Commissioner Proceedings

Commissioner Proceedings


9:00am CONVENE

PRESENT: Deb Ranum, Roy Rost, Members; Peggy Paylor, Recording Clerk

ABSENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman



No one appeared for public comment.

9:00am Stacey Moore, Director of Library Services joined the meeting

Requesting approval to post on Library Facebook page a Library Internet Policy for Roblox gaming platform. It’s the most popular game being played by most of minor children. Would like to offer a class to the parents.

Commission approved.

9:10am Stacey left the meeting.

Discussion on Legislative hearing of Gas Tax Bill.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Commission Minutes with corrections for the week of FEBRUARY 21-24, 2017. Being there was no second, Commissioner Ranum stepped down from Co-Chair and seconded the motion. Commissioner Ranum asked for any other discussion. 2 Ayes. 1 Absent, 0 Nay. The motion carried.

9:27am Mary Grube, Planner Administrative Assistant joined the meeting.


Discussion on status of Growth Policy; Forrest still working on this and should have a draft of the final copy in April. Mary still needs to forward information on the flood gate controller details to the County Attorney.

Updates given on City of Baker Council meeting. Target rates for infrastructure were discussed.

The City will hold a Public Hearing in regards to rates at a later date.

9:40am Eric Kary, Golf Course Supervisor

9:44am Mary left the meeting.


Equipment updates.

In the next couple of weeks will be meeting with Human Resource to advertise for summer hires. Discussion followed on how many will be hired. Eric responded that 1 lead crew person and 3 others would be hired. Discussion on wages.

Commissioner Ranum asked if Eric was receiving the Safety Incentive Program funds. Eric was unware if he was.

9:52am Eric left the meeting.

10:04am Alba Higgins, Shop Foreman; Bobby Wiedmer, Road Supervisor; Julie Straub, HRM joined the meeting.

Operator Approval

Asked for approval to hire the Road Operator. The Commission gave permission and signed the New Hire Approval Form authorizing hire of the Road Operator.

10:10am Julie left the meeting.

Shop Updates – Warranty on the wheel loader has been extended but JD Link has expired. Requesting permission to purchase a 3 year subscription for $3,000. Tabled.

Motor Grader Bid Acceptance. Tabled

Updates given on equipment.

New Senior Bus. Wheel chair lift was not working due to a bad breaker. Spare tire – The State would reimburse a portion of the install of a heavy bumper and grille guard so the spare tire could be mounted on the front. Obtaining quotes.

10:50am Bobby and Alba left the meeting.

11:05am Angie Rabbitt, Recreation Director; Scott Rabbitt, Parks Department Head, JoDee Pratt, City of Baker Mayor joined the meeting.


Discussion followed with hiring of seasonal help for the Rec Department, the programs offered, and inquiry into how the department functions.

Discussion then turned to the Parks Department and what projects are to be done this year.

Commissioner Ranum questioned how many individuals the Park’s Department plans on for seasonal help. It is budgeted for one full-time year around assistant. Conversations pursuant to wages, seasonal help, proposed projects, aesthetics of town and parks.

Discussion on City’s plan for a walkway bridge at City Park by the Hospital.

Parks Dept. looking at hiring 6 seasonal employees.

Discussion followed on Relay for Life event that used to be held here.

Discussion of lack of volunteerism in the community.

Commissioner Rost asked, what is the long term plan or vision for Iron Horse Park? Are you seeing a need for more things or are we cluttering it up? Target age group for park use was also discussed.

11:45am Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder joined the meeting.

Discussion followed on the Dewatering of Baker Lake and processes.

11:54am Angie and Scott left the meeting.


Discussion on letter received from the City. Funds are allocated and given in Capital Improvement Plan & Budget. What time frame is money needed in? City needs answer on the Park.

Commission agrees that funds can be transferred by June 1, 2017.

11:59am Brenda left the meeting.

Discussion on City rates followed. Commissioner Ranum asked this not to be included in the minutes.



Commissioner Rost made the motion to take a noon recess. Being there was no second, Commissioner Ranum stepped down from Co-Chair and seconded the motion. Commissioner Ranum asked for any other discussion. 2 Ayes. 1 Absent, 0 Nay. The motion carried.

12:10pm JoDee left the meeting.


PRESENT: Deb Ranum, Co-Chairman; Roy Rost, Member; Peggy Paylor, Recording Clerk

ABSENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman



1:10pm Rich Menger, Sanitarian joined the meeting.

Jay Shearer with DEQ underground petroleum tank storage contacted Rich in regards to the large excavation by Cenex’s Farmers Union. Jay is concerned about the $100 per ton landfill charge as it is 5 times what the rest of state is charging for contaminated soil. In lieu of the Landfill is the junk vehicle graveyard (vehicles waiting to be crushed). Junk vehicles can be seen and Rich would like a single use land farm for low impact contaminated soils to build a berm. The contamination is very low impact soil from where the petroleum storage tanks were. The soil would not need to be turned if used for a berm. The Commission wants pictures of site.

Further discussion – Commissioner Ranum does not want the minutes to reflect how the rates came about.

Commissioner Rost would like to do a site visit.

Discussion followed on Cenex property. No decision made.

1:28pm Dale Butori, Weed Control Coordinator joined the meeting.

1:30pm Jason Rittal, County Development Advisor joined the meeting via conference call.

Legislative updates given.

Senate is on break but House in session until sometime on Wednesday.

Discussion on Noxious Weed Bill.

Per Sanitarian, the anticipated date for dewater of Baker Lake to begin is April 15.

1:47pm Jason ended the phone call thereby leaving the meeting. Rich also left the meeting.

Dale invited the Commission to attend the April 1st Eastern Montana Fire Alliance meeting and training in Baker. The host town provides a speaker and lunch. The meeting will start at 10am, training will be after lunch. EMS, Dispatch, and the City Mayor have also been invited.

1:52pm Dale left the meeting.

1:58pm Andy Fujimori, IT/Computer Tech joined the meeting.


A report, funded by grants, from DIS was presented. DIS did a security vulnerability assessment and provided a budget that will make the outlying facilities secure and compliant with HIPPA laws. Andy would like to aid in this process to aid in cost cutting expense and to gain experience.

Total expense would be half the IT budget, approximately $87,000.00.

Tyler Tech did migration to new server and Andy would like on-going training with the servers.

Commissioner Ranum wants to wait for Commissioner Baldwin to be present before a decision is made.

Mid-Rivers crew is here and in the process of wire installation for the new phone system. They will provide training.

2:23pm Andy left the meeting.

2:24pm Lani DeBuhr, Fairground Manager joined the meeting.

Commissioner Ranum called Chuck Lee to discuss the XL Pipeline.

Discussion on Fair entertainment and sound system.

Commissioner Ranum asked if the exhaust fans were used in the big barn Sat. night. – Yes, but the dust was still bad.

Discussion on Saturday night’s events and lessons learned.

Commissioner Ranum asked when Floyd was going to start and how many seasonal workers they were going to hire. Decision when Fair Board meets.

Commissioner Ranum would like to see the seating space painted with numbers as people were saving spots.

Commissioner Ranum also wants additional safety chain.

Commissioner Ranum asked what happened to the sewer line. Lani responded that a snake was run down the line for about 200-300 feet and hit dirt. Potentially there’s a break in the line and if a new line were installed clean outs would need to be installed every 50 feet. Commissioner Ranum asked how deep that line is. Lani was unsure but the lines were installed when the barn was built in the 70’s.

Commissioner Ranum asked who cleaned up after the rodeo. The Fair board did.

Commissioner Rost stated that the 4-H food booth had 400 burgers ready and the second Calcutta was not held. Could this not have been communicated to the 4-H as they only sold about 150 burgers. Lani responded that it was a last minute decision not to have the second Calcutta.

The Fair has had a request from the high school track team to use the grandstands for track practice. Liability would belong to the Fair. Decision was tabled.

Commissioner Ranum asked Lani to wait.

2:45pm Kimberly Jensen, A/P Clerk joined the meeting.


Accounts Payable is reporting back, as requested, on Mid-Rivers cell data usage. After speaking with Mid-Rivers the County can move one department from the 5GB to the 10GB plan as there are those in the 10GB plan that are not using 5GB. Commission approved to move departments on plans at no additional cost.

2:57pm Kimberly left the meeting.

Commissioner Ranum asked Fair Manager if there was advertising for the Bulls Broncs and Barrels. Lani responded that yes, they did and there were more sales in pre-sales then in prior years.

Commissioner Ranum asked why would there be a second Calcutta. Lani responded that the first one was for long go and the second one is for the short go.

Commissioner Ranum asked if points earned at the rodeo apply to the PRCA. Lani stated no, it’s not a PRCA sanctioned event.

Commissioner Ranum revisited the discussion on seasonal help and having a lead and not an assistant lead position.

3:05pm Lani left the meeting.

3:08pm Lisa Mitchell, EMS Director joined the meeting.

Gotta Question

The Commission asked Lisa to review the question and she clarified that EMT’s volunteer to serve the community and each volunteers over 200 hours a month and Lisa’s hours are over 400 a month.

Commissioner Ranum was disinclined to answer and has asked Lisa to prepare an answer or ask for an interview.

Commissioner Ranum asked if Lisa knew where the question came from. No

EMT’s have been contaminated to TB, Hepatitis and various other diseases and have no wash area to clean up at the station so they must take it home to families and expose them also.

Commission has asked Lisa to answer the Gotta Question this week.

Lisa asked if the Commissioners wanted to see a copy of Lisa’s response. Commissioner Rost would like to see it. Commissioner Ranum said to have the County Attorney review it.

Commissioner Ranum asked if the new ambulance had decals. Yes.

3:21pm Lisa left the meeting.

Commissioner’s Desk – Tabled.

Policy Manual Review – Roy has reviewed and after much discussion has asked this to be on the Agenda again and have Human Resource available for clarification.

3:34pm Brenda Wood, Barb Ketterling and Mid-Rivers employees joined the meeting to ask the Commission about placement of server switches. Commissioners left to view current switch location and proposed site. Switch to be moved to the closet in break room.

3:45pm Commission returned to session.

Continuation of Policy Review discussion.

3:53pm Chanse Hoenke joined the meeting.


In December 2016, Chanse took over the company. Chanse asked for the meeting as he has heard the Commission did not want Primo services any longer.

Commissioner Ranum suggested that Chanse get back on the Agenda as Commissioner Baldwin is gone. In the summer time Chanse is a county employee and then would operate the business after his county hours.

Chanse took over the business and has been doing the cleaning at Parkview.

Chanse asked what documentation he should bring.

Commissioner Ranum stated he should bring his Montana Contractor License and Proof of Liability Insurance. Chanse intends to fulfill the contract himself without other employees.

4:00pm Chanse left the meeting.

Back to Policy Manual review.

4:11pm Lynda Herbst, Inside Building Maintenance joined the meeting.


Sherry Curry would like to clean/shampoo carpets in April and September. Lynda would like to wait until May. Commissioner Ranum doesn’t care when, she just wants it done twice a year.

Lynda asked that when contractors come in, are they not supposed to clean up after themselves. Commissioner Ranum stated yes, they should.

Lynda asked because the boiler room was not cleaned when the contractor was here.

April 6th Department of Labor will be doing a walk-through consultation visit; is there anything the Commission wants done prior to walk through?

Discussion followed on personal matters.

4:20pm Lynda left the meeting.

Back to Unfinished Business.

City of Baker Joint Powers Agreement – Tabled.

4:29pm Fred Hoff joined the meeting asking if the land leases have been sent out yet. Commissioner Ranum said they will be mailed in March. Discussion followed on roads.

4:32pm Fred left the meeting.


Read and reviewed e-mails, letters, reports, board minutes and agendas, revenues.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to adjourn. Being there was no second, Commissioner Ranum stepped down from Co-Chair and seconded the motion. Commissioner Ranum asked for any other discussion. 2 Ayes. 1 Absent, 0 Nay. The motion carried.


s/Deb Ranum, Co-Chairman


s/Peggy Paylor, Recording Clerk


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder