Commissioner Proceedings

MONDAY, DEC. 17, 2018


PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Deb Ranum, Roy Rost, Members; Kelsey DuCharme, Recording Clerk/Secretary


PUBLIC COMMENT –AGENDA/NON-AGENDA ITEMS No one appeared for public comment.


Commissioner Ranum made the motion to approve the minutes from December 10-14, 2018 with corrections. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

9:57 AM Bobby Wiedmer, Road Supervisor; Alba Higgins, Shop Foreman joined the meeting.

Landfill Loader Specs- Bobby and Alba brought in the bid specs on the Landfill loader for the Commission to review. With the holidays coming up, bids will be due on January 14th. The Commission reviewed the specs for the loader. Discussion on the old 816-B compactor that is being traded from the Landfill as well. The specs were discussed in detail. The Commission gave their approval to send the bid specs out.

10:03 AM Rich Menger, Sanitarian joined the meeting.

Upper Lake- The Upper Lake gate is needing repaired. Mitch Overn, Mechanic, was able to take out the original fittings and will be putting in stainless-steel fittings. There shouldn’t be an issue if the fittings are made with stainless-steel.

Updates- The Road Crew has been finishing up the repairs on a few of the trucks that were down last week. A compressor was lost on one of the Kenworth’s.

10:13 AM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined the meeting.

Mowing Upper Dam Face- After a dam inspection, it has been requested to have the Upper Dam face mowed. Discussion on the differences mowing or spraying the dam would make. They will need to be cautious of what they use to spray the weeds because they don’t want to kill everything.

Trees at Afrank’s Property- Discussion on the trees at Afrank’s property near the Lake and how to get rid of them. The best time to spray may be right before it freezes.

10:21 AM Alba left the meeting.

Bridge- Shannon was able to have the bridge over Plevna North Road over Pennell Creek sized. He sent in the measurements to make sure it can be permitted. It is a little smaller than the biggest bridge on that road, but will need to be permitted regardless. Shannon will make sure permitting is allotted before getting into more of the design process. There will need to be roadwork done to get the box culvert put in. Once Shannon hears about the permitting, he will start designing the bridge.

Sand at Baker Lake- The Commission is not happy with the beach sand that has been placed at the Lake. They would like to find different sand to put over the top of the current sand.

10:26 AM Mary Grube, Administrative Assistant Planner joined the meeting.

Shannon handed out a list of the sand that would be available to purchase around the area. He brought in various sieves for examples of different sizes. Different options of sand were discussed. They would like to put a layer on top of the existing sand. However, it will mix into the existing sand with time. It may remediate the sand beneath it. This will require maintenance. If the Commission decides to go with the sand from Fisher Sand and Gravel in Glendive, the Road Department would be able to haul it. It is already permitted. The Commission would like to get a sample from them before moving forward. Bobby called Fisher Sand and Gravel and they confirmed they have enough sand for the project.

10:44 AM Bobby left the meeting.

10:45 AM – Tom Parker, Geum Environmental joined the meeting via phone conference.

Discussion on Afrank Property- Tom spoke with a representative from the EPA and asked about the status of the EPA reviewing the Afrank property. She explained that from the EPA prospective, there is documentation that the impact did occur to the land and the EPA is requiring it to be mitigated, as it was included as part of the restoration plan. It would make sense and potentially lead to the quickest resolution if the extra wetland acres that were generated for the new lake project were accounted for as mitigation to the Afrank property. Tom will need to propose this to the EPA if the Commission agrees. The EPA’s perspective is going back to the documentation that has been provided by the engineers. According to the documentation, the impact did occur. They could also request more information to explain more of what they are looking for. The Commission would like to make it right and go along with what Tom is requesting. They would still like to try with the 3:1 mitigation proposal, as it would be consistent with how the rest of the mitigation was proposed. The County would still have over an acre to be used for mitigation for other projects potentially. More wetlands are not being put in, they were already existent. The Commission is in agreement with Tom’s proposal. He will call the EPA and give them the Commission’s response. He will ask if they agree with the approach and if they will accept it and ask what they need in writing for it to be resolved. Assuming they accept the proposal, they may approve the permit afterwards.

11:01 AM Tom hung up the phone; therefore, leaving the meeting.

11:03 AM Shannon, Rich and Mary left the meeting.

11:30 AM Elected Officials were Sworn in at the Courthouse Lobby. Barb Ketterling, Treasurer; Anna Straub, Justice of the Peace; Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff; Steve Baldwin, County Commissioner; Darcy Wassmann, County Attorney were sworn in as Elected Officials. Julie Post, Debbie Wyrick and Nic Eisele will be the Deputies. Brenda Wood, Clerk and Recorder was absent and will be sworn in at a different time. The Fallon County Times were present as well.

11:50 AM Commissioner Rost made the motion to take a noon recess. Commissioner Ranum seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.



PRESENT: Steve Baldwin, Chairman; Deb Ranum, Roy Rost, Members; Kelsey DuCharme, Recording Clerk/Secretary





1:15 PM Shannon Hewson, Brosz Engineering joined the meeting.

Public Meeting for Fish in Baker Lake Discussion- Shannon wanted to go over the main topics of the public meeting that is occurring tonight at 6 PM regarding the fish in Baker Lake. He will review the top ranked species from the online survey and will take any comments or concerns regarding the fish. Fish, Wildlife and Parks will be attending the meeting to inform the public of the ecosystems and what types of fish will live well and thrive together.

1:23 PM Shannon left the meeting.

1:25 PM Trenton Harbaugh, Sheriff joined the meeting.

Baker Lake Map for Emergency Services- The Commission has received an aerial map of Baker Lake from Brosz Engineering that includes the location of rock piles, different depths and holes, elevations, etc. Trent reviewed the map, as this will be used in case of emergencies. He would like a list of policies that will need to be followed by the public at the Lake as well. Once the final map is created, all emergency services will be getting a copy.

1:36 PM Trent left the meeting.

Amend Minutes from October 29, 2018 – Name Changes

Commissioner Ranum made the motion to change the phrase “Mary reviewed the recommended changes made by Tara DePuy, MACo, pertaining to the Land Use Permit” to “Mary reviewed the recommended changes made by Susan Swimley, Swimley Law Firm, pertaining to the Land Use Permit’ from October 29, 2018. Commissioner Rost seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

1:45 PM Kimberly Jensen, AP Clerk; Julie Straub, HRM joined the meeting.

Approval of Credit Card Policy and User Agreement- The new credit card policy and user agreement was handed out for approval by the Commission. A request form for employees to fill out is also included for a record of any requests for a personalized card. The new credit cards will be in the name of the employee, instead of one card for all employees county-wide. All department heads will be aware of the usage of their credit cards within their department. Some of these guidelines were in the previous debit card policy. The cardholder will be in charge of their own card. The cards will be in the card holder’s possession, they will no longer be held in the Clerk and Recorder’s possession. The Commission reviewed and agreed with the policy and user agreement.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to accept the Fallon County Credit Card Policy and User Agreement. Commissioner Ranum seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; Commissioner Ranum asked about new employees signing the policy; in which Julie answered will be included in their orientation packets. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

1:57 PM Kimberly left the meeting.

Discuss/Finalize Park Department Job Descriptions- Julie brought in the updated Parks job description that she has been working on. The purpose of this meeting is to add or change any items in the Park employee job description before the hiring process will start. Commissioner Ranum would like effort to be made for personal property to be returned back to the original owners after it is lost and found on County property. Discussion on the maintenance of the grounds. The policy will now include an expectation of maintaining an accurate inventory of supplies and consulting with the Commission prior to purchasing supplies. The task list will be in the Parks Plan and will contain all of the duties that will be expected. New playground equipment will need to be approved by the Commission. An applicators license will be expected within one year of employment. Seasonal employees, unless they are licensed, will not be allowed to mix or use the chemicals, however they can spray fertilizer. Job requirements and preferred experience were discussed. The Parks Board is not yet identified in the job description. If a board is formulated, direct supervision will be remaining with the Commission and the employee will be required to attend Park meetings as well. There will be an expectation to help out with various departments during the winter months. The starting wage for the Park’s employee was discussed.

2:54 PM Rich Menger, Sanitarian joined the meeting.

A title for the Park’s employee will need to be decided on. JoDee Pratt, Mayor, the hired Parks employee and the Commission will need to meet on a regular basis to make sure the duties and expectations are being met. Only one employee will be hired, seasonal employees will be at a later date. They would like to start advertising sometime in February for the position.

3:01 PM Julie left the meeting.

3:02 PM Randy Tunby and Tom Owens, Members of the Public joined the meeting.

Memorandum of Understanding with Wildlife Services- In previous fiscal years, the County has allocated money in the budget for predator control from Wildlife Services. It was not budgeted for this year. This has caused a large number of coyotes on the land of local ranchers. Randy and Tom would like them to reconsider budgeting for this fund. Discussion on how the money is distributed through Wildlife Services. The money the Commission has sent previously is only used in Fallon County. The funds for coyote control are getting to be less and less. Powder River and Carter County both have their own predator control programs. A cattle petition would not be feasible for the next couple years to be effectively put into place.

3:14 PM Julie Straub, HRM joined the meeting.

The Commission would like to see a current report from Wildlife Services for the Fallon County area. Randy and Tom will come back in at a later date for further discussion.

3:20 PM Rich left the meeting.

3:21 PM Randy and Tom left the meeting.


Development of Interview Questions- Julie informed the Commission that this meeting cannot take place, as it has been challenged by a patron because of improper policies. Julie gave Commissioner

Ranum and Commissioner Baldwin a list of questions for them to review and pick their favorite questions for the Museum interviews later this week.

3:23 PM Julie left the meeting.


The Commission reviewed and approved the December Mid- Month Claims in the amount of $424,187.68 and they are filed in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

3:57 PM Julie Straub, HRM; Shane Bettenhausen, Shooting Range Manager joined the meeting.

Changing Hours and Schedule of the Shooting Range- Shane would like to change the hours at the Gun Range because Thursdays are a very busy day. Out of town people have been coming in as well. He proposed to change the hours to be open Saturday and Sunday 1-5, and add an hour to Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday hours would be 2-8 and Thursday would be 3-9. This would still result in it being open 20 hours a week. He would also like to ask the Commission for approval to have Carl Overland, Shooting Range Attendant, be paid for helping with ladies’ night. The Commission agreed with the change of hours, as well as paying Carl.

Shooting Range Updates- A lead test was completed at the Shooting Range a couple of weeks ago. There was some lead that was found on the floor. Shane gave the Commission a quote for a special mop to be used for this, as vacuuming is not working for lead removal. There is room in the budget for the mop machine. The Commission agreed, as the issue will need to be dealt with. The Commission would like to know if Shane would have time to mow the Gun Range, as they are in the process of updating job descriptions. Shane explained that it would take much longer than he has time for. The mowing equipment is stored at the Range and works great. Mowing at the Gun Range may need to be added to the Parks Plan.

4:06 PM Julie and Shane left the meeting.


Commission reviewed e-mails, correspondence, revenues, reports, board minutes and agendas. The Commission also discussed the change in Chairman, effective the start of the 2019 year.

Commissioner Rost made the motion to appoint Deb Ranum as the Chairman for 2019. Commissioner Ranum seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any other discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.

4:56 PM Commissioner Rost made the motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Ranum seconded the motion. Commissioner Baldwin asked for any further discussion; being none. 3 Ayes. 0 Nays. The motion carried unanimously.


MONDAY – DEC. 17, 2018

6:00 PM





PRESENT: Roy Rost, Steve Baldwin, Deb Ranum, Kelsey DuCharme, Mark Sieler, Marie Gibson, Ronald Gibson, Brian Gibson, Mike Backes, Shannon Hewson, Mary Grube, Caleb Bollman, Kevin Kleppelid, Rich Menger, JoDee Pratt

Shannon Hewson introduced Mike Backes and Caleb Bollman, both of whom are representing Fish, Wildlife and Parks. He explained that Rainbow Trout are planned to be put into Baker Lake for the spring of 2019. Shannon reviewed the different fish that were chosen during the public input survey that was completed a couple months ago. The County Commissioners would like input from the public as to what they would like to see being put in. Mike explained that the original recommendation was to start with fewer species to see how they will survive and interact together. After a couple of years, they could always come back in and add more species. If a lot of species are added together at once, it is a gamble if they will all interact together and hard to narrow down what is not working. The Lake will now hold twice the capacity of water that it used to. The first species that will be introduced is the trout to help people to catch fish sooner. The trout will grow faster than anything else they could put in there. Commissioner Rost asked if walleye would be easier to catch in Baker Lake than they are in South Sandstone. Mike responded that it is hard to predict what any type of species will do in the Lake. Walleye are very difficult to catch regardless. Discussion followed on how often Baker Lake would be stocked and how often

Sandstone is currently stocked. This will depend on the types of fish. Generally, fish will reproduce on their own at whatever opportunity the system will produce. If the hatchery is going to stock the Lake, the requests have to be put in early enough to get the amount that is being asked for. For blue gill, they can overpopulate fairly quickly, as well as the perch. Discussion on which fish overpopulate and replenish within themselves. For largemouth bass, the nearest place to go is Sandstone, however they are a small component. The ability to catch fish during the winter will also be a factor in the decision of the types of species that will be put in. The new design of the Lake should eliminate some of the winter kill. Reducing the amount of 6-feet or less depths of water will increase the oxygen level for the fish during the winter months. Average winters should not be an issue any longer. The Commission thanked Fish, Wildlife and Parks for being such a great support for the Lake. This is a rare opportunity to completely revamp an entire lake and they are happy to be part of such a huge project that will have a long-lasting impact. Rich Menger explained that he would prefer to not see perch in Baker Lake, as they are already at Sandstone. Mark Sieler would not like pike in the Lake for the same reasoning. The question was asked if the Lake would be for kids more or for experienced fisherman. There was consensus that this would be more of a lake for children and families. Discussion on the use of recreation in Baker Lake. The constant wave action can hurt a fishery, as it erodes the banks and reduces some vegetation, making it a declining ecosystem response. Because of the EPA mitigation plan, vegetation will need to be established, in which the lower wake speeds will be posted and need to be followed. Rich would like to see channel cats being put into the Lake. Mike explained that these would be a very small component if it were to ever be implemented. They can always be added in later on. Discussion on introducing minnows. This will depend on what prey species are decided on as well. The Commission thanked Shannon, Mike and Caleb for attending the meeting and giving their input.

7:08 PM – The public input meeting adjourned.

Wednesday – December 19 – 7:00 PM – The City Council meeting was held at the Fallon County Courthouse Courtroom.

Thursday and Friday – December 19 and 20 – Job interviews for the Museum Curator were held. Commissioner Baldwin and Commissioner Ranum were included in the interview panel.

   s/Steve Baldwin, Chairman


     s/Kelsey DuCharme,

    Recording Clerk


    s/Brenda Wood, Clerk

          and Recorder