April 18th Commissioner Meeting

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April 18, 2016

Commissioner Laura Obert called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  Commissioner Franklin Slifka and Commissioner Nick Korthals were also present.  

Public Comment: Bill Kearns said the Broadwater Community Foundation fundraiser over the weekend was a success. He also stated the Foundation awards $20,000 in grants every year, and encouraged people to apply. He stated it is a one page simple application. Mr. Kearns also mentioned that on May 11 (he thought that was the correct date) Hal Stearns, Historian, will be speaking to the school kids about Lewis and Clark. He will also be giving a presentation to the public that night titled “Montana Towns; Past, Present, and Future”.

Montana Minute: Commissioner Slifka mentioned the good moisture we received last week.  Commissioner Korthals commented on the good weather and rain, and noted many students are getting excited for graduation. Commissioner Obert said the High School Rodeo was held over the weekend, and Townsend kids did well.

Commissioner update:  Commissioner Slifka attended the Elkhorn Restoration meeting. Commissioner Korthals met with the County Attorney to get up to speed concerning MCA and County policies. Commissioner Obert attended an Agency on Aging meeting.

Commissioner Korthals moved to approve minutes dated 4/11/16.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Slifka and carried. Commissioner Korthals motioned to approve payroll in the amount of $164,314.92. Commissioner Slifka seconded and the motion was carried.

Commissioner Obert stated that she consulted with Chief Legal Counsel with MACo concerning certifications/qualifications of County Maintenance staff. It was verified that Mike is BOC 1 & 2 certified, and Eric is BOC 1 certified. Facts of construction work were verified, and everything was above board according to MCA. Commissioner Obert stated that if anyone has concerns about building projects that they need to contact the department heads that are overseeing the work. Commissioner Korthals stated that he knows that Mike works really hard to follow MCA rules and that he has visited with him. Bill Amsk asked if this was in reference to the roof on the museum. Commissioner Obert then read a letter from Linda Huth, Museum Curator, concerning the recent roofing project and her support of the County Maintenance staff.

Communications received: DEQ notice of wastewater discharge permit for Bozeman; MDT STIP program notice concerning switch of projects in Park County, the county needs to vote per MDT requirement. Commissioner Korthals moved to address the issue next week. FYI from Debbie Kelley, Insurance Committee, concerning increased premiums for county health plan. Issue of whether county will pay for increase or employees. Commissioner Obert stated that Debbie should be consulted about who will pay and possible COLA concerns. Letter emailed to Sheriff Meehan and County Attorney Swanson requesting MDT to address the speed zone in Winston, and possible new speed study. Commissioner Korthals stated that it will remove loopholes. Commissioners signed the letter. Commissioner Obert asked Commissioner Slifka if he had written a letter to MDT concerning the change in speed zone in the south end of the county. Commissioner Slifka read letter stating agreement with the change but residents would like a lower speed limit for safety. Commissioner Korthals motioned to send the letter in support of the lower 60 mph speed zone. Commissioner Slifka seconded, motion carried. Commissioner Slifka was asked about grant support letter for the Toston Irrigation District. Franklin read letter to DNRC. Commissioner Korthals motioned to sign letter, Commissioner Obert seconded. Commissioner Slifka abstained as he is a member of the Toston Irrigation District board. Motion carried and letter signed. Communication items are filed in the commissioners’ office as deemed necessary and are available for review.

COS Review: Nichole Brown, Community Development Director, requested signatures on survey to establish 75 foot easement to access the Transfer Site on North Cedar, and to confirm 90 foot easement for county access on county property. Commissioner Slifka asked if Marty Peters was aware. Nichole stated that access will not be changing for Mr. Peters, this is to correct a misunderstanding with him that he had a private easement. Nichole suggested that County Attorney Swanson draw up an agreement with Mr. Peters for a possible partial use easement so he can park his tractor-trailer there. The issue could be readdressed every two years and could be revocable by the county if needed. Nichole asked for signatures for the survey, restating that it had already been approved. Commissioner Slifka motioned to sign the survey, Commissioner Korthals seconded and the motion carried. The Commissioners signed the survey.

Public Hearing: Nichole Brown, Community Development Director, presented a request for area closure. The area is .03 miles in Township 7N, Range 1E, Sections 2 & 3, within an easement never used by the public. Ms. Brown read the notice published in the paper on 4/7 and 4/14. She received no written comment and only 1 phone call, but no concerns were noted. The area is already abandoned in the subdivision, goes nowhere and serves no purpose. Mike Delger asked if the other portion of the road that is not used can be abandoned at this time. Ms. Brown stated it has to be requested by the property owner. Commissioner Slifka said that he had checked with Nichole and made a motion for road closure. Commissioner Korthals seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Dana Rauser, Road Supervisor Monthly Update:  Talked about recent work, finishing up many local projects, especially blading. He also mentioned minor bridge issues that are being addressed. Dana said he would be taking Commissioner Korthals for a ride around District 2 soon. Mentioned need to haul red lime out of Cottonwood and Sandhill roads; pivots blow materials off the roads. Dana also brought up that he is looking to hire another full-time employee, so he can be freed up to manage and coordinate what needs to be done. Money is available in the budget. He stated he is looking at purchasing a new road grader at the beginning of the next fiscal year. He also brought up cattle guard situation with Carole Plymale. Dana stated that the post was on the ground before the first snow so the county plows did not cause the damage. He felt that the county should not pay for the repair. Commissioner Slifka asked if he had talked to Carole, Dana stated that he hadn’t but also hadn’t been contacted by her. Commissioner Korthals questioned why the county wasn’t notified when the damage was said to have happened in the fall, and said the county should not get in the habit of fixing damage they did not cause. Commissioner Slifka stated Dana should contact landowners of damage to their property, even if the county did not cause it. Dana also brought up that county equipment has a hard time getting through the smaller than regulation cattle guards without knocking things down.

Bill Amsk requested clarity on the museum ownership. Commissioner Obert reiterated that it is a public/private partnership. The museum building is owned privately, while the property it is on is owned by the county.

Commissioner Obert mentioned the Board of Health meeting at 3:00, and that the Wednesday Commission meeting had been changed to Thursday at 10:00.

Also present were David Nunn, Joan Hill, Chris Wright, Melinda Holom, and Larry Wright.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:01 a.m.  The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 25, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.