March 29, 2022

March 29, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance. Matt and Sandra Randolph of Belfry joined the meeting.
Commissioners approved an early check run for the Sheriff’s Office to Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge for Durango engine repairs and to Shallow Creek Kennels for the remaining balance of the new K9 unit.
9:00 Road Priority Review. GIS Manager Tom Kohley, Matt Randolph, Sandra Randolph, John Sunday, David Lehnherr, Dan Seymour, Jim Pidgeon, Wayne Engebretson, and Sherill Sandmire were present. Attendees asked for clarification regarding what point Meeteetse Trail changes from a priority 1 to 3; John Sunday noted there are 12 full time families on Meeteetse trail with additional homes under construction. With 6 school children. Have had conversation with School about adding it as a bus route; wondering what home owners can contribute. Matt Randolph on Robertson Draw would support increasing road priority or maintenance to make it a more passable road. Discussion regarding ATV traffic that damages the road, the need for more road material, and drainage improvements. Discussion about state of road when property was purchased and expectations that the road condition would change; Bullock noted increased maintenance will also increase non-residential traffic. Lehnherr noted maintenance complications caused by how the road is split between districts; the distance from the Bridger Road shop to service the west end of the road makes maintenance a challenge. Discussion regarding commercial vehicles being routed via Meeteetse on mapping applications and getting stuck. Discussion about other split priority maintenance roads, bus routes and the need for bus turnarounds for a road to be added to a bus route, easement restrictions that limit road improvements, and snow drifting issues and possible mitigation measures. Bullock noted the last time his crew did significant work on Meeteetse Trail it consumed his crew at the cost of other road maintenance and jeopardized equipment.
Sunday asked if private funding was secured to improve the road and bring it up to a design standard; would the County be willing to increase priority and take over maintenance at a priority 1 or 2. Bullock is concerned that homeowners would not be satisfied because of operator and equipment limitations. Miller is open to increasing the road priority if the road can be brought up to a standard. Miller noted before that work is done, he does not want busses going down the hill because it is unsafe. Miller also noted that road improvements will likely be a slow process.

Blain discussed school bus driving experience and agreed with Miller regarding not bringing a bus down the hill; noted there is no obligation for the County to provide students with transportation to school. Blain noted increased traffic on priority 1 roads has increased the maintenance requirements for those roads; they do not have time and equipment to keep up on current maintenance requirements let alone increased maintenance. Bullock echoed Blains comments about county wide growth, noting East Rosebud Road maintenance has increased, but so has the traffic volume. Wayne Engebretson joined the meeting; asked about road usage studies to help determine road priorities. Engebretson would like increased snow plowing past Sandford Bridge; Bullock noted they have been up 3 times this winter which is a significant increase from the one or less times they were up in the winter previously. Engebretson noted issues where people are driving around the road bed to avoid large rocks and pot holes. Bullock noted grant funding resources require a uniform easement for the road, which does not exist. Discussion about Federal Funding options; Miller noted he has a meeting with BLM to discuss road issues on Robertson Draw and lower Meeteetse. Bullock noted funding exploration for FLAP grant to replace failing bridges on East Side Road and was denied; also noted there are needed repairs on Sandford Bridge. Engebretson emphasized that his request is not to rebuild the whole road, but to increase snow plowing and fix dangerous spots. Lehnherr requested Meeteetse be elevated to a Priority 2 up to Crow Hill Lane.
Commissioners agreed to increase road priorities as follows: increase Meeteetse Trail to priority 2 from the end of the priority 1 designation to Crow Hill Lane; increase East Rosebud Road to priority to 2 starting at the Sandford Bridge and going south 3 miles; increase Evertz Road to a priority 2; and change a section of Musegades Road to a priority 3 road. Kohley asked for clarification on historic changes to Papez Road; it was determined that the road is not a County Road also discussed Cottonwood Road by warren; Commissioners do not believe this is a county road as it is maintained by BLM.
10:00 Geospatial Information Systems Coordinator / Fire Warden Tom Kohley and Human Resource Specialist Kate Asbury met with Commissioners regarding Road Crew Fire Training. Kohley would like to evaluate who is involved in fire response and on what level. Newell discussed past pay differential for fire response. Asbury asked about different levels of response and if that should be reflected in pay differential (fire line vs. hauling equipment) also concerns expressed about employees not wanting to respond to fires, but still wanting a boot allowance. Bullock concerned there is a quagmire in differentiating what is fire response. Kohley noted it is apparent that some members do not want to participate in fire attack or be on the fire line. Discussion about providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Commissioners support the development of a core group of road crew members who are responsible for fire response and only providing PPE (boots and fire turnout gear) for those employees. Discussed liability for employees being on fire line if they are not trained.

10:30 Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator Cyrina Allen presented the Emergency Management Performance Grant Application. This year she is increasing the grant request to $55,000. Blain moved to approve Application; Bullock seconded; motion carried.

Bullock moved to approve employee time; Miller seconded; motion carried.

11:20 George Borneman met with Commissioners for the On-Call Examining Land Surveyor Services Agreement. Newell noted Cushing Terrill would like to separate the subcontracted Planning Services from their agreement with the County, but are happy to continue to provide land survey reviews. Blain moved approve agreement; Miller seconded; Bullock commented that Commissioners are pleased with the current relationship and are happy to see it continue; motion carried.

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Miller moved to accept RDO Bid for a 2022 John Deere 872G Motor Grader with Circle option, Capital I Postless Wing, and Henke Manufacturing V-Plow for a total of $474,500 with no trade; Blain seconded; motion carried.

Commissioners discussed Dust Control application. Dustbusters has set the price at $1.11 per foot. If fuel prices go down, they may provide a credit that could be applied to next year’s application.


Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer