Coordinator; Miller seconded. Discussion about pay; Commissioners would like to increase hourly to $25.19/hr (Clerk 6) until boilers license is secured; motion carried.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer