Commissioners Proceedings

Monday, October 26, 2015



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

   9:00 AM CONVENE

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

   Dave Havens, guest, joined the meeting.


   Review Director of Public Health Job Description-Commissioner Ranum stated the middle step of the Public Health salary in this job description is incorrect, in correlation with the salary schedule.  Commissioner Ranum wanted to make sure she understood if this new job description meant there would be a pay increase.  Clerk and Recorder felt the answer was no because Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager, is performing job audits for all positions within the County.  Commissioners Randash and Baldwin found the job description to be complete.

  Review and Discuss Gravel Bid Emails-The Commission has two choices for purchasing gravel.

  1. Purchase gravel as needed, under the $80,000 bid threshold; which the County would have to have measured by a surveyor.

  2. Go out to bid for the yardages the County feels would get them through a long period of time, with the requirements as provided by law, such as bid bonds, etc.

    DECISION-The decision is to purchase gravel as needed by going out to get a per yard quote for the gravel. The Commission will ask Bobby Wiedmer, Road Foreman, to write up the quote, with specifications.  The Commission would like the quote sent to the locals and other area bidders such as:  Hufford Sand and Gravel, Wyrick Construction, Griffith Excavating, Diamond J, Prince, and Fisher Sand and Gravel.


Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to approve the Commissioner Proceedings from November 17 and November 24, 2014.  Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion.  3 Ayes.  0 Nays.  Motion carried unanimously.

   Commissioner Ranum made the motion to approve the Commissioner Proceedings from October 19, 2015.  Commissioner Baldwin seconds the motion.  3 Ayes.  0 Nays.  Motion carried unanimously.

  Review and Sign the Annual Federal Financial Report for AIP 108 at the Baker Airport-

Commissioner Randash signed the Annual Federal Financial Report for AIP 108 for the Baker Municipal Airport.  Copies were made for Fallon County and the originals were mailed.


   Solar Bees will be pulled from the lake next week and stored at the County yard.


   Corridor Study Discussion -Commissioner Ranum asked how the Corridor meeting went. Commissioners Randash and Baldwin stated it went well and they had a good turnout.  Commissioner Randash would like to visit with Carol Lambert, MT DOT Representative for our area, and Shane Mintz, MT DOT Area Supervisor, as he feels Railroad Avenue would be the best option for the truck by-pass.      

  Commissioner Ranum would like to set up an appointment with Shane Mintz and Carol Lambert to come to Baker so the information is in our minutes. Shane Mintz was phoned by Commissioner Baldwin.  Shane explained we have to wait until public comment is over before they can be scheduled to meet which is the end of the year.

   Jason Rittal, Executive Director-EPEDC submitted an overview of the evening meeting to the Commission along with his feasibility thoughts.      

  9:45 AM-Bobby Wiedmer, Road Foreman   


    Gravel specs-The Commission made the decision to draw up the bid specs and ask for a quote on gravel per yard, in a pile.  Commissioner Baldwin phoned Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney, regarding the Commission’s decision.

  Road dust control information from Bowman County-Bobby spoke to the Road Foreman from Bowman, North Dakota, regarding the dust control product they tried on one of their County roads.    Bobby stated the Foreman wanted to give it a year to see if he liked the product or not.   

  Roads-blading and other road maintenance going on today.

  Snow plow trucks-Rigged a few of the trucks up last week.

Sparks and Kramlick Bridges- These bridges have been completed and the seeding is finished as well.  Bobby stated the Riegers will get the fencing completed as soon as they can.

Equipment training -The Commission discussed cross training the landfill scale operator to operate landfill equipment.  It was felt one of the other landfill operators could train on the front end loader and the compactor.  The Commission would like one of the Road Department employees familiar with the scraper, to train the employees not already trained to operate the scraper.  Bobby felt they could have one of the Road Department employees knowledgeable on the scraper cross train those employees.

  Bobby left the discussion at 10:00 AM


   The Commission further discussed the Corridor Study again. Commissioner Randash wondered if this would force the MT DOT to replace the obsolete bridge on Highway 7.  Commissioner Ranum feels the County should replace the bridge on Bonnievale Road; this would prove Fallon County definitely has done everything we can do to help the flow of the water on Sandstone Creek.  The Commission will further discuss replacement of this bridge with some of the adjoining landowners before deciding on proceeding further.   

  10:05 AM-Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering-Project Updates

     Bridges-Discussed progress updates on the Dry Fork Bridge; Vassar Bridge and Bonnievale Bridge Projects.  Commissioner Ranum discussed putting two bridges out to bid at the same time to see if we could get some cost savings.  Shannon stated there is usually only savings on bridges when they are close in proximity to each other, because you usually only save on mobilization.  Commissioner Ranum stated possibly if contractors work is slow and they know they have more than one bridge to work on next year, the bids could come in at a better price.

