November 1, 2022
November 1, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
9:00 Sanitarian Barbara Krizek, Part-Time Sanitarian Scott Vandell, and Assistant Lori Kane met for the Environmental Health Department Monthly update. Krizek reviewed her written report attached (emphasizing that septic applications are still roughly double last year). Noted that Engineering West’s availability has been limited but they have been able to help on 3 projects in 2 months. Krizek noted the contract with Spry has been a huge help to get items pushed through the State Department of Environment Quality’s (DEQ) permitting process. Miller asked if there is a difference in the type of septic applications this year over last year; Krizek noted the housing crunch has increased inquires to add dwelling units to existing systems and new construction on less ideal properties making the applications more complicated. Krizek noted she has also received increased inquiries from new installers to be licensed locally which has increased the work load; new installers and out of area builders are not familiar with State and local rules and have complicated the process by building outside of what has been permitted. Vandell reviewed licensed establishment inspections; he noted the increased volume of vacation rentals has made it hard to complete other inspections. Krizek reviewed complaints. Noted cease and desist letter has been sent to Agri-Organics and also received a violation letter from DEQ. Krizek noted has discussed cleanup with DEQ and BNSF. Noted lapse in communication between event and her being brought up to speed. Now in DEQ’s hands.
9:40 Blain moved to adopt 2022-24 Requesting Authority for Distribution of County Minimum Allocation Grants for Water and Sewer infrastructure Projects to the Town of Bearcreek; Miller seconded; motion carried.
10:30 Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) Coordinator Cyrina Allen and Geospatial Information Systems Coordinator / Fire Warden Tom Kohley met for their monthly updates. Allen reviewed her written report (attached). Discussed sand bags and staging processes and locations to fill bags going forward. Discussion about emergency access to the Painted Lane Western Ranch Estates and alternate access as the subdivision bridge is not rated to accommodate a fire truck. Discussion of Temporary Public Information Officer (PIO); Allen would like the position to continue through end of the year 8-10 hours per week to build out resources and continue to assist with some flood related PIO work. Commissioners agreed to continue and re-evaluate in December. Allen noted she looking at restructuring DES and incorporating more mutual aid with Yellowstone and Stillwater Counties. Noted Kohley’s involvement in multiple areas and want to make sure he can focus on Fire Warden and GIS duties.
11:00 Carbon County News reporter Denise Rivette; Fromberg Salute for Veterans members Melody Kilwine and Debbie Pierce; Roberts Activity Committee members Ella Ayre, Kyle Mckenney, and Steve Keeber; Sandy Conleeof the Red Lodge Rotary Club, and Nedd Mockler were in attendance regarding a Special Highway designation request to the Montana Department of Transportation to name the Veteran Memorial Highway loop. Keebler presented the specifics of the 13,000+ veteran and memorial markers on Highway 308 from Red Lodge to Belfry, Highway 310 from Belfry to Rockvale, and Highway 212 from Red Lodge to Rockvale. Blain moved to sign a letter of support to designate the Veterans Memorial Highway Loop as presented; Miller seconded; Miller noted it is an honor to be part of the project; motion carried.
11:15 Discussion with Allen and Kohley continued. Allen noted do not have job description for Deputy DES, noted only assigned duties were LEPC, Allen would like to continue building her knowledge by making sure she is primary in the position, can focus on all aspects of her job description, and better build mutual aid with surrounding counties. Discussion about Kohley’s experience that is valuable; Kohley expressed some concerns that he would lose some of proficiencies in that area if he was not involved in the day to day activities. Blain noted he does not have preference for how it is structured. Allen noted if the Deputy position is continued, duties and chain of command need to be defined to insure Kohley’s primary duties are not sidelined. Allen noted she does not want tasks to be “project” oriented.
Allen noted this is the route other Counties are taking and would like to continue to build partnerships with the other Coordinators and State DES that have more capacity to backfill staff. Blain expressed concerns that Allen and Kohley did not have the conversation before presenting to Commissioners; noted he wants to make sure Kohley’s history and knowledge are not lost. Kohley agrees that better defined duties are necessary if the Deputy position is to continue, and concurs that he has plenty of work load in his primary duties. Discussion about Allen’s role as Public Health Officer and associated work load and potential need for assistance in other areas. Kohley noted that if there is going to be a separation, he wants to be out. Discussion about what was expected when Kohley was assigned as deputy/backup; Miller expected all items to go through Allen. Discussion about need for more clear chain of command and no duplication of duties. Commissioners requested Allen and Kohley discuss a plan to move forward with restructuring.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer