Commissioners proceedings


   A complete set of minutes are available at the Clerk & Recorder’s Office.



  PRESENT William L. Randash, Chairman; Steve Baldwin, Deb Ranum, members; Lani DeBuhr, Clerk

  8:55am- Dave Havens, member of the public, joined the meeting.


Present: Shawn Hoenke, Primerica; Brenda Wood, Clerk & Recorder; Barb Ketterling, Treasurer; Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney

  Shawn Hoenke with Primerica came to present the Investment Services Primerica can offer the County, primarily with investing surplus Oil & Gas Revenues. Barb Ketterling, the Commission and Shawn discussed the various ways the County invests their money currently and Shawn suggested alternative ways to begin investing.


  Present: Alba Higgins, Shop Foreman; Bobby Wiedmer, Road Supervisor; Dale Butori, Weed Supervisor

  Auction Items- Alba Higgins said Plevna Rural Fire District (PRFD) has a truck they want to sell at the County Auction and Baker Rural Fire District (BRFD) said they would like it. The Commission will call Gary Lang with PRFD and BRFD to discuss this matter further.

Weed Trailer- Dale Butori said the axles on his 20 foot trailer are twisted and wearing out tires because of it. Dale suggested fixing the axles or purchasing a bigger trailer for his side by sides. The Commission gave Dale permission to purchase a new, larger trailer to haul his side by sides and will ask Tom Kachel, Landfill Manager, if he can repair the axles so another department can use the other trailer.

  10:20am- Dale Butori left the meeting.

  The Commission and Alba discussed the equipment and vehicles that have been repaired or are currently being worked on by Alba and Mitch Overn.

  The Commission and Bobby Wiedmer discussed the things the Road Crew was working on this week.

  Triangle Park Parking Lot- Griffith Excavating is going to dig out the parking lot and then Scott Rabbitt, Parks Director, and Bobby will lay the drain tile.

  Kramlick Box Culvert- The walls of culvert are formed and will be poured on Friday.

Sparks Box Culvert- The floors of culvert are poured.

  Graveling Roads- The Commission and Bobby discussed putting gravel on the road in front of Hagadone’s place.

  Training- Bobby and some of his crew will be attending a MACRS training about Safety and Operation of Loaders and Skidsteer Loaders as well as a flag certification class.

Tronstad Culverts – Bobby said they are going to pull the culverts out and put in the squashed culverts to correct the problem.


  Present: Alyssa Miller, Rec Director Assistant

  Alyssa Miller met with the Commission to discuss the Rec Department activities and enrollments such as the After School Program, Badland Youth Football League, Miles City Soccer League, Flag Football, Youth Volleyball and Family Movie Nights.

  – Youth Volleyball is for kids ages K-6th and will begin Sept. 21st.

  Angie Rabbitt, Rec Dept. Director, will be gone next week attending the National Parks and Recreation Convention in Las Vegas, NV. The Commission told Alyssa they are hoping the roof at the Softball Complex will be repaired this fall. Alyssa told the Commission the container is ready to be delivered.


Present: Mike Kirschten, Rifle Range Board Chairman

Grant Updates – Mike Kirschten gave the Commission the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Shooting Range Development Grant Project Agreement Number: 2016-4 to review and sign. The Commission reviewed the agreement and Commissioner Randash, as Chairman, signed it. Mike also gave the Commission drawings for the sidewalks and bathroom the grant money will be used for to give to contractors when soliciting bids.

  Signage- The Rifle Range Board will give their final approval on the signage Mike created for the Indoor Shooting Complex at their meeting on Friday, September 11, 2015.

Grounds Keeping Equipment- Mike and the Commission discussed the Rifle Range having their own grounds keeping equipment.

  Parking Lot Lighting- Mike would like the Commission to look at the parking lot at night and decide if additional lighting needs to be installed.

  Security System Quotes- The Commission and Mike discussed the two quotes submitted by Kenco Security and Dakota Security Systems for the cameras at the Indoor Shooting Complex.

  Staffing- The Commission told Mike the manager position at the Indoor Shooting Complex would not be a contracted person but rather will be a 20 hour per week employee. The Commission and Mike discussed the hours and duties of the manager.