   Prairie Avenue-Road Department will be going to Billings this week to pick up the drop inlet for Prairie Avenue.  Shannon felt they may be able to have this project completed this week.

   Calumet Road-The bridge for this road will be replaced this budget year as well.

  10:45 AM  Shannon left the meeting.


  PRESENT-Forrest Sanderson, KLJ-County Contract Planner-via phone conference, and Dave Havens, public member.

  Forrest addressed items he received.

   Public question-The question was posed regarding workforce housing on a small scale such as for (5) or fewer RV sites:  Does the developer have to provide showers, centralized mail, laundry facilities, comfort facilities, formal recreation, etc.? Forrest felt the answer to this is no, unless there is a larger scale such as 50 or more it would not be necessary to spend that kind of money on amenities for small scale workforce housing.  Commissioner Baldwin asked if the County should define “small scale” to allow the latitude needed. Forrest stated yes. Commissioner Randash asked about RV parks requiring a 30 day move. Forrest does not feel that would serve a purpose.  It was felt that was meant for RVs parked in the City limits, on City streets.

11:00 AM Commissioner Randash brought the hearing to order-This being the duly appointed time for the Workforce Housing Public Hearing Commissioner Randash asked for public comment. Is there any public comment on the Workforce Housing? Is there any public comment on the Workforce Housing? There being no public comment, the hearing was closed at 11:03 AM.

  Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to amend the Workforce Housing Resolution to include an amendment which will include the definition of “small scale workforce housing” in the resolution.  Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.

  Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to approve Resolution 2015-07 Workforce Housing as amended.  Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.     

Resolution 2015-07 is recorded in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.

    Forrest feels the Board of Adjustment should have the ability to make judgment calls when dealing with the Workforce Housing Zoning matters.


   PRESENT-Forrest Sanderson, KLJ-County Contract Planner via phone conference, and Dave Havens, public member

   Forrest had made some earlier recommendations regarding the Planning fees. Forrest had discussed dropping the $100 pre-application fee and adopting the new proposed fee schedule. The Commission agreed this is how they would proceed. Forrest stated the fees should be reviewed again in 6 months by tracking the expenses to the county verses the revenue to make sure the County is not over or under charging the public.  Commissioner Baldwin feels since things are slowing down, the County could review them in 1 year rather than 6 months.  Forrest will mark October, 2016 on his calendar as the time to review the analysis.  Forrest feels they may want to increase the exempt survey review fees for those types of COS’s due to the length of time it takes to review them, the County could never break even, even charging $200.00.  The maximum the law allows is $200.00 and we now charge $100.00.   

  11:20 AM  Forrest left the hearing, the Commission will finish the hearing at 11:30 AM.


  Lutheran/Taco Stands-Commissioner Ranum discussed purchasing used equipment she had seen for the stands.  Commissioners Randash and Baldwin agree used equipment should be considered.  The Commission discussed getting the engineering completed for possibly both of the stands now.


  PRESENT Dave Havens

  This being the duly appointed time for the Planning Fees Public Hearing Commissioner Randash asked for public comment. Is there any public comment on the Planning Fees? Is there any public comment on the Planning Fees?  Hearing no public comment, the hearing was closed at 11:32 AM.

  Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to adopt the Planning Fees as presented by KLJ and amend the exemption review fees (Under Miscellaneous Fees) to $200.00. Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.  Resolution 2015-09 is recorded in the Clerk and Recorder’s office.


  Commissioners discussed the draft resolutions drawn up by Lani DeBuhr, Clerk/Commissioner Secretary. Questions/suggestions will be discussed with the County Attorney.  Commissioner Ranum had several questions regarding what she feels needs to be included in the Resolution.  Commissioner Baldwin felt Commissioner Ranum’s comments covered his comments.  Commissioner Randash had no comments.


  Parks-Commissioner Ranum asked about discussing with Mayor Hornung the expectations the Commission has regarding the grooming of the parks for next year.

    Roof at Senior Center-Roof is still not complete; Commissioner Baldwin will contact Thiel Roofing.

   Furniture at the Rifle Range-Commissioner Ranum would like to know if the Commission would agree it is okay to contact the new Rifle Range Manager regarding furniture she would like to donate to the Rifle Range. The Commission felt that would be fine.

12:00 PM Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to recess.  Commissioner Ranum seconds the motion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.

   Noon recess.


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


    Richard Menger, Sanitarian

  Sewer line-From the Fairgrounds to the Golf Course-In 2003 Rich wrote a letter to the DEQ stating Fallon County would maintain the line as well as access to the line, until such time as the City would take the line over.  Rich stated the City does want the line and Rich has been in touch with the County Attorney. The Commission wants to turn the line over to the City.

  Inspection-Rich stated he has a license that was miscategorized; Rich is correcting the license.

  1:27 PM  Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff; Nic Eisele, Undersheriff; Jeraldine Newell, Clerk of District Court; Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager; Darcy Pankratz Wassmann, County Attorney; Brenda Flint, Sheriff Clerk/Detention Center


  Landfill Employee Pay issue-Julie Straub asked to move this up the list and explained Tom Kachel, Landfill Manager, could not be here to talk about the pay issue for Landfill Scale Operator. Commissioner Ranum stated the Commission feels when running equipment, he would be paid Equipment Operator wages for those hours. Julie agreed that was what she thought should happen as well but felt Tom had a different thought.

   Tom was phoned and placed on conference call. Tom agreed with whatever the Commission decided to do.

  1:35 PM  Bobby Wiedmer joined the discussion.

  DECISION-The Commission feel they would like to train all landfill employees on all landfill equipment.  Julie will make sure she adds those items to the job description and Tom will discuss this with the employees this involves.

  Dirt-Wyrick Construction finished pushing up extra dirt for cover at the landfill.   

   Tom left the discussion.

  New Hire approval Forms-Julie had three (3) new hire approval forms for Detention Officers for signing. The Commission signed the New Hire approval forms. Rifle Range Manager position was filled as well.   

Special Project Technician Job Appraisal-Julie asked if the Commission had reviewed the job appraisal form with the Special Project Technician.  The Commission had not.  Julie stated the Commission would need to schedule a meeting with the employee to review the appraisal with him.

  FMLA Training-Julie asked if the Commission agreed to allow her permission to train County supervisors on the Family Medical Leave Act.  Permission granted

  Administrative Officer’s Job Description-Feedback on the description

  Commissioner Ranum stated when this was first discussed she felt the job description should include the lobbyist, grant writer, assist with investments, policies and procedures, board resolutions and the Baker Lake issues. Commissioner Ranum now feels it is broadened beyond her expectations.  Julie explained the information in this job description came from the Commission.  Julie would like the Commission to discuss this further and she will meet next week about this again.  Commissioner Baldwin felt the job description was fairly well covered.

    1:50 PM  Julie left the meeting to make copies of New Hire Approval Forms for the Commission.

  The Commission asked the remaining group what they were there to discuss. Jerrie stated they were there to listen and learn.  Trent asked if there would be more public discussion or discussion with the department heads regarding the County Administrator Job Description. Darcy stated the department heads would like to know how this position might affect their departments.  Commission Baldwin stated there would be more discussion before anything further happens.

   1:55 PM  Everyone left the discussion.

2:00 PM  Mona Madler, SMART Director


  Port Authority-Mona wanted to let the Commission know the Port Authority received the CDBG Planning Grant to create an Urban Renewal Plan, with a TIF provision. Mona will work on this with the Port Authority.

Veteran’s Memorial -POW/MIA Monument-Mona received a quote for a POW/MIA Monument from Black Hills Monument for a 6’ tall imported black granite monument. The quote of $4,254.00, includes engraving; the cost of the flagpole is $1300.00; the cost to etch the names will be $1,174.00.  Mona would like to know if the County would agree to pay for these items as the Veteran’s fund she handles does not have much funding left. The Commission granted permission for the new monument, flags and etching to be paid from Fallon County funds.  The goal is to have this finished by next Memorial Day.

    Commissioner Ranum discussed the existing monument and requested it be lifted and a base poured to get it further off the ground. Mona stated the discoloration is coming from the concrete. Commissioner Ranum feels the existing monument needs to be raised because of sprinklers damaging the monument and the lights are always being broken due to weed eating, mowing etc.  Commissioner Baldwin discussed who would be in charge of maintenance of the monuments. Mona has been doing the best she can to check on the existing monument.

   Mona explained the Veterans’ funds keeps paying for bills for broken items for the existing monument which is felt to be neglect from Park workers.  The only repair that was regular maintenance was replacing the LED light with an incandescent light to eliminate the blinking.  The Commission agreed Fallon County would pay for the repairs that were not regular maintenance.  Mona will send the bill to the County.

Other Projects – Mona is working with a few new businesses.

  Smart Director-Mona’s hours were cut, which was agreed to by Mona as there is not a lot going on right now. Mona works 9AM to 2 PM, until it picks up.

State rates for motels-Commissioner Ranum discussed motels in Baker honoring state rates to try to keep local government employees here rather than going to Miles City, etc.  Mona will do some research and let the Commission know what she finds out.    

  Oil Prices-Commissioner Ranum asked what Mona hears at meetings about how long the oil prices are projected to stay this way.  Mona hears they feel within the next year things will change.

   Teacher Appreciation Supper-This is November 18th

     Chamber meeting-This will be held at the Tavern next Thursday.

  2:50 PM  Mona left the meeting.

2:50 PM  Julie Straub, Human Resource Manager

  New Hire Approval Form-The Commission signed the New Hire Approval Form for the Shooting Range Manager position.

  2:55 PM  BUDGET TRANSFER-Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder

Board of Health Grant-Brenda explained an error in budgeting the Board of Health Grant.  The revenue side was budgeted for but the expenditure side of it was not. Due to all of the cuts there are not many places to move the funding from. Brenda volunteered to have the $10,000 moved from her budget since she did not catch this error.   Commission offered to take it from their budget.  A resolution will be drawn up moving the budget from Clerk and Recorder to Board of Health.


  Museum Board – Commissioner Ranum made the motion to appoint Sherry Vogel to the Museum Board.  Commissioner Baldwin seconds the motion. 3 Ayes.  0 Nays. Motion carried unanimously.

     No other letters of interest were submitted for any other boards.


  The Commission reviewed miscellaneous emails and notices from state agencies and other entities.      

     No action, decision or discussion were required.

  The Commission reviewed Department Reports, Newsletters, Notices and County Revenues

   Project Status Report-10-21-2015-Special Project Technician   

   Safety Committee Meetings-February 5, February 19, March 9, March 31, April 21, June 21, July 15, September 22, 2015   

  3rd Quarter Sanitarian Inspection Report

  Baker Municipal Airport Commission-October 14, 2015

MT DOT-Aeronautics Division Flyer-October, 2015

   Treasurer’s Cash Report-September, 2015

     The Commission reviewed miscellaneous revenues received

Motor Vehicle Disposal Grant funds – $403.00

  Baker Municipal FAA Grant-The Commission received notification from KLJ of a final payment submitted for reimbursement on Grant #3-30-0004-018-2015 in the amount of $4,973.02

  4:00 PM  Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney

  Exempt and Nonexempt Employees – Commissioner Ranum understood the County would be reviewing employees job statuses such as exempt/non-exempt again.  Commissioner Ranum explained this was just completed last year by the previous County Attorney.  Commissioner Ranum further explained employees were already compensated due to this fact.  Commissioner Ranum would like the Department of Labor here to explain this correctly so we are not going through this again.

  Fair Board Member-Per Diem question was previously answered.

Wages-Commissioner Ranum stated she wants the wages to be fair across the board. Discussed overtime issues and the fact overtime is supposed to be approved by the Commission.  Darcy stated she understood the County was working on Policies and Procedures which should help with those issues.

   Discussed Gravel-Commission would like to go out to bid for gravel just asking for a rate per yard.  Darcy feels that is the same as purchasing as you need it, which is what the County does now.  Darcy feels the County should go out to bid, asking for the bid bond and see what the County gets.  Decision is to follow Darcy’s suggestion and go from there.    

   County Lease Discussion

    Some leases start and end at different times and some are 1 year, 5 years, 10 year leases. Decision is to have the term be 5 years to accommodate the length of Commissioner terms. They would also like them to run from January 1 to December 31st. Charges were also discussed as a per acre basis.

  Easement on Pedestrian Path-West side of the Lake; this easement is between the City granting easement to the County. Darcy needs to get a legal description for this.

Hanson Road Easement-Darcy needs a legal description for this easement as well.

   Board Resolutions-Commissioner Ranum feels the Board Resolutions all need to be written separately.

  Per Diem-It was discussed all Boards should receive per diem when on County business.   

  Annual Allowance-Discussed the Fair Board members receive $25.00 per year and no other Board does. Darcy felt no other Board puts on a week-long event.

   Other Discussion-Commissioner Ranum shared other thoughts regarding the Draft Board Resolution. Discussed purchases or work costs over $2,500.00 need to be brought to the Board and then to the Commission before purchases, etc. are made. Discussed the boards will all be administrative boards. Commissioner Baldwin felt that did not fit the Fair Board.  Darcy stated they should all be set up administratively but they can be given different permissions.

   Electronic Files-Darcy stated she has still not received any electronic files from the former County Attorney.  Commissioner Baldwin will check on this tomorrow.


5:05 PM  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