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June 10, 2021

COMMISSIONERS’ PROCEEDINGS
June 10, 2021

Commissioners Scott Blain, Bill Bullock and Scott Miller; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.

8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioners attended a public information meeting hosted by the Detention Facility Citizen Committee last evening held at the Fromberg School. In attendance were: Committee members Hal Lewis and Jane Swanson-Webb, Hulteng CCM’s Shane Swandal, Spectrum Architects’ Gary Levine and Kathleen Armstrong, Sheriff Josh McQuillan, Administrative Officer Angela Newell, Bridger Police Chief Michael Buechler, Kelle Ventling, Burce Bunten, Valerie Horning, John Miller, Everett Edwards, Chris Pugrud, Lisa Dawson, Karen Ulrickson, Tammy Taylor, Cheri Cox, Elton Rirtley, Mike Ventling, Tim Nottingham, Ira Preshinger, Ernest King, and Amanda King. A panel presentation was given covering topics such as: the decades-long history regarding detention issues, transportation challenges to other counties with facilities, the nature of the crimes being committed and the warrants outstanding, the public safety challenges facing judges with few options for imposing detention on offenders, and construction and operating budgets. A public question and answer session concluded the meeting.

Kohley met with Commissioners to request to participate in the CAT team for the fire West of Three Forks, under the DNRC Option 3 Agreement. All his wages and vehicle use will be reimbursed; Commissioners approved.

9:00 Large Group Ordinance Discussion: Sheriff McQuillan, Weed District Coordinator Brian Ostwald, and Sanitarian Cortney Lynde were present. Discussion regarding department fees the permit may be subject to; concerns were raised with local fundraising events being subject to fees. Discussion regarding if the intent is to cover full costs or a potion. Discussion of non-profit vs. private events. Nixon joined 9:20. Discussion regarding time line for the application and whether or not it would be realistic to use the ordinance for Hells Angels events in July; consensus that it may create more issues than it is worth.

9:40 Red Lodge Mayor Bill Larson joined for his weekly meeting. Larson noted work on Rodeo Road that accesses the County Fairgrounds, discussion regarding camping on City property north of the rodeo grounds during Fair; Larson noted the Fair Board could reserve the area.

Blain moved to accept the Justice Court End of Period Disbursement; Miller seconded; motion carried.

10:30 Nixon and Brangers met for County Attorney Preliminary Budget. Discussion regarding Moore’s starting pay; Nixon would like to start her base at same level as other legal secretary (85% of the Elected Base wage). Nixon discussed grant funding for Victim Witness Advocate services; grant amount from state has been lowered. Discussed possible contributions from municipalities for Victim Witness Advocate Services; Red Lodge is the only municipality with a formal interlocal agreement. Discussed payment of attorney fees for Industrial case and the possibility of Attorney Fee reimbursements; if fees are part of the settlement Doney Crowley’s agreement authorizes payment of their normal full hourly rate and there will be an additional amount due to them. Nixon requested to role the balance of his Legal and Professional Service line items to the Large Trial Fund; Commissioners agreed.

11:00 Search and Rescue Coordinator Jon Trapp, Red Lodge Fire Volunteer Coordinator Frank Pelli, Foundation Director Sarah Ewald, Red Lodge Fire Chief Tom Kuntz, Sheriff McQuillan, DES Director Cyrina Allen, and GIS Manager/Fire Warden Tom Kohley met for the Search and Rescue Preliminary Budget. Trapp and Kuntz gave a presentation detailing the organization’s functions, missions, the efficiencies with having Fire, Ambulance, and Search and Rescue Operations under one organization, history of the relationship with the County, financial obligations of neighboring counties, and the chain of Command with Sheriff McQuillan. Commissioners thanked them for the presentation and noted the letter was meant to open the interlocal agreement up for renegotiation and apologized for the letter generating concerns and for not communicating better. Blain moved to rescind letter to cancel agreement; Miller seconded; discussion regarding continuing to monitor the current arrangement for the health of both agencies; motion carried.

Adjourned.