  12:00pm- Dave Havens and Mike Kirschten left the meeting.


  1:10pm- Dave Havens, member of the public, joined the meeting.


  Present: Clayton Hornung, City of Baker Mayor; Kevin Dukart, City of Baker Treasurer/Clerk

  Treasurer Updates: Clayton Hornung said the City Council approved their budget at the last meeting and they will be starting on their annual report next.

  Dakota Ave. Project- Clayton said they are having a difficult time finding someone to submit a bid for the project now that Wyrick Construction decided not to do the work but is hoping they can find someone this fall.

  Water & Garbage – The City of Baker’s Water and Garbage Rate Increase Hearing will be on September 16th.

  Alley Project- The City is still working on the Alley Project and has had issues running into utility lines that weren’t marked and discovering sewer leaks that need to be repaired. The project is expected to be completed in October.

  Prairie Ave. Culvert – Shannon Hewson is designing the plan for the culvert replacement.

1:45pm- Clayton Hornung and Kevin Dukart left the meeting.

  1:50pm- Dave Havens left the meeting.


  2:05pm- Jerrid Geving joined the meeting.

  Jerrid Geving gave the Commission copies of invoices submitted by Graham Welding for the work at the arena and he and the Commission discussed having a better plan in place before a project begins.

  2:10pm- Jerrid Geving left the meeting.

  2:10pm- Turk Stark and Tom Bruha with Baker Rural Fire District joined the meeting.

  Bridge Road- Turk Stark said since the Bridge Road has been redone it is narrow and steep on the edges and hence is a big liability for the County. The Commission said Bobby Wiedmer, Road Supervisor, is planning on re-blading the road as soon as we get moisture.

  Plevna Rural Fire District (PRFD) Truck- Turk said the Baker Rural Fire District is interested in the truck PRFD sent to the Auction but don’t want to cause a dispute between the two districts. He said they have a 1995 truck with 65,000 miles on it they could put in the Auction to replace it and the proceeds from truck would go to PRFD. The Commission said they are planning on attending the PRFD Board meeting on Thursday to discuss it with them further.

  Radios- Tom Bruha said now that their radios are on narrow band they lose communication north of the Big Hill. Tom and the Commission discussed ways in which they can tap into another tower to get communication.

  Parking Issues- Tom Bruha has talked to Mike Reddick, Chief of Police, about semi-trucks parking in their parking lot and Mike said he will patrol the area more. The Board is also considering putting up signage that may be more visible to detour people from parking in the lot.

  2:30pm- Turk Stark and Tom Bruha left the meeting.


The Commission approved the August 31st-September 4th, 2015 Commissioner Minutes.


  The Commission reviewed and approved the August End of Month Claims in the amount of $1,075,689.23 and they are filed in the Clerk & Recorder’s Office.

  3:45pm – Commissioner Baldwin excused himself for the day.


  Present: Steve Byrd with Dakota Security via conference call; Mike Kirschten, Rifle Range Board Chairman; Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager

  The Commission discussed the Dakota Security quote for the Indoor Shooting Range with sales executive, Steve Byrd.

  4:35pm- Steve Byrd left the conference call.

  The Commission, Julie, and Mike discussed the quote in further detail.

  5:00pm- Julie Straub and Mike Kirschten left the meeting.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015


  PRESENT William L. Randash, Chairman; Deb Ranum, member; Lani DeBuhr, Clerk; ABSENT Steve Baldwin, member


  Present: Scott Rabbitt, Parks Director

  Splash Park- Scott Rabbitt said KO Construction is putting in pressure lines for the park next week. The pre-concrete inspection will be done by the end of the month and then the concrete can be poured. Scott said although the project started behind schedule KO Construction said they are right on schedule and will get done by the deadline.

  Shade Structures- The shade structures in the parks are going up this week.

  Grass Seeding – Scott has been seeding the game field and practice field and will seed Ironhorse Park.

  Fall Festival- The Chamber of Commerce is using tables, chairs and garbage cans for the Fall Festival.


  Present: Faron Henderson, Contracted Planner

  The Commission gave Faron Henderson a letter dated September 9, 2015 terminating his services and thanked him for his services.


  Present: Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager

  Rate of Pay Approval Forms- Julie Straub gave the Commission Rate of Pay Approval Forms for Lori Hall, Tricia Shipman, Stacey Moore and Mary Alice Havens for the Commission to sign. These employees will receive a rate of pay increase for being employed with Fallon County for six months.

  Detention Officers- The Detention Officer Positions opened today and will close on 9/25/15. 2015.

  Handicap Access- Julie said there was a recent incident of a handicap person using the ramp leading to the front doors of courthouse only to find out the doors are not handicap accessible. Julie said the door is not handicap accessible but, unfortunately, the ramp leading up to the door can lead a person to think it is. The Commission suggested to Julie to put up more signage to alleviate this confusion.

  Fleet Vehicle Survival Bags- Julie said there are survival bags in the fleet vehicles now.    


  Rifle Range Position- Julie gave the Commission copies of the job descriptions for the part-time Indoor Shooting Complex Manager position and a part-time Indoor Shooting Complex Attendant for them to review.

  Fair Board Manager- Julie said she will be doing a job audit with Barb Lechler, Fair Board Manager, to write an updated job description for her position.

  Museum Hours- The Commission and Julie discussed the Museum hours and if they could someday be seasonal hours and how that would affect the curator’s position.

  10:30pm- Julie Straub left the meeting.


  The Commission received letters of interest from Dan Thielen and Claudine O’Connor to serve on the Library Board. Commissioner Ranum and Commissioner Randash said they would like to wait for Commissioner Baldwin to return to the meeting before appointing the member.


Present: Rich Menger, Sanitarian; Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager

  Rich Menger and the Commission discussed the County paying for the Sanitarian license fees as they have in the past.


Present: Eric Kary, Golf Course Manager

  Eric Kary said the chlorinator control panel caught fire and is unrepairable. He asked the Commission for permission to purchase a new line injection chlorinator. Eric also asked for permission to purchase an acid injection system to lower the PH in the water that will allow the soil to absorb all nutrients from the fertilizer he applies to the grass. Both systems will cost $4,000 and the Commission gave him permission to purchase the systems.


Present: DuWayne Bohle, Special Project Technician

  Roof Repairs- The Commission and DuWayne Bohle reviewed the roof repair schedule and status of quotes.

  Senior Citizen Roof – The roof project is expected to start this month and be completed by October 30, 2015.

  Sidewalk Project- The Ironhorse Park sidewalks are done and the sidewalks for the Gazebo area haven’t started yet.

  CTEP Sidewalk Project- This project will most likely start in the spring.

Vault Shelving- DuWayne said he is working on removing the shelving in the basement vault.

  Indoor Shooting Complex- The landscaping around the building has not been done and there are deep grooves being formed around the rain gutters that DuWayne will fill with pea gravel to allow the water to disperse further out. Mike Menger will call Duwayne when the sediment filters come in so they can be installed. The sealing has not been done on the floors yet.



  Present: Nicole Benefiel, Justice of Peace; Jerrie Newell, Clerk of Court; Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney

  The Commission met with Jerrie Newell and Nicole Benefiel to discuss the scheduling of the Courtroom.

  1:50pm Jerrie Newell, Nicole Benefiel and Darcy Wassmann left the meeting.

2:00pm- Commissioner Baldwin joined the meeting.


The Commission discussed the letters of interest submitted for the Library Board. They said both candidates would be an asset to the Library Board and Claudine O’Connor was being considered due to her long time interest in serving on the Board. Commissioner Ranum made the motion to appoint Claudine O’Connor to the Library Board. Commissioner Baldwin seconded the motion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


  EMC Insurance Companies Statement of Values- The Commission reviewed the Statement of Values for County owned property from EMC Insurance Companies. Commissioner Randash, as Chairman, signed the Statement of Values.

  Aflac’s Cafeteria Flex Plan- The Commission reviewed the updated Aflac Cafeteria Plan and Commissioner Randash, as Chairman, signed the plan.

  EBMS Renewal- The Commission reviewed the Renewal Agreement with EBMS effective July 1, 2015 and Commissioner Randash, as Chairman, signed the Renewal Agreement.


The Commission reviewed and approved the August 2015 timesheets, payroll and withholdings in the amount of $527,154.32.


  Baker Lake Mitigation- The Commission reviewed the Consultant Agreement between Fallon County and Geum Environmental Consulting Inc. for their services with the Baker Lake Mitigation Project. Commissioner Randash, as Chairman, signed the agreement.

  The Commission received a copy of the Baker Lake Restoration Plan Draft Scope of Work along with associated fees from DOWL Engineering for the Baker Lake Mitigation Project.


  The Commission reviewed and Commissioner Randash, as Chairman, signed Journal #691.


  Baker Air Service, Airport Aviation Fuel- $460.13

   State of MT Department of Transportation, Road St Aid, Fuel Tax Rmb- $4,131.21

   Sand Oil, Oil & Gas Royalties – $103.31;

  Denbury, Oil/Gas/Gas Royalties- $4,649.73


DES/911 – Chuck Lee, DES/911 Director, gave the Commission an email reminding them the New Powder River Bombing Training Range Complex will become active September 17th. He also gave them a map of the area surrounding the Complex for their records.

  Clerk & Recorder- Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder, gave the Commission the Tax Levy Requirements Schedule for Non-Voted Levies and the FY2016 Schedule of Tax Levies for them to review. The schedules are filed in the Clerk & Recorder’s Office.

The Commission reviewed minutes, agendas, reports and notices submitted to them from department heads.

  EMAILS- The Commission reviewed the emails sent to them from State agencies and other entities that required no discussion, action or decision.

  3:25pm- Dave Havens, member of the public, joined the meeting.


  Deb Afrank, property owner; Rich Menger, Sanitarian; Darcy Wassman, County Attorney

  Afrank Property- The Commission asked Deb Afrank to come in to discuss the Baker Lake Mitigation Plan and how it could affect her property.

  4:25pm- Darcy Wassmann left the meeting.

  Removal of Trees by Afrank Property- The Commission told Deb Bobby Wiedmer, Road Supervisor, is contacting the Department of Transportation to find out if the County can maintain and mow the embankment once the trees are removed along her property.


Thursday, September 10, 2015


  PRESENT William L. Randash, Chairman; Steve Baldwin, Deb Ranum, members; Lani DeBuhr, Clerk

  9:00am- Dave Havens, member of the public, joined the meeting.


  Present: Joe Janz, Outside Building Maintenance

  Courthouse Tree- Joe said there is a tree by the Lambert House that needs to be taken out as it is leaning significantly over the Lambert House and is only being held up by the cement surrounding it. Joe said he is concerned it could fall onto the Lambert House in another big wind storm. Joe said he can remove the tree and plant another tree to replace it. After much discussion and after viewing the condition of the tree, the Commission gave Joe permission to remove the tree.

  Drainage in backyard- Joe is going to install a pipe under the sidewalk and tie it into the system on the east side of courthouse to allow the water to drain better in the backyard of Courthouse.

  Sidewalks & Curbs- Joe will be repairing the curb and sidewalks soon.

  Other duties- The Commission and Joe discussed the Commission asking DuWayne to work on the gutter problem at the Rifle Range earlier in the week. Joe said he wanted the Commission to consider the jobs they pile onto him and DuWayne before asking.

  Trailer- Joe said he, too, will be able to use the weed trailer that is being given to the Fairgrounds. Joe said Alba Higgins, Road Supervisor, said a pickup exchange may have to take place so the Fairgrounds has a pickup that can haul the trailer.

  9:15am- Joe Janz left the meeting.

  9:15am- Forrest Sanderson with KLJ joined the meeting.


  Eastern Montana’s Community Service Block Grant Workplan- The Commission reviewed the Eastern Montana’s Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) Workplan for FY2016-17 dated August 27, 2015 and Commissioner Randash, as Chairman, signed the Workplan.

  Forrest and the Commission discussed the CTEP project and Forrest’s experience with projects that are similar to that. Forrest gave the Commission planning fee information he wanted them to review prior to his afternoon meeting with them. The Commission asked Forrest if he would be available now that the Trotter and Associates contract has been terminated. Forrest said he could and will look at the KLJ Contract to see if a change needs to be made. The Commission asked if Forrest could do Floodplain work if necessary and he said he is a certified Floodplain Manager and could do that. The Commission gave Forrest a copy of the KLJ contract to review.

  9:40am- Forrest Sanderson left the meeting.

  9:50am- Lynda Herbst joined the meeting.

  Lynda said the washing machine had an electrical short and is no longer operable. She asked the Commission if she could purchase a new machine and they gave approval to do so.


  Present: David Espeland, FMC CEO

  Annual Report- Selena Nelson, FMC CFO, is working on the Annual Report and will give a copy to the Commission when complete.

Visiting Physicians- The Commission and David discussed recruiting more visiting physicians who are specialized in areas such as audiologists and optometrists

  Recruiting- David said now that Physician Assistant Steve Coxe has left, the other physicians are covering his shifts. David said they are trying to assemble outside locum physicians to help with coverage in addition to recruiting for another Physician’s Assistant (PA) as Dr. Espeland is wanting to stop taking call-ins after October. David said they are looking at alternative ways to recruit physicians and meet the needs of the community.

  David said Selena Nelson gave her notice effective Dec. 6, 2016. David said he is looking at other people to recruit for the position so they can train with Selena over this coming year.

  Parkview Doors- The Commission asked David about adjusting the west door at Parkview as people have complained it is difficult to open. David said his maintenance crew tried to adjust the door and were unsuccessful. They have decided to have Scott’s Glass shave off some of the metal on the bottom of the door to alleviate the problem.

  Parkview Interior- David said the bid to redo the interior of Parkview I should be done by October. The Commission asked if the air conditioner in Parkview I is working and David said it is working but they are still struggling with it. The filters in the system need to be replaced and Mechanical Technology Inc. is coming down to work on it.

  Parkview Fire Drill- David said Brad Kings and Karol Zachmann are working on the fire drill plan for Parkview. They have talked to the ambulance crew about implementing this plan and they are in support of it.

  FMC Basement Project- David said the project is progressing well although they are still struggling with the drainage in the courtyard area and have been discussing putting a trench drain in to alleviate the problem. David said John Peila with Diamond J Construction has been reluctant to come back and sign off on the project or take care of the issues that are remaining. The laundry area is done and they will be moving the items in next week.

  Mechanical Technology Inc. (MTI) Services- The Commission asked David if he was pleased with the services they get from MTI. David said they are pleased with MTI. David said to save money they went through the contract and service report line by line with MTI to determine what items on the report FMC employees could do instead of MTI. David said this helps reduce the costs and makes the plan affordable.

Montana Dakota Utility (MDU) Rates- David said because rates are going up 21% MDU contacted FMC about their Demand Power Plan System that diverts energy to help reduce costs. David said he doesn’t know much about the plan but is looking into it and will let the County know what he finds in case they can benefit from the system too.


  Present: Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager, Joe Janz, Outside Building Maintenance

  Julie gave the Commissioner an updated Outside Building Maintenance job description for them to review.

  The Commission told Julie to notify Karen Banister, Museum Curator, to ask Joe for help first if she needs any maintenance work done rather than DuWayne Bohle, Special Projects Technician.


  Present: Don Dilworth, IT Tech; Andy Fujimori, IT Tech

Computer Replacements-

  Don Dilworth asked the Commission for approval to replace two computers at $1,200 each in the Clerk and Recorder’s office and they gave him permission.

  Web Server- Don said the County’s web server is seven years old and has ran 24/7 during that time. Don suggested abandoning this server and begin using the web to store our data. The Commission gave Don permission to switch servers.

  Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN)/SummitNet System- Don and the Commission discussed the CJIN system and possibly cutting the system over.


  The Commission reviewed the Standard Agreement for Professional Services from DOWL Engineering for the Baker Lake Mitigation Project. The Commission made the motion to enter into the contract with DOWL Engineering for the Baker Lake Mitigation Project.


  No one appeared for public comment.


  12:00pm- Dave Havens left the meeting.

  1:15pm- Dave Havens, member of the public, joined the meeting.


  The Commission gave Scott Rabbitt permission to service the sprinklers at Plevna at no charge.


  Present: Forrest Sanderson, Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson (KLJ)

  Forrest Sanderson, Senior Planner for KL, presented the Planning Board Recommendation ZC-15-01 for the Workforce Housing Zoning Regulations. The Workforce Housing Resolution is proposed for adoption under the Montana State Zoning Regulations to handle Workforce Housing in Fallon County.

  The Commission reviewed the Resolution of Intent to Adopt Zoning for Workforce Housing Under the Authority of 76-2-201 MCA. Forrest said the Resolution of Intent puts Fallon County residents on notice that the Commission has found the Workforce Housing Resolution to be in the best interest of the public. It also gives the public an opportunity to review the plan and protest if desired. Forrest said he hopes the public understands the Workforce Housing Resolution is designed to protect the public when Workforce Housing is implemented in an area. Forrest opened up the matter for public hearing. Forrest asked if there was any one present who would like to comment. No one appeared to make public comment.

  The Commission made the motion to adopt the Planning Board and Zoning Commission Recommendation #ZC-15-01 as finding of fact.

  The Commission made the motion to adopt the Resolution of Intent No. 2015-05 to create the Workforce Housing Zoning District and Regulations with public notice of the passage of the Resolution of Intent no less than two times in the Fallon County Times and that for a period of not less than 30-days following the first publication of the notice that a protest period as provided by §76-2-205 M.C.A. shall be established with protests directed to the Fallon County Clerk and Recorder as prescribed in Montana Law.

  The Commission signed the Resolution of Intent to Adopt Zoning for Workforce Housing Resolution No. 2015-05 and it is on record in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

  2:00pm- Lani DeBuhr excused herself for the day.


  Present: Forrest Sanderson, KLJ; Rich Menger, Sanitarian

  The Commission and Forrest discussed the County’s Land Use Regulations, Lake Shore Regulations, Subdivision Regulations and Planning Fees. Forrest said the regulations are good and will assist the Commission in adjusting the Planning Fees.

Lakeshore Permit- Rich Menger said he would like to create a lakeshore permit and raise the fee from $15 as it doesn’t cover the work of even the inspections let alone upkeep.

  Planner Services- Forrest will send the Commission a revised copy of the KLJ Contract that will include them providing the County Planner Services.

  Growth Policy Grant- Forrest said he may be able to get a grant to update the Growth Policy Plan and if not he can try to get a CTAP grant.


  Lynda Herbst, Inside Building Maintenance

  The Commission told Lynda they would like her, Joe Janz, Outside Building Supervisor, and DuWayne Bohle, Special Projects Technician, to determine what HVAC maintenance duties they can do to cut costs on the County’s MTI bill.

  2:50pm- Lisa Mitchell, Ambulance Director, joined the meeting to be a part of the Handheld Radio Discussion that was cancelled. Lisa left the meeting after being told it was cancelled.


The meeting was cancelled due to Bob Brenner with TAB Electronics not being available.


  Present: Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney; Pastor Bruce Kolasch; American Lutheran Church Pastor; John Geving, American Lutheran Church Council Member; Fred Houzvicka, American Lutheran Church Council President; Rich Batterman, Attorney representing the American Lutheran Church

  The Commission and the Lutheran Council members met to discuss the next steps to take in demolishing and constructing the new Lutheran Food Stand. The Commission told the Lutheran Council members they would have first right of refusal to use the Lutheran Food Stand at all Fairground events.

  4:00pm- The Commission called Richard Griffith with Griffith Steel to discuss the building via conference call.

  Richard Griffith said a 42 x 42 building could be completed by May or the first of June and recommended a stick frame building be built rather than a metal one due to the cost. Richard, the Commission and the Lutheran Council members discussed the details of the building and the action that needs to be taken by each party.

  4:10pm- Richard Griffith left the meeting by ending the conference call.

  Fred Houzvicka said he will bring the information discussed along with a copy of today’s minutes to the next Council meeting on Monday, September 14, 2015 and is hopeful they will approve of moving ahead with project. The Commissioners said they will put the Lutheran Council meeting on their agenda and at least one member will attend the meeting.

4:25pm- Commissioner Ranum excused herself from the meeting for the duration of the day.


  Present: William Benner, Town of Plevna Mayor

  The Commission and Willie Benner met to discuss the various activities that are happening in the Town of Plevna such as the water and sewer project, repairs on the water wells, chipping sealing streets next summer and their interest in the Plevna Rural Fire Truck that has been sent to the County Auction.