May 21, 2019
May 21, 2019
Commissioners Robert ‘Pits’ DeArmond, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock, and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present. County Attorney Alex Nixon, Road Union representatives Jerrid Bergum and Shawn Mains and AFSCME representative Josh Jessen were present.
1:00 Participants discussed changes to the Road Union Agreement. They discussed hours of work; they would like to change the regular work schedule and hours to Monday – Thursday from 7:00 – 18:00. The road crew has been working Monday – Thursday for quite some time, but the union agreement had not been updated. The Union and Commissioners discussed optional language to allow adjustments to the work schedule by mutual agreement so when the crew comes in early can go home early. The Union agreed members have no right to overtime and agreed to the optional language. It was noted a standby list is kept in the Red Lodge Shop during winter months; Commissioner Bullock noted the list is noticed one month in advance. Language was adjusted to make the standby list optional.
1:55 Ken Clark with Pacific Corps met with Commissioners regarding wind farm. He noted there will be another shift in the turbine layout because the Sage Grouse Oversight Committee grandfathering in projects 2014 boundaries and they would like to stay within that grandfathered project footprint. Pacific Corps is working with contract planner Forrest Mandeville regarding the Conditional Use Permit. Ken noted there will likely still be fewer turbines. Alex and Commissioners were not sure the changes would dictate a significant change to require another amendment to the permit. Ken noted Pacific Corps will also need to address the Wind Impact Fee and will be seeking a New and Expanding Industry tax abatement of 75%. Commissioners noted Montana Statute allows them to assess an impact fee up to 1.5% of project construction cost. Commissioner Bullock confirmed that the County is more interested in a cash payment rather than the previously negotiated agreement for gravel material, a fire truck, and road improvements. Ken noted an impact fee of ¾% may be more financially feasible for the project which is estimated to cost $300,000,000.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer