October 20, 2022
October 20, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Public Comment: Dave MacAusland met with Commissioners regarding his visit in the election’s office yesterday with Interim Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen regarding how voter rolls are kept updated and accurate. MacAusland noted that law enforcement was called and stated that he understood the safety concerns of the Office. MacAusland is concerned that ballots were cast in the 2020 General Election that were not valid. He would like to see a reduction in animosity from all parties and hopes that the Election Integrity project will demonstrate whether or not the principle of “one person, one vote” holds in Montana and if not, what needs to be addressed to correct any issues in electoral procedures. Discussed ballot harvesting concerns and requested that animosity towards the Lisa Bennett be toned down. Commissioners recounted the issues with Bennett and the accusations she and Chip have made against County employees and officials including calling Commissioner Miller (a decorated Veteran) a coward and Commissioner Bullock a liar. Commissioners requested the at least one or two people who believe their votes were not correctly counted to come forward so the issues can be investigated. Commissioners discussed their concerns with the canvas methodology and the statistical conclusions that were determined based off of a faulty method.
Commissioners approved the Auction Agreement with Musser Bros. Inc for the County Surplus Auction.
Newell noted after a conversation with Sanitarian Barbara Krizek and Lori Kane; it was confirmed that the Medicine Flower Lodge is not subject to DEQ Certificate of Subdivision Approval, but because it was permitted for a 5-bedroom residential home with a basement and has been operating as a 7-bedroom commercial lodge, it does not conform to the County’s Septic Permit. Newell will amend the condition in the letter for Commissioners’ Signature.
9:30 Red Lodge Mayor Kristen Cogswell met with Commissioners for her regular meeting. Discussed the flood response/recovery meeting next week and meeting with Rosendale’s office. Commissioners and Mayor Cogswell expressed their frustration of why the recovery for a 1,000 year event is being treated as “business as usual.”
10:00 County Attorney Alex Nixon met with Commissioners. Nixon approved the final language of the Cedar Wood Villa purchase agreement.
Discussed records request from Lisa Bennett. It was noted Newell and Clerk and Recorder Staff are working to try and produce what records they can easily; Newell will track costs and Commissioners confirmed they are not interested in waiving fees at this time. Discussed the Montana Department of Transportation’s removal of signs in the ROW (political, real estate, etc.).
10:30 Canyon Ranches Subdivision Final Plat. Forrest Mandeville, Interim Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen, Brent Moore Interstate Engineering, and Kate Stout of Red Lodge Surveying were in attendance. Mandeville reviewed the Staff report noting all conditions of preliminary approval have been met. Blain, having reviewed and considered the application materials, project memorandum, and all of the information presented, moved to approve the Canyon Ranches Estates Subdivision, final plat; Miller seconded; Bullock asked about fire access; motion carried.
Miller moved to approve the early claim run for October 2022; Blain seconded; motion carried.
11:00 Ferguson 1 lot Minor Subdivision. Forrest Mandeville, Interim Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen, Kate Stout Red Lodge Surveying, Cordell VanValkenburgh, Mary Sink, Curt Peters, and Dianna Ferguson were in attendance. Mandeville reviewed the staff report noting the preliminary and final plat are being presented to remove Ag Covenants. Mandeville noted comment from Ronald Bland requesting a 60-day delay in decision to further evaluate issues including traffic concerns that were raised. Montana Department of Transportation does not have any planned projects in the are of the Highway 72 and Highway 310 intersection. Miller having reviewed and considered the application materials, project memorandum, public comments and all of the information presented, moved to approve of the Ferguson Subdivision, with the findings included in the project memorandum; Blain seconded; Miller asked about easement for private road; it was confirmed the road is private. Peters noted this is the first letter received for notice of subdivision; asked why he never received notices prior. Mandeville noted prior splits have all been done through exempt processes; but to remove an Agricultural Covenants it must go through subdivision review. Miller asked about water rights associated with property; there are some. Ferguson noted the property will remain in Ag production, but is removing the covenant to construct a residence. Discussion about access; existing encroachment and approach and possible safety concerns. Discussion about changing proposed house site and requirements for permits from the sanitarian’s office; there is not a notification process for septic permits. Motion carried.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer