September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017
Commissioners Doug Tucker, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock, and Administrative Assistant Angela Newell were present.
8:00 Commissioners met with Road Foremen Matt Lammiman, Shawn Mains, and Eric Walker to discuss road issues and implementing a mechanism to track road maintenance.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance
9:00 Civil Deputy Jacque Papez and Deputy County Attorney Shannon Foley met with Commissioners. They discussed yesterday’s meeting with the Mud Springs Wind Project representatives Jacque noted that any revisions to the Impact Fee Agreement were premature as the Planning Director needed to determine if the project should be considered for a new Development Permit. Also discussed the Red Lodge Cemetery Interlocal Agreement the Commissioners did not have 48-hour notice to make decision on the Agreement today. It was noted the City still needs to resolve ownership issues.
9:30 EverPower Development Director Gary Verkleeren, Chief Development Officer Masahiro Ogiso, and Director of Environmental Affairs Seth Wilmore met with Commissioners to discuss changes to the Mud Springs Wind Project. Civil Deputy Jacque Papez was present. Gary gave an overview of company and project history noting $3,000,000 has been invested in the project since 2014 including surveying, wildlife mitigation, and over 10,000 acres of land leases. They are looking at completing the project in 2019. Gary noted the eagle study concluded in May 2017 and EverPower believes they have a way forward to get an eagle take permit. It was also noted, the project requalified for federal tax break under purchase of a transformer; no foundation concrete has been poured. Commissioners agreed “construction” has not started per the Impact Fee Agreement and no Impact Fee is currently due. Gary also noted PacificCorp is no longer interested in purchasing the project; they expect a hearing with the Wyoming Public Service Commission regarding enforcing the Power Purchase Agreement. Commissioners agreed with Jacque Papez that revisions to the Impact Fee Agreement should be put on hold until Planner Forrest Mandeville determines if the revised project can use the existing Development Permit.
10:30 Sheriff Josh McQuillan and Clerk of District Court Rochelle Loyning met with Commissioners to discuss court room alternatives. Lola Ashby was present. Commissioners noted they toured the old hospital; the architect believes it is cost prohibitive to remodel or demolish the building for County use.

11:00 Dan Gainer, County Attorney Alex Nixon, Alistair Baker, and Lola Ashby met with Commissioners regarding the Red Lodge Cemetery District. The City of Red Lodge passed an Interlocal Agreement for Administration of the District. Red Lodge Surveying is finalizing the legal description of the district boundaries. The City believes the ownership of the north ease portion of the cemetery is not an issue because statute provides for the land to be designated a cemetery if it has been in use for a period. County does not believe ownership issue is settled; the land in question is currently owned by the Drapers in the deed record. Alex noted there are complications with the land being acquired after the District is created as law requires joint ownership. Commissioners noted once the legal description is finalized and ownership issues are resolved they can order the referendum election.
12:00 Lunch

1:00 Molly Bell Senator Tester’s Office met with Commissioners. Discussed Payment In lieu of Taxes (PILT) and the importance of that revenue to the County. Commissioners asked for help identifying grant sources for road infrastructure to improve access to recreation sites. Commissioners also noted their frustration with legal battles that prevent proper forest management and have contributed to devastating forest fires. Also discussed floodplain and burden on low income landowners to comply with regulations to protect property in the floodplain.

1:40 Adjourned

Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Assistant