November 26, 2019

November 26, 2019
Commissioners Robert ‘Pits’ DeArmond, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock, Commissioners’ Secretary Barbara Daniel, and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance
Bill Palmer met with Commissioners regarding a detention facility land proposal in Joliet. The proposal was for lot 4 and 5 of Certificate of Survey 667 AM. Lots total 7.39 acres and they are asking $445,000. Bill noted water and sewer is available. Bill also discussed the benefits of moving the County seat to Joliet and encouraged Commissioners to consider moving it.
Commissioners discussed an email received from Kevin Owens regarding his concerns with locating the detention facility in or around Red Lodge. His concerns were regarding the people that would be attracted to the area to visit inmates. He noted this happened to the town in Oregon he moved from that housed Federal prisoners.

Commissioners received a letter from Captain Keith Edgell of the Montana Highway Patrol supporting the construction of a detention facility in Carbon County. He noted “Daily troopers come across active warrants for arrest…with bonds in the thousands of dollars. Due to jail space most of those go free with an advisement to get in and get it taken care of.”

Commissioners discussed the load posting email received for Bridge ID 02361(L05002114+04001) on Red Lodge Creek Road over Volney Creek. Commissioner Bullock will order signs for the 5-ton limit.

9:30 Commissioner DeArmond moved to accept minutes from October 29, 31, and November 5, 2019; Commissioner Bullock seconded; motion carried.

Commissioner DeArmond discussed requests to increase the priority for Tony’s Road as there are school aged children living on the road. Commissioner DeArmond noted the road is a priority 3 road and is not a bus route.

Steve Fredrickson met with Commissioners to discuss road products he sells.

10:00 DES Coord. / Fire Warden Tom Kohley and Deputy DES Coord. Annie Gillespie met with Commissioners for a disaster declaration. Commissioner Blain received a request from local beet growers and the southern Montana Sugarbeet Growers association for the Commissioners to pass a disaster declaration to help them access resources. The cooperative was hit hard, by the frost and ongoing freezing conditions.
Commissioner Bullock moved to approve Resolution 2019-18 Natural Disaster (Frost) Declaration; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.
DES Coord. / Fire Warden Tom Kohley will issue a press release for the declaration. Tom also noted the National Weather Service expects high runoff next spring as the early fall moisture saturated the ground.

Tom and Commissioners discussed storage locations for the traffic control signs. Not sure if there is available space at the Fairgrounds.

Commissioners received a letter from the Beartooth Humane Alliance (BHA) regarding their assistance with the 82 Strickland dogs seized by the Sheriff’s Office. BHA noted the significant donations received to help repay the County’s costs. BHA also expressed their frustration with the deferred prosecution agreement and the challenges it may present in a future incident. BHA does not believe there will be the same support in volunteer hours and financial contributions in the future.

Commissioner Blain noted Yellowstone County is considering moving the Mental Health Center’s (MHC) hub to downtown Billings. Commissioner Blain noted he only supports the move if it is financially feasible for the MHC. Commissioner Blain also noted Carbon’s satellite office is again the only satellite that has turned a profit; $4,157 in surplus revenues year to date. The therapist’s patient calendar is full most of the time unlike some of the other satellite locations.

10:35 Phil Manken met with Commissioners to present a formal detention facility land proposal from Norm and Gail Stevens. Phil noted the Stevens’ are willing to configure the lot and total acres to what the county needs. Commissioner Blain noted he will be meeting with Interstate Engineering regarding the cost to tie into utilities including municipal water and sewer.

10:45 Commissioner Bullock moved to approve employee time as submitted; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.

Commissioners discussed gravel crushing. Commissioner DeArmond noted they have hauled a lot of material out of the Tucker pit and there may be room to crush there if Joliet wants to wait for the Vukonich pit to be fully permitted.

11:00 Brent Moore from Interstate Engineering met with Commissioners regarding Detention Facility Planning. Sheriff Josh McQuillan, Denise Rivette, and Carbon County News reporter Eleanor Guerrero were also present. Commissioner Blain noted the various properties that have been proposed that could be connected to Red Lodge or Joliet municipal water and sewer. The City of Red Lodge estimated the cost of connecting their property at the airport would be about $2,000,000. Brent presented an outline of estimated project cost to connect to water and sewer at both locations was in the $2,000,000 range. Brent confirmed there is a significant coal slag underneath the City of Red Lodge’s property near the airport; it would need to be removed or a deep foundation anchor would have to be designed into the structure. Commissioner Bullock noted there are skyline development limitations for the west bench which would likely require a variance from City Zoning. Commissioners discussed the lot sizes recommended by the architects to make sure there is room for parking, expansion, storage; they are not sure the 3.5 acre parcel will be big enough.
They discussed the estimate regarding the Stevens property in Joliet; Brent noted the Town has a need for additional water storage which would also benefit the detention facility. He noted their cost assumes the extension of the 12” water line from Main Street to the site. This cost could be reduced if the portion that is 8” could remain. Cost estimate to connect to Joliet water and sewer was $2,021,325 and is on on the high end of actual costs. Commissioners asked about the DEQ approval process. Brent noted they will look at the town’s water and sewer system capacity; the Town may have to put in more water storage to accommodate the annexation.
Brent and Commissioners discussed the cost of constructing a standalone system. Commissioner DeArmond noted Fromberg’s project for their new lagoon cost about $2,000,000. Interstate Engineering’s estimate for a standalone was around $6,000,000 based on a system they built in eastern MT during Bakken oil boom. Commissioner Bullock noted the detention facility could potentially benefit a municipality by enhancing their water and sewer infrastructure for future development for that community.
There was a discussion regarding released inmates and public concerns about them being released into a residential neighborhood. Sheriff McQuillan noted other facilities require the arresting jurisdiction to pick up their inmates or for the inmate to have a ride out of the community. There was a discussion regarding outstanding warrants in various jurisdictions within the county. The total without Justice Court is over $416,000. For public discussion commissioners noted they would like comparison for Red Lodge & Joliet municipal sites and one rural standalone site to be determined.
Denise asked about mental health facilities like a crisis room. Commissioner Bullock noted they are looking at ways the facility will be able to limit recidivism, including providing mental health care. Sheriff McQuillan noted he plans to continue to use detention alternatives when they are appropriate.

There was a discussion regarding juvenile detention. Sheriff McQuillan plans to continue to use the facility in Billings; he does not feel juvenile crime is significant enough to include a juvenile component in the facility.

12:10 Adjourned

Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer