January 7, 2021

January 7, 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 December 30, 2020 meeting were approved (see attached). Discussion regarding narrowing down construction costs with utilities and site development.

Commissioner Blain moved to appoint Ryan Brajcich to the Planning Board At-Large position; Commissioner Miller seconded; motion carried.

Commissioner Miller initiated discussion about naming the new bridge on Pryor Mountain Road over Bridger Creek in memory of the late Commissioner “Pits” DeArmond; such a naming could be done by Commissioner Resolution.

9:30 Red Lodge Mayor Bill Larson met with Commissioners for an update. Discussion about City appointments to County boards; Mayor Larson will have Ambulance and Cemetery District appointments next Tuesday. Discussion regarding vaccinations; public can sign-up on-line via carbonalert.org and they will be vaccinated in priority order (i.e. vulnerable populations first) by Public Health. Discussion regarding Red Lodge Airport and last week’s Montana Aeronautics Board meeting where the airport was passed over for funding due to not being an eligible participant in the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) or making efforts to become part of that program; Mayor Larson will follow-up with Community Development Director James Caniglia regarding the possible Airport Planning grant opportunity discussed in prior meetings.

10:00 County Attorney Alex Nixon met with Commissioners to discuss various on-going legal issues and draft legal agreements.

10:25 Geospatial Information Systems Coordinator / Fire Warden Tom Kohley met with Commissioners requesting a temporary vehicle to use; Commissioners will order him a new truck to be delivered in next fiscal year.

10:30 Sarah David and Erin Thames joined the meeting (via-teleconference) on behalf of AM Trace regarding COVID-19 contact tracing. They are working with Beartooth Hospital to migrate Public Health from paper to digital platforms and workflows; this will help remote staff to support Public Health in their contact tracing efforts. AM Trace reports being in holding pattern on processes waiting for Public Health to choose their preferred method of digitizing/communicating. Thames believes the auxiliary services are needed by Public Health, but that processes need to be ironed out with Public Health to maximize the services available by AM Trace.

Newell reported on the annual audit completed by Olness & Associates this week for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. Three auditor findings were noted: segregation of duties; auditor prepared financial statements; and total other post-employment benefit liability not recorded. Newell outlined corrective action responses from past audits; corrections would require staff or another contractor to prepare financial statements and to hire an actuarial firm to calculate post-employment benefits. Newell noted the limited financial resources of the County make both of these corrections impractical. Commissioners were in support of Newell’s proposed corrective actions.

Discussion regarding the COVID-19 mask mandate as proposed by newly elected Governor Greg Gianforte who said he will lift the statewide mask mandate once the most vulnerable Montanans are vaccinated and once the state Legislature approves liability protections for businesses, schools, nonprofits and places of worship for COVID-19 related claims; Commissioners will recommend to the Board of Health next week that the County rescind its more-restrictive County Order regarding masking and instead default to the State’s policy.

12:00 Adjourned.