September 29, 2022

September 29, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
September 26 – 28th Commissioners attended the Montana Association of Counties Conference in Billings.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Interim Clerk and Recorder Macque Bohleen met with Commissioners regarding water leak in the basement. Alpha Omega will be here this morning to start mitigating mold; the insulation materials tests were negative for asbestos.
9:00 Contract Planner Forrest Mandeville, Bohleen, and Kate Stout from Red Lodge Surveying were present for the Royal Banco Subdivision Preliminary Plat. Mandeville reviewed the Planning Board’s recommendation (attached) of approval with conditions. Blain, having reviewed and considered the application materials, project memorandum, public comments, Planning Board recommendations, and all of the information presented, moved to approve the Royal Banco Subdivision and variance from road design standards, with the findings and conditions included in the project memorandum; Miller seconded; discussion regarding permit turnaround and DEQ sanitary requirements for drain field easements; easements will be established on the plat so they will follow the land as it is sold. Stout asked about the process of filing the fire plan. Motion carried.
Commissioners discussed the replacement of the VOLVO Excavator that was damaged in the spring flooding response. Bullock will check with CAT and RDO regarding machines awarded bids through cooperative purchasing agreements.
9:30 Red Lodge Mayor Kristen Cogswell met for her regular meeting. Discussed the flood recovery process and permitting frustrations. Council member Terry Durbin has requested a public meeting be scheduled to explain the recovery process to the public; Cogswell is concerned that there are not enough sufficient updates or new information to justify a public meeting. Discussion about 19th Street Bridge and significant rise of creek bed under the bridge; concerns about flooding next spring, and permitting challenges to recovery.
Jaylynn from Alpha Omega met with Commissioners regarding mold remediation in the Administration Building basement. Bullock signed the Work Order Authorization.
10:00 County Attorney Alex Nixon met for his regular meeting. Discussed Cedarwood purchase and quiet title for ownership to centerline of Clear Creek Road.

10:30 Vanderloose Treatment Center Group 2 Development Permit Appeal. County Attorney Alex Nixon, Contract Planner Forrest Mandeville, Tori Kolkhorst Senator Danes Field Representative, Carbon County News Reporter Denise Rivette, Bill Vanderloos, Jim Bushnell, Stena Bushnell, Treni Nauman, Darlene vanderloos, Kirk Dehler, Peter Vanderloos, Carolyn Yampradit, Tom Yarupradit, Anita Yampredit, Nancy Curtis, Thomas Cherewick, Kikayla Kovash, and Sierra Canfield were present. Mandeville suggested questions and responses be presented to the audience. Mandeville reviewed questions and responses (attached). Blain noted it would be interesting to know the business plan and asked about resident volumes; Vanderloos noted they would abide by State DEQ limitations, likely 15-20 clients. Discussion regarding the four residential areas that have water/toilet facilities; only the lodge is inconsistent in what was permitted and built (approved for 5 bedrooms, but has 7). Discussion of staffing operations, staff hiring (it was noted they have had high interest in staff positions), discussion about license requirement for staff and patient ratios. Currently have medical, clinical directors, and psychotherapists hired, do not have other positions filled. Blain noted residents of Carbon County are not likely to be able to afford the treatment center and asked if scholarship programs are being considered to better serve local populations. Discussion of how they plan to give back to the community; noted private pay facility model was chose to be able to provide better pay to their staff for retention. Noted one of the partners operates 3 similar facilities and a number of sober living facilities. Vanderloos noted work to build partnerships for patients to receive aftercare and assistance with re-entry to society. Bushnell expressed concerns about addition of septic with the surrounding surface water and adjacent water and waste water systems. Discussion that new construction is not in the immediate plans. Yampredit noted there is no need for 100% community backing and don’t have that for marijuana. Purcell asked about drain field that she believes by improperly encroach on her property; it was noted that all buildings currently on the property are permitted. Vanderloose noted condition of property purchase requires all items to follow law. Stena Bushnell ask about residence accountability and liability insurance for residents. Vanderloose emphasized facility is not come and go, and also noted that patients will be vetted before they are permitted to be treated in the facility and staff will be diligent in ensuring patients have transportation away from the facility at the end of their stay. Daily programming will occupy resident’s time each day, and all outings will be accompanied by staff. Blain noted the clientele of the facility are not likely to go steal items to pawn them. Discussion about what is and is not regulated by County zoning; no special provisions for medical facilities. Discussion of success rates and the impact a community has on success. Vanderloose noted they would like to work to address local issues.

Mandeville reviewed original approval and associated conditions; it is the commissioners’ role to uphold or alter conditions of original approval.

Blain moved to accept the conditions of the permit as outlined by the Planning Director; Miller seconded; Blain requested the conditions be altered to shorten the timeframe for “abandoning use to 1 year”; Miller is against the facility going into the County and is concerned about the professionalism of the business. Blain moved to amend condition #9 to shorten the abandonment timeline to 1 year for the permit to be abandoned. Blain discussed imposing an amendment limiting violent and sex offenders from being in the facility; Nixon is not sure that is within the scope of the County’s zoning authority. Blain requested that patient vetting weed out violent and sex offenders, requested local representation on a board of directors for the facility’s longevity. Stena asked about protection or regulation for fishing, Nixon noted those rules are set forth in MT law but, are not part and parcel to what is being considered today. Bullock believes this is a disservice to Mr. Vanderloose and surrounding landowners because of the shall pass provisions of the Zoning Regulations. In consideration of appeal, Bullock believes this is a challenging location and although he does not dispute the need he does not believe this is an appropriate location. Stena Bushnell expressed concerns about how she was addressed in previous meetings and who the facility is for (the elite). Blain noted the regulations were written with individual property rights in mind, thanked Bushnell for her comments and echoed her comments. Miller also echoed Bushnell’s comments. Miller and Blain voted in favor; Bullock voted against.

11:30 Agri Organics Group 2 Development Permit Appeal. Mandeville, Nixon, JB Farley, Jason Fasching, Tiffany Fashing, Sandra Mattews, Vicky Stricker, and Ron Stricker were present. Mandeville reviewed the original conditional approval. Blain moved to approve the development permit with conditions as outlined by the Planning Director; Miller seconded; Blain moved to amend Whitehorse N to Whitehorse S; amend condition #5 to add that the project must be limited to the project site plan with less than two acres of active working area (DEQ licensing requires minor composing facilities to remain under two acres); and to amend condition #13 to state that if activity on site is inactive for 1 year it will be considered abandoned. Blain noted zoning regulations are written to protect personal property rights and remarked that some of the signatories on the appeal do not live in a 1-mile radius of the site. Noted State regulations require a 500ft distance set forth for distance to residential properties, Blain believes the operation is pushing the limits of a Minor Facility under DEQ regulations; based on the material being composted as noted in the application Blain believes it would likely fall under the large composting facility rules. Discussion on the growth of the operation, concerns about fires, and impacts to surrounding subdivision. Blane stated that based on public comments and his own investigation it appears that the Agri Organics Composting Facility is and Industrial Use as a major composting facility and is subject to a Conditional Use Permit. Blain moved to withdraw his original motion; Miller seconded; motion carried. Blain moved to refer the Development back to the Carbon County Planning Board for review through the Conditional Use Permit process; Miller seconded; Blain noted Friday’s site visit there was a little debris floating around, but the smell was that of a packing facility; he would like to find a balance to address the neighbors’ concerns. Mandeville outlined the review process and higher fee for conditional use permit. Discussion from land owner and operators regarding the feasibility of operating a facility under the Major Composting Facility Rules, their intent to develop the business according to established regulations, and the exploration of alternate sites. Discussion of well water testing and ongoing monitoring; Mandeville noted the condition is based on language from the Oil and Gas Well Section of the Development regulations. The County does not have staff or expertise to review ongoing testing; the intent of the language was to provide baseline testing so if something changes down the line there is documentation that there has been a change. Motion carried.

Blain moved to approve the CRS Inmate Excess Medical Insurance and Claims Agreement; Miller seconded; motion carried.

Bullock moved to revise Planning Fees Schedule to add a $200 Examining Land Surveyor Review Fee; Miller seconded; motion carried.

12:00 Lunch

Jinell Bal and Rod Ostermiller from the South Central Regional Mental Health Center met with Commissioners. Discussed the proposed treatment center, alcohol tax allocations, and the Services Agreement for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year.

1:40 Brad Barker candidate for House Representative for District 58 met with Commissioners. Discussed the Election Integrity Project and the selective canvassing method which identified suspicious households thus skewing their sample. Discussed upcoming legislative session and possible land use and planning issues that may be addressed in light of increased development, permitting related to flood and the ownership of waterways and rules that were developed for large waterways like the Missouri River.

2:14 Blain moved to approve the Buy Sell Agreement with Cedarwood Investors LLC pending the addition of County Attorney approved language regarding a reduction in price if dictated by an appraisal; Miller seconded; Blain noted the Commissioners had originally contemplated a $70/ft sq price which would have been a $440,000 increase on the purchase price. Miller likes the prospect of consolidating office for ease of access to the public. Motion carried.


Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer