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June 25, 2020

COMMISSIONERS’ PROCEEDINGS
June 25, 2020

Commissioners Scott Blain and Bill Bullock; Administrative Officer Angela Newell; Commissioners’ Secretary Barbara Daniel; Scott Miller; and Gordon Sirrine (via tele-conference) were present.

8:30 Pledge of Allegiance

Public Comment Period: DUI Taskforce Coordinator Mary Cameron joined the meeting to discuss a new COVID-19 CARES Act grant; she will explore the opportunity.

Therese Picasso-Edwards, Programs Director – Resilient Community/Youth for Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, joined the meeting to provide an update on Red Lodge Area Community Foundation’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). Commissioners voiced that a successful transportation program would be self-sustaining, service the entire County, and have long-term public interest.

Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator Tom Kohley joined the meeting to present for Commissioner signature the award letter for the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) for $49k; this grant has a 50% match and contributes to Kohley’s salary. The Fire Fighter Property (FFP) program agreement has expired; Commissioner Blain signed the renewal understanding the change in policy requiring that the County must now keep property for five years instead of four. Kohley is investigating equipment opportunities for a military base loader and two side-by-sides. He submitted a purchase request form for a trailer for transporting equipment. He presented for Commissioner signature the renewal agreement for DNRC Option 3 for reimbursement of wages for himself and road crew when deployed; new for this year, he’s asking for dispatcher reimbursement. Discussion regarding a refresher training for road crews on fire operations (fire shelter deployment, communications, etc); Commissioners recommended holding the refresher in Spring 2021.

Newell presented a preliminary budget for County buildings/maintenance. Highest priorities are a roof on the Personal Services Building and electrical work (600 amp service) at the Courthouse. Discussion regarding adding air conditioning in the upstairs court offices. Newell will have the Courthouse roof inspected since it’s been 9 years since the 2011 hail storm patch.

With an increased one-time cost of $1,500, Newell proposed a software upgrade and training for Seamless Docs which would streamline the on-line permit application process for citizens.

9:00 Red Lodge Mayor Bill Larson joined the meeting for his weekly update. Jim Johnson and County Public Health Officer Dr. Bill George are working together to figure out COVID-19 social distancing for the Beartooth Rally. For the 4th of July, City Council approved closing Broadway, suspending alcohol open container laws, and allowing restaurants to serve patrons on the sidewalks for social distancing. The Resort Tax Ordinance passed in its second reading. Economically, local restaurants and merchants report surprisingly better revenues than 2019; fewer visitors are lodging at hotels and are opting instead for vacation rentals. Commissioner detailed the results of the Carbon County COVID-19 Sentinel testing conducted two weeks ago; of the 925 citizens tested, ultimately there were zero cases of COVID-19 (after two initial positives were re-tested and found to be false-positive). Commissioner Bullock stated that Census return results are a dismal 30%; the Mayor will urge Council members to communicate the need for citizens to complete their Census for the federal dollars to make their way locally.

Commissioner Bullock moved to approve Roberts Water-Sewer Board appointments for Peter Wisniewski, Keith Thomas, and Michael Gebhardt; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.

Commissioner Bullock moved to approve claims for June 20th; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.

Newell stated that the County was awarded a Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) Hiring Program Grant and will require Commissioner Blain to sign digitally.

The final bill for Dick Anderson Construction was received; the total cost for the Pryor Mountain Road Bridge, which was completed 21 days ahead of schedule with an incentive cost of $94,500, was $573,531.

Commissioner Bullock moved to approve the Treasure State Endowment Program (TSEP) Capital Improvement Plan first payment request for funds for infrastructure planning grants; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.

10:20 County Attorney Alex Nixon joined the meeting for his weekly update. Discussion regarding the Public Health department structure and agreements with members of the Incident Management Team (IMT). For IMT members that do not have their own work comp or liability coverage, Carbon County will be assuming the liability and covering them as volunteers under the County’s Work Comp Policy.

10:30 Heather Cope and Brent Schwab of Hub International joined the meeting to discuss health insurance benefit offerings for the 2021-2022 policy year. Commissioner Bullock provided background that two years ago the County shopped for health insurance, but none of the agents contacted then could offer the same cost savings and benefits as Montana Association of Counties (MACo). Newell detailed the County’s insurance process: the insurance committee meets in September; a Request For Proposals comes out by December; evaluation process in January; and a decision in February. If the County chooses to not renew with MACo for insurance, notification must be made to them by March 1, 2021.

11:30 Discussion regarding the preliminary budget for road/bridge. Ski Run Road chip seal will be completed in the current fiscal year, but Clear Creek Road will straddle this and next fiscal years. Whitehorse Road north has been paved with millings and no longer needs to remain in the Capital Improvement Plan. South River Road will be addressed by the new District 1 Commissioner. Discussion regarding vehicle replacement cycles. Discussion regarding gravel crushing. Commissioners only anticipate crushing in one pit for the 2020-2021 fiscal year; the volume will not require a bid solicitation.

12:00 Adjourned.