September 17, 2019
September 17, 2019
Commissioners Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock, and Christine Stovall, Clerk and Recorder were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
8:35 Public Comment: On matters within the Commissioners’ jurisdiction.
Doris Davenport came in to discuss the process of abandoning a county easement for Whitehorse North road. Commissioner Blain reviewed the petition process; he will follow-up with her and other affected landowners.
Commissioner Blain mentioned there was a head-on wreck by Whitehorse North road on the newly opened Highway 310 from Rockvale to Laurel. Commissioners discussed concerns with the highway not being completed as a four-lane highway as originally presented. People have been taking the old highway, now Clarks River Road, instead of the new highway to avoid the confusion. He will write a letter to the Department of Transportation regarding the concerns and the time frame to finish the new highway.
10:45 Commissioner Pits DeArmond joined the meeting.
11:00 Employee Time Approval: Commissioner Bullock moved to approve payroll as presented; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.
11:15 Commissioners received a letter to appoint Tim Wetstein to the Edgar Fire District. Commissioner Bullock moved to appoint Tim Wetstein for a 3-year term; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.
11:30 Department of Public Health and Human Services Maternal Child Health Grant. Commissioner DeArmond moved to approve the Maternal Child Health Grant; Commissioner Bullock seconded; motion carried. Public Health Nurse Roberta Cady i met with Commissioners regarding the Local Health Jurisdiction Non-Pharmaceuticals Intervention Plan. The Plan outlines what procedures can be used to prevent the spread of disease. Commissioners approved the annual revision of the Truck Wreck Protocol.
Roberta noted flu shots are available. The first Montana case of Influenza A was reported in Stillwater County.
2:00 Jail and Courthouse Facilities Discussion. Present: Commissioners Blain and DeArmond; Steve Simonson, Beartooth RC&D; Ken Gallegos; Gary Levine, Spectrum Architects; Kathleen Armstrong, Spectrum Architects; Russ Moorhead, Lombard Conrad Architects; Carbon County Sheriff Josh McQuillan; Mary Cameron, Red Lodge City Council; and Diane Dimich, Red Lodge City Council. Connected by conference call: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer and JB Moody, Commissioner Sweetgrass County.
Gary Levine reviewed Carbon and Stillwater’s responses to the needs assessment; Sweetgrass County has not yet responded. Commissioners, Angela, and Sheriff McQuillan reviewed recent jail tours noting a decision needs to be made as to whether or not to construct a larger facility to allow contracts with other counties to help pay operations and maintenance costs. Consideration also needs to be made to the waste water treatment and ensuring it does not have negative impacts on a municipal system; food service and the significant cost savings facilities have seen in contracting with the State prison to prepare meals; and space and programming for inmate enrichment. There was a discussion regarding adding an evidence storage facility to the site plan that could be used as an animal shelter if needed.
There was a discussion regarding Carbon County’s goals. Commissioner Blain believes the facility should be around 100 beds based on the information gathered at this point; others agreed a 100 bed facility would maximize staff and facility efficiencies for current needs. Sheriff McQuillan noted the importance of sufficient capacity so people can be held accountable for their crimes. Commissioner Blain also noted the importance of reducing liability associated with transporting prisoners.
Russ discussed the efficiencies of an 80 to 100 bed facility noting the minimum number of employees for 24/7 staffing. Currently Carbon County has 8 to 10 prisoners per day; Stillwater has 18 prisoners per day with roughly the same population. The national average is about 1 bed per every 500 residents. Sheriff McQuillan discussed with Sweetgrass County and their needs would be somewhere around 10 beds per day. Sheriff McQuillan believes 15 to 20 bed per day is more realistic to what Carbon County really needs and noted the number is deflated because of the current travel commitments to get someone into a contracted facility. McQuillan also noted there is a significant volume of outstanding warrants in the County that do not result in jail time because there is nowhere to house them. Stillwater has noted their numbers may also be deflated; their desired bed availability is 25-30. There was a discussion about other potential contracting entities including the City of Laurel, County’s currently housing in Yellowstone, Musselshell County, and federal agencies. Yellowstone County is not interested in contracting for beds, but is interested in deferring other agencies to Carbon to relieve their overcrowding.
2:30 Stillwater County Sheriff Kem and a Deputy Randy Smith arrived.
Russ noted the baseline growth rate should be considered so the facility can be built to accommodate growth for the next 20 years without oversizing the jail to burden taxpayers.
3:00 Commissioner Bullock rejoined meeting.
Russ reviewed housing needs and security considerations for inmate separation based on gender (plan to house male and female inmates), classification, special needs, isolation, discipline, medical needs, and inmate workers. There was also a discussion regarding jail operations including inmate work release programs, recreation facilities, food service, and laundry.
There was a discussion regarding internet needs for operations, video visitations, and attorneys while meeting with their clients. There was a discussion regarding the need for very high internet speeds if dispatch operations were relocated to the same site. Russ suggested one visitation space be provided for every 15 inmates; an 80-bed facility would require 6 visitation spaces.
There was a discussion regarding models for jail operations as follows. Direct supervision, where a detention officer is in the pod with inmates. Indirect supervision, where inmates are monitored from an elevated central control room that can observe a number of housing pods. The control room is generally behind mirrored glass with officers on rotations to physically check on inmates. Indirect supervision with intermittent direct supervision was presented as another option.
There was a conversation regarding other facility considerations as follows. Inmate intake and release area(s) and making sure procedures, including court transportation, are considered in the design phase. Sally port sizing, Sheriff McQuillan would like it big enough for 4 vehicles or one bus and two vehicles. Decontamination showers, eye decontamination stations, and gun lockers for arresting officers. Russ noted ideally they would have two booking counters to allow 3 people to be booked at a time with one in the photo area. There was also a discussion regarding the possibility of group holding cells, and individual holding cells that were padded or had a flushing floor sink for easy cleanup of bodily fluids. There was also a discussion regarding administrative space including a records room.
There was a discussion regarding work programs. Sheriff McQuillan noted their importance; he would continue to work with Alternatives. Sheriff McQuillan and Sheriff Kem also noted when appropriate they would continue to use Alpha House and Alternatives instead of putting people in jail.
Gary discussed selecting a land site for the jail; he noted project details and costs can be better estimated based on an actual site. Commissioners would like to consider a few different sites: one between Joliet and Columbus, one between Joliet and Laurel, and another in or around Red Lodge. Stillwater County would still contract for beds if the facility was in Red Lodge. Commissioner DeArmond mentioned the need for a sewage lagoon if the facility cannot be tied into city services; Fromberg recently put in a new sewage treatment facility that was not terribly expensive, water availability may be more difficult. Gary and Russ both suggested whatever site we consider, it should have capacity to expand the jail facility. Commissioners will write up a Request for Proposals (RFP) that would make land purchase contingent upon the passage of a bond measure. Gary will prepare other site selection criteria for the RFP including water rights, acreage (minimum of 5 acres with municipal water and sewer or 15 acres without), sewer, fiber optics, 3-phase power, and the availability of other utilities.
The next meeting with Spectrum and Lombard Conrad will be the 29th of October at 2:00. Commissioners will have site options to consider at that time.
4:40 PM Adjourned.
Respectfully submitted: Christine L Stovall, Clerk & Recorder