May 23, 2023

May 23, 2023
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Carlene Anders and Jessica Farmer from the Disaster Leadership Team from the National Recovery Group met with Commissioners to discuss long-term recovery from the June 2022 flooding. Discussed their mentoring group that can help with the creation of a group to manage the ongoing recovery. Discussed how to better orchestrate donations and volunteers in future events.
9:15 Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator Cyrina Allen met with Commissioners for an update on debris removal. Allen noted issues with work south of Red Lodge particularly in the 400 Ranch and competing priorities between private contracts and the State’s Debris Removal Contractor.
10:00 Brent Moore, Tyler Lindbloom, and Alexis Sundheim from Interstate Engineering met regarding the Granite Road Bank Stabilization project bid. Lindbloom reviewed the Engineer’s Recommendation; recommended Montana Civil Contractors. Blain moved to approve; Bullock seconded; Blain noted public calls and desire to expedite the project; discussion about permit finalization and possible start date with SHPO compliance; motion carried.
Bullock moved to approve minutes for March 29, March 30, April 4, and April 6; Blain seconded; motion carried.
Commissioners discussed the Cedar Wood contents auction and holding a separate auction for surplus vehicle and equipment.
10:30 Brent Moore met to discuss the Fromberg EWP project through the conservation district. The project received a $350,000 award but requires a match upfront. Commissioners discussed the benefit of the project to the County’s Bridge and if it would be beneficial to provide the match on Fromberg’s behalf. Discussion on the admin/soft costs (7%) allowed by the grant program, the estimated project and engineering costs, and if the administration of the Grant could be transitioned from the Conservation District to the County. Bullock expressed concerns about setting a precedent for other municipal projects; Blain and Miller noted the County Bridge on East River Road makes the County’s involvement a little unique. Bullock moved to assist with the match requirement; Blain seconded; Blain emphasized the desire to take over administration and sponsorship of the project; motion carried.

Weed District Coordinator Brian Ostwald met to discuss the requests he has been receiving to perform weed inspections on properties for the purpose of placing a contingency on the sale. Commissioners did not have any concerns about the Weed District implementing charges for this service.
Bullock moved to approve employee time as submitted; Blain seconded; motion carried.
11:15 Human Resource Specialist Kate Asbury met with Commissioners. Bullock moved to close the meeting to discuss personnel issues related to Workers’ Compensation claims and management of Public Health employees while the Director was out; Blain seconded; motion carried.
11:40 Meeting reopened.
Human Resource Specialist Kate Asbury met to discuss her preliminary budget. Discussed fees for payroll processing, advertising, and background checks. Discussed Asbury’s wage; Newell requested she be elevated to the Top Clerk Rate July 1st and to the Admin Rate on her employment anniversary. Commissioners preferred to elevate to 80% July 1. Blain moved to increase Kate Asbury’s wage to 80% of the Elected Base wage as of July 1st; Bullock seconded; motion carried.
12:00 Lunch. Blain departed.

1:00 Calista Montgomery, Dan Gustafson, and Russell Cardun from Northwestern Energy met to discuss the Line Creek to Red Lodge 50KV transmission line rebuild project. Discussed the use of County Road yard for staging; NWE would lease the ground for $1,500/mo. A lease will be drafted and placed on the agenda.


Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer