March 19, 2024

March 19, 2024
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock, and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioners discussed the current website update process and considerations for a landing page for fair specific information.
Bullock moved to approve Commissioners Proceedings for March 5; Blain seconded; motion carried.
9:30 Human Resource Specialist Kate Asbury met for her monthly update.
10:00 Tim Jager and Levi Van Buggenum from the ARETE Design Group met to discuss County projects. Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen, Deputy Clerk and Recorder Lola Ashby, and Denise Rivette were present. Jager Discussed the CedarWood property, difficulties with fitting County needs into the existing facility, and the significant cost to renovate with the use change. Van Buggenum discussed a possible phasing plan for the construction: Phase 1 demolition, Phase 2 Justice Center Construction, Phase 3 Administrative Office construction; Phase 4 would be the construction of Public Health spaces. The current phasing plan does not include programming for the Sheriff’ Office. Discussion of the possibility of future expansions or additions. ARETE believes the site will generally allow for the long-term facilities needs of the County although there will likely need to be additional space to accommodate some of the long-term and larger item storage needs. Discussion of timing and cost escalations for the 4 different phases. Discussion of inclusion of the Sheriff’s Office for the long-term site development. Blain believes courts and Sheriff need to all move at once and the access for those functions is the biggest need.
10:30 Pete Critelli joined the meeting asked about Agenda items this morning in relation to planning. Appointed to City Planning board in April. Jacy Head from Beartooth RC&D joined the meeting.
Bullock discussed Coal Board meeting last week regarding the CART application.
11:00 Public Hearing for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Jacy Head from Beartooth RC&D, Brent Moore from Interstate Engineering, and Critelli in attendance. Bullock moved to open the Public Hearing for the Community Development Block Grant to seek the views of citizens on the activities that should be undertaken to meet the identified needs and their relative priority; Blain seconded; motion carried.

Discussion of other planning grant programs including MT Community Reinvestment Plan Act. Discussion of Planning document updates including the County Growth Policy and Subdivision Regulations. Discussed the County’s Public Facility’s needs and the expectations of the public for public facilities and public convenience. Discussion of growth impacts, historic frugality resulting in significant deferred maintenance, and ADA accessibility challenges. Discussion of opportunity costs of not having an in-county detention facility. Discussion of asphalt preservation costs and demand for increasing pavement on County Roads. Discussion of significant tax base from residential and agricultural properties. Head asked about the Commissioner’s interest in providing business accelerator space; the Commissioners did not express interest in pursuing a grant for this purpose. Discussion of Public Facilities funding and the need for a Preliminary Architecture Report (PAR) for any construction. Moore noted the competitive nature of construction/facilities grants. Head noted CDBG will re-open this summer. Discussion of award and project timelines; the kickoff process with CDBG is approximately 6 months for a typical PAR, may be closer to 4 months with the legwork and procurement components that are already in place. Discussion of success rate; Moore noted planning grants tend to be more successful. Discussion of possible Coal Board funding if there are other grant funds in play. Bullock moved to close the Public Hearing; Blain seconded; motion carried.
11:30 Public Health Director Erin Cross met to discuss Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) deliverable for the All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan – Volunteer Activation Annex. Cross noted she is working with DES Coordinator Cyrina Allen to eventually condense plans that overlap with DES requirements. Bullock moved to approve Volunteer Activation Annex; Blain seconded; Bullock asked about volunteers that may be applicable under for non-public health emergencies; Cross discussed current process to register volunteers and noted efforts to consolidate volunteer processes across all county needs; motion carried.
11:45 Adjourned for lunch.

12:50 Miller called the meeting back to order. Bullock moved to approve early claim run as presented; Blain seconded; motion carried.

1:00 Extension Agent Carrie Guderjahn met for an Extension Office update. Guderjahn reviewed recent and upcoming programs and training including 4H camp, fall prevention, financial literacy for youth, and canning workshop. Blain read the update from Extension Agent Amber Elliott including interview regarding youth programing, small acreage weed management, and planning for a showing and fitting clinic.

1:30 Commissioners discussed facilities’ needs and options for detention facilities.

Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer