March 7, 2023
March 7, 2023
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Public Comment: Tesla Palmatier and Brad Caton from the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation (RLACF) were in attendance. Palmatier’s last day with RLACF is Friday. Caton has started as the youth program coordinator and will be filling in other various rolls for the organization.
9:00 Commissioners discussed BARSAA allocation for 2023. Approximately $108,700 remaining for another project. Discussion of paving, if there is a desire to continue to extend pavement (generally no), pavement maintenance costs including winter sanding, and the cost of equipment necessary to properly set and maintain pavement (including the need for a pulverizer and to replace the paver). Discussed possible preservation of Boyd Cooney Dam road and the need for Cooney Park and State Fish Wildlife and Parks to share the cost of any additional pavement at Cooney. Commissioners would like to wait and see what the cost is to apply the millings from the DOT Rockvale to Fromberg Project and reevaluate this summer.
Bullock moved to approve claims for February 2023; Blain seconded; motion carried.
9:30 Geospatial Information Systems Coordinator / Fire Warden Tom Kohley met with Commissioners to discuss the Fuel Tax Map and certification. Discussion of Barlow Creek Rd; Commissioners agreed it could be added once the gate and access issues are resolved. Blain moved to approve Fuel Tax Maps as presented; Bullock seconded; motion carried.
Kohley met with Commissioners to discuss travel to Reno for a fire conference with his Deputy Fire Warden. He will return for his scheduled meeting time.
10:00 Contract Planner Forrest Mandeville, Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen, and Kate Stout of Red Lodge Surveying met with Commissioners for the Albin Subdivision final plat. Mandeville reviewed his staff report. Blain having reviewed and considered the application materials, project memorandum, and all of the information presented, moved to approve the Albin Subdivision, final plat; Bullock seconded; Blain noted one plat shows a septic system sand mound and drain field on lot 1 which was the only lot with sufficient separation; the drain field will be shared by all lots via a pressure line; Bullock raised concerns about subsequent divisions of the property.
Mandeville noted subsequent subdivisions would be subject to the scrutiny of major subdivision review by the Planning Board and reconsideration from DEQ on sanitary restrictions. Covenants restrict further division of land but could be amended. Mandeville believes current sanitary restrictions would limit further divisions. Declaration of multi-user drain field system will be recorded. Stout confirmed the piping easement does not encroach on the Zumbrun Road easement. Blain raised concerns about lots already contingent, but not conforming to the final plat map. Discussion of the recording process and the onus on the seller to sell a lot that exists for a deed to be recorded. Motion carried.
10:30 Kohley rejoined for his monthly update. Reviewed written report (attached). Noted meeting with Red Lodge Mountain and Forest Service regarding approval issues with timber projects and challenges including removal of timber to a mill and finding sufficient contractors to do the work.
11:00 Sheriff Josh McQuillan, County Attorney Alex Nixon, and Cheyenne Wiley met regarding Alternatives. McQuillan and Newell presented a draft budget. Bullock noted his discussion with the Ravalli County Sheriff who was very happy with having the program in-house. Discussion of Public Health’s eligibility for Alcohol Tax revenues and if that funding could be used to help pay for the position; McQuillan’s’ proposal to have the position cross trained with his Secretary so they both have a backup; level of expertise for the position and if clerk scale is appropriate. Nixon noted he expects utilization of jail alternative programs to increase with access to jail beds continuing to be more limited. Discussion about labor detail and house arrest programs. Discussion about the possible need for additional staffing down the road.
Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen and Election Administrator Crystal Roascio met with Commissioners to discuss concerns from a former election administrator regarding aggressive inquiries from Lisa Bennett.
11:30 Tyler Lindbloom, PE Interstate Engineering met with Commissioners to discuss construction plans for the Dorvall Corner Bank Stabilization project on Edgar Fromberg Road. Lindbloom presented draft plans. Discussed wire basket design to account for steep slopes; environmental considerations for FEMA PA project reimbursement; and revegetation. Blain raised concerns about length triggering higher level environmental review; Lindbloom believes the threshold is 500’ and the project is under that. Discussed bid timeline Notice 16 and 23. Open bids on April 11, with a bid award on April 18th.Construction is set to start May 1st and be completed by November 1.
Lindbloom provided an update on Granite Road; expect to have plan set in the next week or so and will have a better idea after their Thursday meeting.
1:00 Bullock moved to approve Fire Adapted Communities Grant Agreement for Clean Air Program Support Request; Blain seconded; Bullock noted frustration with the grant application and contract not following proper procedure. Blain and Miller voted in favor; Bullock voted against; motion carried.
Newell discussed negative balances in both 911 Grant and Homeland Security Grant Funds dating back two or three fiscal years. The 911 Grant was closed by Kohley without requesting full reimbursement and will require a budget amendment to transfer $4,402.93 into the 911 Grant Fund to make the fund whole. Newell is still researching the specifics of the negative balance of the Homeland Security Grant of $2,122.98.
Commissioners discussed attendance at various other meetings and possible appointment of liaisons to various boards. Water & Sewer districts, Library, Fair, Conservation District, and Weed District.
1:30 HR Specialist Kate Asbury, Sheriff Josh McQuillan, Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen, Undersheriff Jeff Schmalz, and Road Union President Phil Nardinger met to discuss Group Health Insurance Plan selections. Discussion of changing plan options to include a $500 or $1000 deductible plan; out of pocket max differences. Changes to High Deductible Plans. Bullock asked about employee feedback; desire for family friendly rates. Discussion about splitting contribution. Discussion about reducing contribution and permissive mill; discussion about impact to tax payers (currently $2.90/year/$100,000 in value). Bullock would like to see a reduction in contribution to reduce tax payer mill; Blain agreed but noted actual material impact for most homeowners is minimal. Blain moved to approve Plan numbers 0012, 0042, 0071, and 0081; Bullock seconded; Bullock requested committee members request feedback from staff; Blain amended motion to keep contribution at $900 with any difference in premium going to dental, vision, or Flex or HAS within contribution limits; Bullock seconded amendment; motion carried. Blain noted argument to keeping contribution level at $900 will makeup for some of the loss or reduction in benefits including CPAP, Chiropractic, and hearing aid coverage. Plan selection motion carried. Blain moved to select DMNHR31 Dental Plan; Bullock seconded; motion carried. Blain moved to accept 300V Vision Plan; Bullock seconded; motion carried.
Blain moved to accept AFLAC Plan; Bullock seconded; Blain noted not having to be solicited will be good for employees; motion carried.
2:40 McQuillan discussed Homeland Security Grant (HSG) Application for Law Enforcement Radios and vehicles. Bullock confirmed there is no match required; discussion about surplus radios which would be compatible for most of the County’s current channels. New radios would be compatible with the State’s trunking system. McQuillan noted there is a chance they could be awarded a partial grant. Blain moved to approve request for HSG; Bullock seconded; discussion about separating the award into a separate fund until the overage from the last HSG cycle is resolved; motion carried.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer