January 26, 2021

January 26, 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

Commissioner Bullock testified yesterday regarding Senate Bill 92 regarding the Election Administrator position; he testified against the bill that proposed that the Election Administrator become an elected position. The County has operated impartially and successfully with appointed Election Administrators since 1982.

Threse Picasso-Edwards and Tesla Palmatier joined the meeting on behalf of Red Lodge Area Community Foundation for an introduction. They are working on a Transportation Assistance Program which will run throughout the County.

Discussion regarding the proposed Detention Facility. Stillwater County Memorandum of Understanding negotiations have stalled. Newell provided a draft timeline for administration, community education, human resources, and operations. Commissioners concurred that hiring a Detention Facility Commander soon after bond certification would be optimal for planning purposes.

Commissioner Blain reported on the Conservation District meeting having received positive feedback regarding the new contracted Floodplain Administrator Page Dringman.

Jennifer Drinkwalter with Montana Cycling Project met to present a 3-day cycling event scheduled for September 16-18, 2021 based out of the Fair Grounds. Commissioner Bullock read aloud the December Fair Board minutes approving a modified fee scale of $850 for the event. Commissioner Blain moved to approve the event as specified in the Fair Board minutes; Commissioner Miller seconded; Drinkwalter will provide proof of liability insurance; motion carried.

Commissioner Bullock recounted a conversation with County Health Officer Dr. Bill George regarding his added $400/week stipend during the COVID-19 emergency which was CARES Act reimbursable through the end of 2020 but is no longer so. Commissioners concurred about continuing the stipend while the vaccinations roll-out and will revisit the topic at the end of February.

11:00 Sheriff Josh McQuillan and Carbon County News Reporter Eleanor Guerrero joined for proposed Detention Facility discussion. Citizen Advisory Committee meetings will become bi-weekly instead of weekly. Commissioners will meet with Musselshell County Commissioners in Roundup on February 5th to discuss a possible Memorandum of Understanding for renting beds and invited McQuillan to join the meeting. Newell estimated mill costs of constructing and operating a 50-bed facility vs a 100-bed facility. McQuillan expressed his preference for a 50-bed facility; he could presently fill 20-25 of those beds with County inmates and renting the rest to other counties; this would also allow space for if the number of County inmates grew over the coming years; Commissioners concurred that a 50-bed facility would be more palatable to taxpayers/voters. 11:30 Stillwater County Memorandum of Understanding agenda item was postponed until further negotiations can take place. 12:00 Guerrero departed the meeting. Commissioners approved an email request from McQuillan to hire a dispatcher from his existing hiring pool.

Commissioner Miller moved to re-appoint Allen Althoff to the Bridger Cemetery District board for the remainder of a 3-year term expiring December 31, 2021; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.

Commissioners responded to an email inquiry from Airport Board member Gary Herem regarding non-aviation use of a hangar at Red Lodge airport. Commissioners and Board member Merrill Pfeifer concurred that lessee Brad Dillon (Site 3B) is not in compliance of his lease agreement and that Herem should pursue inspection as outlined in the lease agreement.

12:30 Adjourned.