Commissioner Proceedings


9:00am CONVENE

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



No one appeared for public comment.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to approve the Commission Minutes for the week August 7-11, 2017 with corrections. Commissioner Ranum seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nay. The motion carried unanimously.


Commission reviewed Journal Entries, Revenues, e-mails, and misc. items.

10:00am Alba Higgins, Shop Foreman; Bobby Wiedmer, Road Supervisor joined the meeting.


Shop Updates – RDO does not think they will have to split the tracks on the landfill waste handler.

Discussed maintenance on an older mower due to the fact they were not sure how long Commission plans to hold on to the road mowers.  Advised to keep an eye on the mowers this year and let the Commission know how they finish the season. May order a new pump and has other parts on hand due to the length of time it takes to get the parts (7 to 10 days).

Discussed service jobs on various equipment.

Discussed purchasing a tote of DEF as there is room to store it. The totes are less costly and less mess than the 55 gallon drums. Would like permission to purchase one tote. Commission approves.

Road Updates – Currently crews are mowing.


10:55am Kimberly Jensen, A/P Clerk joined the meeting.

Budget Review – Discussion on budget line items. Commission will take the FY 2017-18 budget into consideration.

11:09am Kimberly left the meeting.

11:12am Bobby and Alba left the meeting.


Appoint Members to Various Boards.

Commissioner Ranum made a motion to appoint Susan Newell to the Council on Aging, Mary Graham to the Library, and Brittany Hoverland to the County Planning Board. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried.

11:28am Rich Menger, Sanitarian joined the meeting.


Budget Review – Discussion on budget line items. Commission will take the FY 2017-18 budget into consideration.

11:40am Rich left the meeting.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to take a noon recess. Commissioner Ranum seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried.


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

ABSENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman



No one appeared for public comment.

1:30pm Barb Ketterling, Treasurer joined the meeting.


Budget Review – Discussion on budget line items.

1:35pm Brenda Wood, Clerk & Recorder joined the meeting.

1:38pm Brenda left the meeting.

1:40pm Kimberly Jensen, A/P Clerk joined the meeting.

1:47pm Kimberly left the meeting.

Commission will take the FY 2017-18 budget into consideration.

1:48pm Barb left the meeting.

2:00pm Kevin Braun, Dave Hayden, Art DeGrand, Jim McCabe and Tom Owens joined the meeting.


Discussion on Denbury Co2 Pipeline – Denbury is hosting a meeting with landowners on the 23rd of Aug. at 7:00pm at their office to discuss future plans of the pipeline. Individuals are here today to ask that the Commission be sure all the landowners are taken care of before the County signs any permits.  Commission Agrees. Commission will contact Carter County.

2:16pm Kevin, Dave, Art, Jim and Tom left the meeting.

2:57pm JoDee Pratt, City of Baker Mayor; Scott Rabbitt and Robbie Christiaens, Parks Dept. and Julie Straub, HR joined the meeting.

PARKS DEPARTMENT EXPECTATIONS   Commissioner Ranum did not present a list of items to discuss as she feels the job description should be sufficient. Commissioner Ranum asked that the trees be watered at Triangle Park and that has not been done, it’s been 6 weeks to get that done.

JoDee – I’m not out to make a witch hunt.

JoDee – Asked to see a list of what the Commission expects of the dept.

Commissioner Ranum – I don’t want any new projects.

JoDee- I expect – see it, it’s broke, fix it. If it’s huge, then come to me.

Commissioner Ranum – I don’t think you are aware of things that go on JoDee

JoDee – Do I need to know?

Commissioner Ranum – He has spent $7,330,000.00 Since June of 05.

JoDee and what do you have?  Iron Horse.

Commissioner Ranum – financially we cannot continue to support this anymore.

We need to bring things to a close.

JoDee – if this is where we are going…

Commissioner Ranum – this is the first year we ever denied, so I don’t know if this is to prove his point, but in one month the Griffith renting bill was $5,925.00.  States, Scott rented a bobcat one day drove it over to the park and parked it and then returned it. For $1,700.00

JoDee tried speaking – Deb cut her off.

Commissioner Ranum – continued to read the bills, and asked if the city could afford these bills.

JoDee – how do you expect them to do their jobs if you’re not going to allow them to buy the equipment they need?

Commissioner Ranum – Don’t give me that… I want them more accountable.

JoDee asked Scott,

If we dig with the excavator, we build and then back fill with the skid steer.

Commissioner Ranum – Scotty I’m not buying it!

JoDee –

Commissioner Ranum – I’ve seen other claims – you can rent by the hour, day, week, month.

I cover the bill for 17.5 hours, if the city can afford the rates, – go for it.

Scott – What would you like me to do?

Commissioner – Scott if I’m going to do the job, I have a damn plan!  Scott – JoDee – What do you want?

Commissioner Ranum – I want the Parks back in our control.

I want to go to that individual and say, what the hell are you doing, instead he runs to HR or who in the hell else.

JoDee, I want these guys to do their jobs.

Commissioner Ranum – Anything over $2,500 needs approved.

Goes and purchases grass for $2,500 and then goes back the next day for another $2,500.

Commissioner Ranum – Why are you planting, what the hell you gonna get to grow in Aug.?

Scott – it takes 3 weeks.

Commissioner Ranum – How long does it take to take root?

JoDee – They have been planting grass and they have been working very diligently. I think you nick-pick too much.

Commissioner Ranum – Do you ever drive by the parks and see them working?

JoDee – Yes, I see them working at Iron Horse all the time.

Commissioner Ranum – I never see them, they are always in the shop, never working,

I see Scott at NAPA and Barth electric.

Commissioner Ranum – You do it at your expense.

We cannot afford to continue to afford the budget for the parks.

I won’t approve the budget unless every item is itemized.

JoDee – We don’t do our budget that way.

Commissioner Ranum – Right JoDee – but I want it.

Commissioner Ranum – It’s time to end these projects.

JoDee – This is not what we are supposed to be talking about.

Commissioner Ranum – I talked to Steve this morning and told him I was going to discuss this.

JoDee – I want sidewalks

Commissioner Ranum – Do you have the money?

Commissioner Ranum – Is that the money we gave you?

JoDee – No, we are using that money for the wells.

JoDee – Parkview residents want a sidewalk so they can walk to the post office.

Commissioner Ranum – we have a bus.

JoDee – they came to us and asked for a sidewalk.

Commissioner Ranum – do you have the easement for it

JoDee – It’s my street, and ballpark.

JoDee – We are having a memorial bridge.

Commissioner Ranum – Do you have a detailed bill for the sidewalk

JoDee – I’m not asking you for $.10. I’m asking you for a schedule of the work you are having them do,

So I can try to schedule what I need done.

Commissioner Ranum – you give the 6 employees and I’ll show you what I can do with them.

JoDee – what do you think they got done?

Commissioner Ranum – cleaned up a lot of the area. If they did something at the gazebo park, I don’t know what it would be.

What did they do at Triangle Park?

Robbie – the bathroom and all the ground work.

Robbie – I’ve been building all summer.

Scott – You go in my office, there is a white board of things that needed completed this summer. Presented a photo of the white board list.

Scott – Lake Park will get overseeded this week.

Commissioner Ranum – you have a dingo why do you need an excavator?

Scott – it only goes 4ft. deep. We had to go about 9ft. deep to join existing lines under the road.

Scott – North ballfield should be able to get that top dressed this year yet.

JoDee – does that answer your questions?

Commissioner Ranum – no, that tells me what they are doing.

JoDee – Can you get me a schedule like that each week?

Scott – Explained the ball game schedule and a daily schedule for the help.

JoDee – Robbie and the guys have been painting and building all week.

Scott – Presented today’s schedule for the week. I lose all the employees this Wed.

JoDee – If he gave you picture of his schedule – would this work?

Commissioner Ranum – and he is supposed to come in and meet with us.

JoDee – Do you want him to interrupt his work day for this?

Commissioner Ranum – Oh, Let’s try it.

JoDee – Let’s just try it.

JoDee – They are working and do you not think this would work? Do you want them to ask you about every little thing they do?

Commissioner Ranum – JoDee, I asked for one thing to be done and it’s still not done.

JoDee – They are done.

Commissioner Ranum – How long do you keep watering a tree after it’s established?

Commissioner Ranum – Aw damnit JoDee, I have 1 tree over my hill that I paid 400.00 to have water hauled to.

JoDee – That sounds like a waste of money.  The watering is done.

Commissioner Ranum – It’s not done the way I asked.

JoDee – I know in Wisconsin trees grow.

Commissioner Ranum – What’s the problem with your trees in your Park JoDee, by the hospital?

JoDee – They are crappy trees, this is Montana. The row of trees going into the gazebo are alive.

They are not flourishing and it’s a drought.

Commissioner Ranum – It’s been a drought for 5 years due to not being watered.

Commissioner Ranum – The grass probably isn’t growing either due to lack of water…

JoDee – I have a list of things I want them to do and it doesn’t do any good to go over the list if you weren’t going to put forth the effort to do what I asked.

Did any of you do a list?

Commissioner Rost – The fence for Splash Park? Scott – it’s being done. Robbie picked it up for us today.

Scott – the feature that was damaged in the tornado is coming and will be here in 2 wks.

Commissioner Ranum – the water park animals were to be brought into the building last fall,

Scott – we brought all of them in that would fit in the building. The Hippo slide will not fit in the building.

Commissioner Ranum – why can’t they fit in the 3 buildings? They won’t fit in the gazebo door, and there is no room.

So, if you aren’t going to bring them inside, are you going to tarp them?

Scott – you would have to do a boat shrink wrap, otherwise it will put wear and tear on them and scrape paint off.

Rings and Hippo, there is no room for those items.

Everything was waxed this spring and he will be back in 2 – 3 wks.  They said if we wax them, they will last forever.

JoDee – Anything else.

Commissioner Ranum – No.

JoDee – So most of your projects are finished.

Scott – I will get that list to you.

Commissioner Ranum – Scott as late as it is now, why would you put seed out instead of late fall. But there’s no rain Scott.

Scott-  We irrigate it. If there’s no irrigation, we don’t overseed it.

Commissioner Ranum – JoDee, we overseed in the spring and fall, but if he’s got irrigation… we’ll see how many thousands we spend next year. I’m just saying when I would plant grass and when he would plant grass. Oh, but then I would be micro-managing.

JoDee – Just state what you want, don’t be evasive.

Commissioner Ranum – I want it planted a week before snow fall.

Commissioner Ranum – I was reprimanded, because I asked him to mow right before the high school rodeo.

Due to asking that I was told my watering of trees would be put off due to change in orders.

JoDee – You have an attitude since the moment I walked in today and every time I try to talk.

You are both taking things so personally.

Commissioner Ranum – JoDee, I would love to have your position of being able to write him up and 1-2-3 strike system and he would be gone.

JoDee – You two need to stop attacking.

Commissioner Ranum -You keep your opinion to yourself.

Commissioner Ranum -Yea I’ll say Scott included.

Scott – Judging how that last 50 mins. went, I can see how my budget will go.

JoDee – I believe I’m dismissed.

3:51pm JoDee and Julie left the meeting.


3:53pm Jon Easley, Randy Mesce of Mechanical Technology Inc. joined the meeting.

3:55pm Lynda Herbst, Inside Maintenance joined the meeting.

Discussion on budget line items.

Commission advises to have the Parks Dept. make another appointment to continue budget review.

4:03pm Scott and Robbie left the meeting.


Discussion on the HVAC unit on the Sheriff’s Department. Several alarms go off with no success in figuring out what each alarm means; when the manufacturer was called; they state that the individual who originally programed it is no longer with the company.

The machine is inefficient, works on cold air intake, and a maintenance issue.

It’s a very heavy maintenance piece of equipment.

The option would be to take out the control panel and install a new controller and wiring.

Straub Heating and Air Conditioning is willing to help with the in-between months with changing filters. This would help with some of the high maintenance issue.

Commission asked for a damper option quote.

Discussion on putting a unit on the ground and if the upgrade on the controls is worth the expense.

Advised the Commission would need to have an engineer involved if you want another unit.

4:30pm JK Kinsey, Auctioneer joined the meeting.

4:30pm John, Randy, and Lynda left the meeting.


Proposing the County Auction to be an online auction. Auction would open on the 20th through the 27th. Commission would be based on a sliding scale, based on sale of lot. Some of the advertising costs could be split with Dawson County. Commission will take into consideration.

4:50pm JK left the meeting.


Commissioner Rost made the motion to adjourn. Commissioner Ranum stepped down from Co-Chair and seconded the motion. Commissioner Ranum asked for any other discussion. 2 Ayes. 0 Nay. 1 Absent. The motion carried.


s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman


s/Deb Ranum, Co-Chairman


s/Peggy Paylor, Recording Clerk


s/Brenda J. Wood, Clerk and Recorder

On Friday, August 18, 2017, Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative, Inc. mailed capital credit checks of approximately $1,004,000 to its members and patrons. The 2017 distribution of capital credits represents 100% of the remaining balance of the 1993 patronage allocation, 11% of the remaining unretired balance of the year 1994, as well as 5% of the 2016 patronage allocation.

Receiving capital credit checks is just one of the many benefits of utilizing the services of a cooperative. A cooperative business is owned and democratically controlled by its member patrons. Any profit is distributed to patrons in proportion to their use, or “patronage,” of the cooperative’s services. Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative uses both the “first-in, first-out” and the percentage methods of distribution to allow both new and past patrons the opportunity to share in the benefits of the cooperative by receiving capital credit checks.

Payment of capital credits is made only if the financial condition of the cooperative permits as determined by the Board of Trustees. Mid-Rivers’ financial condition has allowed regular and substantial payment of capital credits in recent years. However, decreased revenues caused by regulatory and other changes in the telecommunications industry, and the need for member capital to extend broadband services in rural areas, may affect Mid-Rivers’ ability to continue to make regular and/or substantial capital credit payments in the future.

Including the 2017 payment, Mid-Rivers has returned approximately $41.7 million in capital credits to its members.