Commissioners Proceedings

Monday, July 20, 2015

   9:00 AM  CONVENE

  PRESENT  William L. Randash, Chairman; Steve Baldwin and Deb Ranum, members; and Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder.

  9:00 AM  Scott Rabbitt-Park Supervisor

   Shade structures-Both of the shade structures Scott ordered will not fit at Ironhorse Park.  One (1) was supposed to be for the pump track and one (1) was supposed to be for the spray park.  Scott asked if he could have permission to move one to the playground area at the Triangle Park (Lake Park). All Commissioners granted permission. Scott stated the contractors will be here to pour footings for the shade structures and will then have to wait for them to cure for 2 weeks.

  9:15 AM Delinquent Tax List-Barbara Ketterling, Fallon County Treasurer/Assessor, brought the current delinquent tax list to the Commission for review.



   The Commission reviewed and signed the following Journals.

   #666-Move Library claim from #370 to #380.

    #667-Budgeted Cash Transfers

     #668-Record Landfill Trust Account into County Books

   #669-Adjust Landfill Post Closure Accounts to balance with Wells Fargo Trust Account

   #670-Adjust Landfill Liability Account to match Engineer’s Figures per Auditor recommendation

#672 – Adjust Retirement Complex Equity figures (from several years ago) to retained earnings per Auditor recommendation.

#673-FY2015 Road and Bridge Inventory booked to County Books



Special Project Report-DuWayne Bohle-July 15, 2015-Report for South Sandstone Project-Matting installed on west shoreline and new gravel applied; Ironhorse Park-South and east sidewalk poured to entrance, landscaping rock placed, conduit tubing placed in ground, toward entrance; Fairgrounds-Cold Storage-landscaping being done around exterior, aprons at roll-up doors completed and Big Barn Roof-completed; Gun Range Project-fencing installed around HVAC system and gravel spread around inside fenced area, building needs rain gutters installed.



  Septic Permit-Kaytlen Crawford-$50.00

  Goldenwest Electric Co-op-Phone dividend-$49.67




    The Commission received a letter from the EMS Director stating she would be out of the country from July 20th through August 5th and left contact information for the EMS volunteer that would be handling some of the duties while she is gone.

   Warranty Notice-Basic warranty for 710K John Deere expires September 9, 2015

  Workforce Housing – The Commission received notification from Mary Grube of the adoption of Workforce Housing Regulations at the Planning Board Zoning Commission Board meeting on August 3, 2015.  Once they are adopted KLJ will assist with the formal request for additional funding from CTAP (Community Technical Assistance Program) which assists with these types of projects.

   Safety Meeting-The Commission as well as Fallon County employees were notified there will be no August safety meeting.

    Sanitarian Notification-The Commission received a copy of a letter sent to the owner of the old Plevna Garage regarding public nuisance laws and the Sanitarian’s willingness to assist in giving information of contractors that will remove old buildings.

    Fallon County Board of Adjustment-The Commission was notified of the Notice that was placed in the Fallon County Times seeking a Board of Adjustment for Fallon County.

    Fallon County Boards-The Commission was notified of the Notice that was placed in the Fallon County Times seeking members for the Lake Advisory Board, Salary Commission and Tax Appeal Board.

     2015-2019 Final Statewide Transportation Improvement Program-The Commission was notified the final version of the STIP (listing of transportation improvements planned for Montana) over the next five federal fiscal years was available for viewing online at

    FWP Public Hearings-Commission was notified of Public Hearings to be held by FWP to consider proposed amendments to ARM’s rulings pertaining to game damage hunts.

   THANK YOU-The Commission received a thank you from the Town of Plevna Clerk, Jodi Miller, for the delivery and use of the safe delivered on their behalf.

   Sage Grouse Coalition Meeting-The Commission was notified of the sage grouse coalition meeting which would take place July 29, 2015 at 11:00 MT.  They will discuss the next steps for the Data Quality Act challenge, the likely outcome of the sage grouse protests and the Governor’s consistency reviews and other sage grouse issues.  This would take place via teleconference and is sponsored by Western Energy Alliance.

    Early Migratory Bird Season-FWP-The Commission received notification from FWP they are requesting public review and comment on the Early Season Migratory Bird Regulations. The comment period will end August 3, 2015 at 5 PM. Comments can be made online or mailed to the FWP-Wildlife Division-Attn:  Public Comment – PO Box 200701-Helena, MT  59620-0701.

   Safety Recalls-The County received important safety recall information for the Dodge Durango, Dodge Magnum and 2006 Dodge ½ ton, pertaining to the driver airbag inflators.


     he Commission made the decision to check into purchasing an online subscription from the Billings Gazette since the mailings do not allow for timely deliveries.




    The Commission reviewed the Consultant Agreement between GEUM Environmental and Fallon County to assist with mitigation, etc. for the Baker Lake.  The Commission will review and sign after discussing with Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney, this afternoon.



  #608-Commissioner Ranum signed Encroachment Permit #608, as Commission Member-District #1 for Continental Resources to bore a County Road in Section 35-7-61 for a water injection pipeline.    


   Property and Supply Bureau-Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to adopt Resolution 2016-03- Allowing Fallon County employees to purchase Federal Surplus Property from the State of Montana-Property and Supply Bureau.  Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried.  Resolution 2016-03 is filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.


Commissioner Randash signed work orders for Mid-Rivers to cancel the Museum fax line as the line no longer works and to have Mid-Rivers move extension #8164 to another location due to an office move.


  The Commission reviewed the breakdown from Zachmann Construction Service to pick-up, assemble and attach work spaces to the walls in the Fallon County Office Machine Room. The Commission is still waiting for a second quote before a decision will be made.


  The Commission granted permission for the Fair Board to attend Fair Convention in Layton, Utah-November 11-14, 2015. The Commission does not plan to attend.



    The Commission reviewed the Powder River Training Complex Informational Brochure emailed to the Commission by the United States Air Force.  The brochure included detailed information on future operations in the PRTC and its expansion which is scheduled to be charted by the Federal Aviation Administration September 17, 2015.  Military flights by Ellsworth Air Force Base of South Dakota will begin in portions of the complex soon after.  This expansion will have effects on operations at the Baker Municipal Airport.         

  10:00 AM  Road Report

  Bobby Wiedmer, Road Supervisor; Alba Higgins, Shop Foreman; Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering

  Truck 532-The clutch went out on truck #532

   Truck 162-Truck 162 is currently being used to pull the backhoe

   Autocar-They took the autocar to the Landfill for their use.

  New trucks – The new Freightliner trucks will be in later this year. Bobby and Alba would like to take one of the MACK trucks to be stretched in preparation of making it into a dump truck. They would also like to rig one or two trucks up with pintle hitches.  Permission to get started on both trucks.

   Broom-The air conditioner is now working.

   Truck-The truck with no AC had a broken compressor case.

    Rake and Mulcher-Both are back in town.

   Airport Road-Working on the car gate and the culvert in the approach for Tom Owens.

     Culvert-Plan to place a culvert by John Tronstad’s if it is dry enough

   Wang Pit-The Road Crew is hauling on the Anticline Road from the Wang Pit

  Blade oilfield road-One of the blade operators called to see if he could blade an oilfield road they are using; the road is rough. The Commission stated they do not want this road bladed as it is not a County Road.

    Brott Easement-Bobby and the Commission approved and signed the Ken and Debra Brott easement, drawn up by Spencer Huether, for Section 6, Township 7 North, Range 57 East. This was signed because their neighbor’s mortgage company felt they were land locked without the easement.

  10:20 AM  Alba left the meeting.

Shannon-Sparks’ Wetland Delineation-The group discussed the delineation for the Sparks’ structure replacement.  The County will move forward and stay under the 1 acre so there is no mitigation to complete.  Due to the grasses they are saying anything over 1 acre is located in the wetlands.  Due to this they may not be able to change the road at all.  Shannon will send the papers to the Corps of Engineers.

  NESHAP Acknowledgements-The Commission received the acknowledgement statements from the DEQ for the Kramlick/Sparks structures.  Testing was completed per the Montana Asbestos Control Act, using NESHAP Standards, to confirm there was no asbestos on either structure.  The tests were performed before either structure could be removed and replaced with new structures.  NESHAP stands for the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.  The acknowledgment certificates end November 1, 2015.  Both acknowledgements are filed in the Commissioners’ office.

  Lower Dam Inspection-Shannon brought the Preliminary Report for the lower dam inspection.  Shannon has a few more items to complete before he will release his final report.

    Upper Dam-Commissioner Randash asked if the upper dam was going to have to be reseeded. Shannon stated it would not. Commissioner Baldwin stated he was over there and also said it looked good.    

    Fletcher Creek Structure-Will need to send the Compliance Certification to the Corps of Engineers if we haven’t already done so.  Will also need to send the NOT (Notice of Termination) for storm water discharge associated with construction activity.

    Compliance Certification-Commissioner Randash signed the Compliance Certification to be sent to the Army Corps of Engineers regarding completion of the Fletcher Creek box culvert structure.

   DEQ-Notice of Termination (NOT)-The Commission received a copy of the NOT of Storm Water Discharge Associated with the construction of the Fletcher Creek box culvert structure. A copy is filed in the Commissioners’ office.

  Feed Mill Structure-The grass is coming in, with some weeds but that is just fine.  Diamond J took out the SWIPP permit and has not turned it over to the County yet so this is Diamond J’s responsibility.

  Ketchum Structure-The completion paperwork for this bridge will be sent in as well.

  Property Pin-The replacement of the property pin for the Singer property has been completed.

   Certificate of Survey-The COS for the Lyle and Dorothy Neary will be taken to the Planning Department.

  11:00 AM  Liz Franz, Larry Richards, LaRita Huether and Lisa Rieger, Department of Revenue

   Commercial Appraiser-Larry explained with budget constraints and staffing issues, the State of Montana cannot place any more personnel than they already have presently.  Commissioner Ranum asked if Fallon County could hire their own.  Larry stated they would have to be State of Montana employees and feels confident they are covering our area.  Liz stated they have four (4) commercial appraisers they can bring over to Baker or any area counties. The Commission was concerned because some commercial businesses were never picked up from previous years for tax purposes. Liz stated those items have been taken care of.

    Larry stated Lisa is a go getter but she is now only certified for Residential/ Agricultural at this time.  Lisa stated if she sees a commercial building she contacts the Commercial Appraiser.  Larry stated he feels confident Lisa will be advanced very soon to Commercial Appraisals.  Commissioner Baldwin asked if the issue was Legislature based.  Larry stated it is the Department of Revenue justifying more positions.  Larry stated he would like to see everyone be certified as Commercial.  Liz reiterated they feel very confident the commercial side is being covered with LaRita, Lisa and the other four (4) individuals that come down. Commissioner Ranum stated she was unaware they had that many for this area. The Commission had just heard there were several Commercial properties that had never been on the tax rolls.  Commissioners Randash and Baldwin agreed.

    Liz expressed they were not sure about the centrally assessed property because they do not handle that.  LaRita and Lisa expressed they both write things down as they see them (new construction).

   JoMax Personal Property-The group discussed the sheriff putting stickers on the JoMax equipment due to their delinquent personal property taxes in Fallon County.  Larry explained the process and stated the sheriff monitors the equipment; if the Company moves the equipment they have broken the law.   

   Vault Storage-Commissioner Ranum discussed DOR papers stored in the basement vaults.  LaRita took care of items in the new vault downstairs.  There are a lot of old books in the old vault that belong to the DOR.  LaRita was only in that vault once and did not know there were items stored in there as well. Larry stated anything after 1973 is Department of Revenue and anything before that is Fallon County’s.  LaRita was unsure how to take care of those items. Liz explained they have to go through the Retention Schedule and find out what can be asked for permission to destroy.  Larry stated they need to be sure to keep the GLO books (original survey books).  The tax roll books can be asked for permission to destroy.  Commissioner Ranum asked if the County can add that space to the lease agreement.  Larry stated yes.  Liz also needs to know what the figure will be.   

     Lease Agreement-As of this time the lease agreement has not been signed as they wanted to discuss these items with those present first.  Commissioner Baldwin stated the Commission has also been discussing possibly swapping offices with the Treasurer/ Assessor but that is not definite. Larry stated that would not be a problem other than the expense to move computer and phone lines would probably have to be the County’s expense as the Department of Revenue has no funding for that. Larry also stated the State allots 350 square feet per employee; as long as they have that amount of space that should not be a problem.  They will stay in touch as far as the lease agreement goes.

  12:00 PM  Everyone left the meeting.

  12:00 PM  RECESS

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to recess. Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion.  3 Ayes.  0 Nays.  Motion carried.

   Noon recess.


  PRESENT  William L. Randash, Chairman; Steve Baldwin and Deb Ranum, members; and Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder.

  1:15 PM  Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager and Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff

     Other Job Descriptions-Permission was granted to move other job descriptions up the list to accommodate Sheriff Harbaugh’s time.

  Detention Officers-Job Description-Discussed adding the dispensing of medications.  The Health Nurse prepares the prescription medication for dispensing. Trenton stated they do also allow for medications that do not require a prescription such as pain-aid, etc.  The Detention Officers dispense the medication to the prisoners.  All of this is logged and signed off-on in the same book in accordance with established guidelines.

   Wages-Julie looked at wages for Detention Officers from around the state and around the country; Trenton took care of checking with the countiess.  Trenton would like to be in line with Dispatcher’s wages.  Julie feels the .75 cent stipend the Dispatchers have been receiving will remain as is. Julie also discussed high turnovers for those Detention Centers that do not pay good wages. Commissioner Randash mentioned the Dispatchers possibly wanting to move over to the Detention Center side. Trenton explained he just needs to know one way or the other so he can start advertising for the positions.

  Probation-The group discussed probation periods.  Trenton feels they would have to complete a one (1) year probation and they would receive their next bump in pay after they take the Detention Officer training.

   JoMax Equipment-Trenton will be placing stickers on the Jo-Max equipment for delinquent personal property taxes.

  1:40 PM  Trenton left the meeting.

    IT Position-Andy Fujimori will be the new IT person, he is very excited and Mr. Dilworth, IT, is very excited as well

   Fire Codes-Julie discussed the door between the Department of Revenue and Treasurer with Tom Bruha, Fire Chief, and Tom discussed with the State Fire Marshall and the door between the two offices is not considered an exit unless it is written into County policy.

  Inside Building Maintenance -Julie and the Inside Maintenance Supervisor are working together on new check lists for her Department. Lynda is very open to suggestions and is very cooperative.  Lynda’s Department will be assisting Julie with her move next Monday.

   MEMO-Julie would like the Commission to send out a memo to the employees that states they “employees” may receive feedback from Human Resources via the Commission. Julie explained Fallon County employees are not used to having an HR Department and this would be knowledge that may assist them if approached.  The Commission will do so.

   Drivers-Julie discussed in prior years the Fair Board has been using individuals to drive the band members “Fair Entertainment” wherever they need to go.  They are by their side from the time they pick them up until they drive them back to the irport.  Due to liability issues Julie would like to propose the new individuals be County employees and be paid $400.00 per weekend. They are with the band at all times unless they are sleeping, you cannot drink, you cannot take part in the Fair, etc.

   Vehicles-Also, the vehicles that were being driven were from HKT were not insured under the County policy.

   Thank you-As a thank you to past drivers, Julie would like to suggest these individuals receive rodeo tickets and concert tickets for their contribution in assisting the Fair Board.       

  Job Description/Special Projects-Julie handed the updated job description for the Special Project position to be reviewed by the Commission.  Julie also met with the supervisor and they were agreeable with the description.

   Detention Center Wages-The group discussed the Detention Center wages.  Julie discussed Dispatch will always be paid .75 cents more when there is a prisoner in jail to be monitored. Julie feels the wages discussed are fair. Commissioner Ranum did not feel there was fairness or equality with the pay some of the employees receive verses others in the County and did not wish to discuss it any further today.   

  2:20 PM  Julie left the meeting.

  2:50 PM  Commissioner Ranum left for the day.


    The Commission reviewed and approved the mid-month claims in the amount of $1,409,261.66 and they are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.

  3:10 PM  Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder/Insurance

   Ford Fusion-Hail damage-$3,748 to repair.  The decision as to proceed with repairs.

   Landfill (old shop)-Garage door, Tom Kachel, Landfill Manager, feels there are 3 different types of damage to the door; wind and a piece of equipment hit it and possibly hail damage. It was unsure if the old shop would be moved and utilized at the new location.  The Commission asked to report this to the Insurance Company.

    3:15 PM-Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney; Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager; Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff; and Mike Reddick, Police Chief-City of Baker



   Contract Position-Commissioner Randash suggested contracting a manager for the Gun Range. You would let that person take care of hiring and paying attendants, therefore, would not be employees of the County. Discussed the fact you need to know the hours you will be open first; also discussed this person would have to be a qualified to be a Range Master.  You could look at this further down the road and decide if the usage warrants a change. The group felt this was a great idea. Commissioner Randash stated this was not all his idea.

  Handling of Money-Will need to find out if they have to be bonded if handling monies.

   24/7 Use-Mike explained a different scenario such as a Snap Fitness Center and their 24/7 availability. You get a card; you sign off on safety issues, the lights come on and go off, depending on when someone is using the facility.  Trenton discussed the Gun Range Board charging an amount for a certain length of time on each lane. This would be an “On Your Honor” system but it would be like having someone there to keep the facility open 24/7.  If no one is there you could keep using the lane. Discussed members from out of town here for the day and how they would get in.  You would then call the number for assistance. If this was the way the Commission decided to proceed they could contract or employ attendants for maintenance, clean-up, and sell memberships or to be available to answer calls with questions.  It would be similar to the way the outside range is used now; no employees staffed out there now.

  3:55 PM  Rich Menger, Sanitarian joined.

  Sales/Cards-Discussed who would sell the inventory.  Mike stated the targets could be provided or they could provide their own. The cards would be programmed similar to a cardtrol, you can suspend a card for misuse of the facility, allowing others to use your card, etc.

  Attendant-The attendants could monitor the cardtrol, security system by reviewing the videos, monitor filter systems, maintenance either by employee or contract status.

   Cards-Discussed the cards could be issued as monthly or annually.    

  Cardtrol and Video Cameras-Will do some checking on the video cameras and cards.

  4:20 PM  Everyone left the meeting with the exception of Darcy.

  4:20 PM  Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney

Department of Revenue Lease-The decision is to add to the square footage from the vault space used and need to make the decision as to whether the DOR and Treasurer may swap offices.

   Leases-Would like to have them ready so they can notice the landowners by January so they have time to review the leases. Also need to decide how to handle AUM’s (Honor System for turn-in/turn-out times).  The Commission feels they should wait to discuss further with Commissioner Ranum.  Darcy recommends they put this back on the agenda again.

GEUM Environmental Agreement -This agreement looks straight forward and the Commission should be fine to sign it. Commissioner Randash signed as Chairman of the Commission and the Agreement will be placed of record in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.

   Jasen Wyrick-Darcy stated Jasen stopped by to give her gravel prices. Darcy explained this has to go to bid if they are tying this person up over a year. Jasen also discussed different prices per pile and that he was not guaranteeing a price to the County. The County could also pay to store the material at the pit. The Commission will visit with Jasen again.   

     Easement on Lakepath-The City has brought their easement for review; Commissioner Baldwin will talk to Karol Zachmann and see what the Millennium group had for easements. Someone will need to contact a surveyor.

  4:50 PM  Richard Menger, Sanitarian

   OLD PLEVNA GARAGE-Mr. Jeppeson is planning to sell the old Plevna Garage rather than repairing the garage. Rich explained to Darcy he will need Darcy to write a complaint letter stating he will now have to respond with a correction plan.  Rich stated Mr. Jeppeson’s plan of action has to take place within 60 days.

  4:55 PM  Darcy left the meeting.

   Baker Lake-Rich brought in the map drawn up from GEUM Environmental regarding the stages in which they should proceed on the work for the Baker Lake and explained the map will change within the next 2 weeks.  Rich stated deepening the lake is a major part of this plan.  Rich will keep the Commission informed of everything.

   Inspections-Rich is ahead on the inspection items; and slightly under on a few other duties in comparison to last year.  Rich is already where he was last year in November.  Commission told Rich he was doing a good job.


Commissioner Randash signed as Chairman of the Board the final paperwork for Grant #3-30-0004-018-2015 for the Baker Municipal Airport Grant Closure. This will allow the County to receive the balance of funding available for the work completed in a prior fiscal year. Funding was not available due to the timing of work completion and the fiscal year end. The grant paperwork is filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.

  5:10 PM  RECESS

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to recess. Commissioner Randash stepped down to second the motion. 2 Ayes.  1 Absent. 0 Nays. Motion carried.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015


  PRESENT  William L. Randash, Chairman; Steve Baldwin and Deb Ranum, members; and Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder.

  9:30 AM  Jason Rittal, Executive Director-EPEDC (Eastern Plains Economic Development Corp)

    Letter to the Governor-Will try to contact the 16 Eastern Counties regarding this letter, which discusses the requirements placed on counties and their local taxpayers by State and Federal jurisdictions, when working on projects such as road and bridge maintenance.

   Discussed a letterhead of some type to be used that would be appropriate for any county to use.  Commissioner Ranum suggested using a map of Montana with stars depicting the counties that are participating in the letter. Jason stated they are having the response returned to EPEDC at that PO Box. Jason will take the letter to the EPEDC Board meeting to strategize with them and see how many counties would be willing to sign the letter.

   Fallon County Water and Sewer District (Stanhope)-Jason has been working with a landowner/developer for quite some time, who had earlier planned to place a lift station on their property.  At that time FCWSD would have been able to pay to hook into the lift station but it has been hard for Jason to keep contact with them as of lately. Jason received a message from Jerry Springer (developer) who stated they would be able to pay for a portion of the lift station or the County could complete the lift station and they would pay the County back.  This will need to be discussed with Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney, to prepare an agreement if the County were to pay for the installation of the infrastructure with a payback and a connection fee agreement.

  Easement-Jason needs to contact Darcy regarding what type of easement could be drawn up such as a construction easement and a full easement for the City, because the City will eventually own the lift station.

   Design-Jason will need to have Brosz get in touch with Stahly Engineering regarding what Brosz has worked on for this project as far as the design.

   Easement-The Commission will contact Darcy and let her know what is happening so far and will discuss an agreement that stays with the land no matter if there are new owners that come on board. Will also need to discuss the hook-up fees, etc.   

  Letter-Jason will also need a letter from the developer stating Brosz Engineering has the authority to turn plans over to Stahly Engineering for this project.

   Engineering Design/Review Fees-The Commission had previously agreed to assist FCWSD to fund portions of the sewer project. The Commission agreed to disperse $130,000 to assist with the engineering designs and the DEQ review fees.

  10:30 AM  CORRIDOR STUDY MEETING-Commissioner Randash attended the Corridor Study meeting in the Library basement.   

Leases – Commissioners Ranum and Baldwin discussed items that happened after Commissioner Ranum left yesterday. Commissioner Ranum feels the Commission should write a letter to the lease holders and ask how they feel they (lease holder) should use the land in a responsible manner.

    Claims approvals-Commissioner Ranum asked if there were any claims that were out of the ordinary. Commissioner Baldwin stated they had a few questions that they are waiting for answers and will hold those up until further information is received.

  11:00 AM  Commissioners Ranum and Baldwin left to attend the Corridor Study meeting in the Library basement.   

  11:50 AM  Commissioner Randash returned from the meeting.

  11:55 AM  Commissioner Baldwin returned from the meeting. Commissioner Ranum was in the Planning Department.

  11:55 AM  Debbie Wyrick-Deputy Clerk and Recorder/Insurance

   Insurance questions-Debbie stated she was contacted by the Fair Board regarding rental of mobility scooters to be used during the Fair. Debbie contacted Jim Leischner, County’s Insurance Agent, and this would be no more liability than anything else at the Fairgrounds. Discussed a rental agreement for the use of the scooters. Jim recommends getting individuals to sign a waiver.  Debbie needs to know if the Commission is okay to insure the scooters if the Fair Board proceeds. Yes, if it is decided they can proceed they should be insured. Commissioner Baldwin would like to visit with the Fair Board about this first.

   Transportation of Band-Debbie discussed Fair employees providing transportation for the band members. At this time they plan to borrow 2 vans from the Lutheran Church and 2 County employees will drive the vans. The County should put the vans on the County’s insurance during this time and the County would be the “First Insured” if anything were to happen.  The Commission agreed this is how this should be handled.

  Accident-Sheriff Deputy (Tim Grube) had a small accident with the County pickup.  A delineator post was run over while trying to assist a public member; the post was located along the side of road and had been previously run over.  This apparently ended up puncturing a hole in the transmission cooler. Decision was not to turn this in to the Insurance.

   12:00 PM  RECESS

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

  12:00 PM

  Commissioner Baldwin attended the EMCMHC Coalition meeting in the Library basement.


Thursday, July 23, 2015


  PRESENT  William L. Randash, Chairman; Steve Baldwin and Deb Ranum, members; and Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder.

  10:00 AM  Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager

  WAGE DISCUSSION-Commissioner Randash stated we are here today to discuss wages for various departments.

Commissioner Ranum stated in looking at the salary schedule she feels some of the departments are falling behind on the wages, such as, Joe Janz, Outside Maintenance; and DuWayne Bohle, Outside Maintenance/Special Projects; and the Landfill employees.  Commissioner Ranum feels Joe and DuWayne should be paid $22.00/Hr. to start; $23.00/Hr. after 6 months and $24.00/Hr. after 1 year.  Commissioner Ranum feels Joe and DuWayne should be paid equally.

    Julie stated she would object to that because Joe is the Supervisor.  Commissioner Baldwin explained they wanted to set DuWayne up as his own department but the Commission was told he had to have a Supervisor. Julie feels the Commission would have to change the structure. Commissioner Randash agrees with Julie because this is a 30 hour per week position and Joe is the Supervisor and does not feel they should be paid the same. Julie discussed this is for the position, not the person, because when that person quits the new person would be paid those wages. Commissioner Ranum stated it is no different than Brenda’s office when one quits the new one comes on board and is paid the same.  That is why she has always wanted a starting wage.

    Commissioner Ranum discussed the work completed by Joe and DuWayne. Julie stated Joe is still DuWayne’s supervisor.  Commissioner Baldwin stated he understood what Julie and Commissioner Randash were saying but had to agree with Commissioner Ranum on this. Commissioner Baldwin stated further Debbie Wyrick, Deputy Clerk and Recorder, maintains if two people are doing the same type of work they should be paid equally even though one is part time and one is full time.

   Radios-Discussion turned to employees that work alone in various departments. Commissioner Ranum would like to see some type of radio or something these people could carry with them if they feel they are being threatened or feel uncomfortable. This would pertain to departments such as the Container Site, Museum, Fair Manager, Library.  This discussion was put off for another day. Julie is working with a company that provides security systems, etc. because of the discussion of the Gun Range earlier this week. Julie is trying to get them on the agenda.  Commissioner Ranum asked the Clerk and Recorder to schedule Bob Brenner, Tab Electronics, as well.

   Back to Wage Discussion-Commissioner Ranum feels they are not having DuWayne complete the duties they had originally wanted him to do such as service Parks and Golf Equipment, etc. Julie again stressed the current job description and the position has a supervisor, etc.

  Commissioner Ranum wants some beginning wages to be established because she does not want to recruit entry level people at the starting wages we now have. Commissioner Ranum further elaborated on the loss of oil and gas revenues and the reason she wants an Investment Committee. Commissioner Ranum feels we can make more on our money than we are.

    Salary Schedule-Discussed changing the current system to a pay grade system and tying it to performance but also discussed human judgment coming into play. Also discussed tying it to the economy.

Budgets – Commissioner Ranum discussed there may have to be major changes made to the budgets due to the loss of revenue such as cutting out projects unless they are a necessity. Road equipment may have to be kept much longer than normal (run into the ground).

     Wage Discussion-Commissioner Baldwin went to visit with Joe Janz about his feelings of being paid the same as DuWayne. Joe feels they do the same work; he can always depend on DuWayne and feels the supervisor matter does not really come into play in Joe’s mind. However, Joe feels 6 years of service to the County should be worth something.

   Commissioner Ranum stated she feels all classes should be treated the same and are not any more special than any other class; we all work as a unit and we all work together for Fallon County and that is how she feels about DuWayne and Joe.  Felt Trent discussed the detention officers and law enforcement were in a different class. Commissioner Ranum feels other departments do not have to work in the extreme weather conditions like Joe and DuWayne.

  Julie proposed for DuWayne-$21.00 starting; $22.00 at 6 months and $23.00 per hour after one year. DuWayne is currently receiving $17.17 per hour and Joe-$22.00 starting; $23.00 at 6 months and $24.00 per hour after 1 year.  Joe is currently receiving $22.80 per hour.

   Exempt/Non-Exempt-Julie stated the Federal Government is proposing new standards which would be changing exempt/non-exempt statuses.  The salaried positions would change to $52,000 per year.  Commissioner Ranum would like to have Julie print items like that for the Commission so they are aware of them and not caught off-guard. Julie stated it is not law yet but if and when it would be she would certainly see to it that they are made aware and receive copies.  Julie stated there is a lot of lobbying going on against this.

   Back to wage discussion-Commissioner Ranum stated she could not choose between Joe and DuWayne. Julie stated, knowing the difference between the extra years worked, would you pay Joe more. Commissioner Ranum stated, again it is no different for other departments they make as much after one year.

  MOTION – Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to pay Outside Maintenance Supervisor position-$22 to start; $23 after 6 months and $24 after 1 year and Outside Maintenance-Special Projects position-$21 to start; $22 after 6 months and $23 after 1 year.  Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion. Commissioner Randash asked for discussion. Commissioner Ranum stated this would be retro to July 1, 2015.  Agreed.  Commissioner Randash asked for further discussion. There being none asked for those in favor of the motion. 3 Ayes.  Those opposed. 0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.

    Job Description-Julie asked if the Commission had time to review the job description of Outside Maintenance/Special Projects.   Commissioner Ranum asked to have all reference made from “Inside Maintenance” removed from Outside Maintenance and Special Project Assistant job descriptions. Julie recommended the Commission meet with both outside maintenance employees separately to discuss the new wage. Clerk and Recorder was asked to schedule them.

Inside Maintenance -Julie stated Inside Maintenance is working on spreadsheets and contacting department members about various cleaning requests. Department head is also working through her job duties when hired and also various details Julie has brought to the departments’ attention and is doing a great job.   

   Detention Officer Wages-Commissioner Ranum wants this position to stay detention officer with the exception of possibly reserve officers.

  State of Montana D. O. wages ranged from $14.16 to $17.44 per hour.

  Women’s Prison wages ranged from $14.16 to $16.48 per hour.

  National average wages ranged from $16.23 to $18.77 per hour.

   Custer County wages started at $13.77 to start and increased 2% every 2 years, plus they receive longevity.

  The group discussed the wages for detention officers being similar to dispatch wages which is $19.55 to start; $20.55 after 6 months and $21.55 per hour after one year.  The Commission again was concerned about employees from Dispatch moving to Detention Officer position.  Commissioner Ranum felt they should not be paid the same as Dispatch as they do not take 911 calls. Commissioners Randash and Baldwin tended to agree. Julie recommended then $18 to start; $19.00 after receiving Detention Officer Training and $20.00 after 1 year probation. Commissioner Ranum asked who would do the evaluations. Julie stated Trenton would complete the evaluations.

  MOTION- Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to use Julie’s recommendations for detention officers wages at the $18.00; $19.00 and $20.00 with the first increase after receiving Detention Officer training and the top of the wages to be received after 1 year probation is complete.  Commissioner Ranum asked what they would do with them if no one was in jail. Julie stated the job description discusses they can assist in other departments and they can be assigned other duties if no one is in jail. Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion.  Commissioner Randash asked for further discussion.  There being none asked for those in favor to signify by saying Aye.  3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.

  Gun Range Wages, Hours, Duties and # of Employees-Commissioner Randash feels for the first year the County should hire a 20 hour per week person for the first 6 months to get an idea of the usage before doing anything more than that.

   Discussed the key to the gate allows access to the Outdoor Range and is a different fee than the fee to use the Indoor Range. Key and card for the Indoor Range would be its own rate.

   Julie can get information, with various options, from someone for a cardtrol/security and gates accesses.

   Discussed advertising for, hours decided upon, a contract person to operate the facility per week. Discussed duties would include janitorial, outside maintenance, care for the ventilation and filtration system, selling memberships, etc.  Commissioner Randash feels more than one person should be hired so the other person could have time off.

    Julie stated she would first need a definitive answer on when they would want to have someone there before writing a job description or bid invitation.  Julie further stated she agrees with Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff, and Mike Reddick, Baker-Chief of Police, regarding the facility should first be set up with a cardtrol system and surveillance before the doors are opened.

    The Commission would like to bring the Gun Range Board in to discuss their thoughts on these ideas.

    Dakota Securities-Julie will schedule Dakota Securities to meet with the Commission.

    Contracting-Commissioner Ranum felt the contractor should not sub-contract.  Julie stated but the contractor can hire their own employees and they could do the work. The Commission agreed. This could be bid annually. Commissioner Randash discussed bidding for a minimum of 20 hours with the possibility of more hours being added at a later time. Julie discussed they would need to be drug and alcohol tested. Discussed need to know if the person would need to be bonded if handling monies. They would also need a Certificate of Liability and a criminal background check.  They would pay to take Safety Officer Training as a contractor.

  NRA Endorsed-Julie asked if the new Gun Range was NRA endorsed.  None of the Commissioners knew the answer to that.

   The Gun Range Board will be scheduled to meet with the Commission before any decisions are made.


ROADS – Commissioner Ranum received a phone call from a member of the public regarding blading roads.  Their neighbor, who has never given an easement to the County, was having their road bladed and this public member also wanted their road bladed.

     Commissioner Randash had given permission for this as he was informed a weed crew member had sprayed weeds on this road, when no easement was given. The landowner was very upset. Commissioner Ranum feels we cannot break one law to correct another law that was broken. Commissioner Ranum contacted the Road Department and told them not to blade the road as there was no easement.

   Commissioner Randash stated he may have overstepped his boundaries but he felt he was acting on the best interest of the County.   It was felt since the weed spray employee sprayed there the Weed Board should have been contacted to handle this matter.   Commissioner Baldwin asked Julie’s perspective. Julie stated, although she is not an attorney, she feels they should have all the Commissioners act on items such as this.  Commissioner Ranum feels that is why they have a Weed Board.  Julie stated possibly Commissioner Randash should have stated the Commission would get back to them on the matter.

     Commissioner Ranum feels they should ask Darcy how the County should proceed when something like this happens, due to liability to the County.

  HR Corner-Julie had planned to add various County policies to her HR Corner. This goes out with the monthly paycheck attachments. Julie wants to get feedback from the employees and wanted to know if she had permission from the Commission to do so. The Commission was fine with this.

  12:30 PM  ADJOURN


Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to adjourn. Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays.  Motion carried.


s/William L. Randash,



s/Brenda J. Wood,

Clerk and Recorder