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Commissioner Minutes February 20, 2019

March 5, 2019

February 20, 2019

The meeting was called to order at 8:40 by Commissioner Borner.  Commissioner Berry and Carlson were present.

Pledge of Allegiance


February 19, 2019 at 2:00 Clerk & Recorder Tomassi opened the Public Tax Sale Auction for a part of the East half of Section 33, Township-11-North, Range-31 East described as Tract 3 of Certificate of Survey 1973-1 for taxes in the amount of $1424.50.  Ms. Tomassi asked if there were any bids. Mr. Dejaegher bid $1424.50 for the Dejaegher Ranch. After finding out exactly where the property was Mr. Dejaegher declined the purchase.  Sale ended.


Commissioner Carlson made the motion to approve the minutes as amended after Commissioner Borner asked that the meetings attended in Helena be added. Commissioner Berry seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Commissioner Borner said that the Coal Board funding is going to the Senate floor. There was  a Bill that would adversely affect the rural TIF Districts, if this passes an important tool for Musselshell county will be taken away.  Commissioner Berry said he went for 3% increase on inflation on mills from 1.5%.  Commissioner Borner said that when she testified for HB403 there were a lot of questions asked and she testified for the need against the bill for herself and not representing the Board.  She has written and sent a letter to Chairman Redfield and all committee members to clarify that the testimony was for herself.


Accounting Supervisor Angel gave her weekly report to the Commissioners.  Ms. Angel is trying to figure out the States share of HB403 and is waiting on clarity from the State.  Ms. Angel and Road Secretary Kenner met with Melinda Goodwin from FEMA regarding roads in the program and the major collector roads and feels like the requirements are insane.  Road and Bridge Supervisor Stockert will be talking to Montana Department of Transportation regarding when major collector roads were added. Ms. Angel told the Commissioners that Secretary Kenner had great notes for Ms. Goodwin.


Maintenance Supervisor Jett gave her weekly report to the Commissioners.  There is a problem with the heat at the Commons and Chris Malenowski from Empire Heating is supposed to be looking at it.  The tractor/blower needed a chain and Ms. Jett thinks it is a great purchase.


Clerk & Recorder Tomassi visited with the Commissioner and let them know about the Tax Sale held on February 19, 2019 at 2:00.  Ms. Tomassi is going to be checking the law as to exactly what is next.  The Commissioners are going to vote on February 25, 2019 on selling some property owned by the County.


Road and Bridge Supervisor Stockert and Secretary Kenner gave their weekly report to the Commissioners. Joe Vescovi was supposed to meet with them but did not show up.  Ms. Kenner told the Commissioners that the State does not care about the abandonment of #4 Road.  They are in Contact with Paul Johnson (MDT) about it and also about collecting funds from the State for Delphia road bridge stabilization during flooding, since it is classified as a “major collector” by the State FEMA will not reimburse.  “Major collector” is new to the State and to us. Mr. Stockert is waiting on a return call from the Pedrazzi’s regarding #4 Road. They are going to set up a meeting with MDT.  BARSSA funds were discussed.  There was a list of projects they will use the funds for. Purchase cattle guards, culverts and gravel for Johnson Rd., the remaining to assist in culvert replacement for South & Horsethief.  There will be a resolution regarding the funds on February 25, 2019 at the 3:00 business. Mr. Stockert told the Commissioners that any silt from flooding has to be hauled to the Billings land fill.  Mr. Stockert is disappointed in the new pumps.  There always seems to be a problem with getting them installed.


Sheriff Lesnik and Deputy Hagerman gave their weekly report to the Commissioners.  The person they usually buy their vehicles from (Bob Vito) is not working out.  They were told they were going to have a new Ford Interceptor in November and still don’t have it.  Mr. Lesnik has done some research and can get vehicles cheaper from Dana Safety in Park County.  Since there is no contract with Mr. Vito the Commissioners do not have a problem with going with Dana Safety. Eventually Mr. Lesnik wants to go to all trucks.  There are 8 inmates in jail. Mr. Lesnik told the Commissioners that Musselshell County will continue to go to Hospice deaths.   Commissioner Borner asked for an update on hail damage.  Mr. Lesnik will get her the information.


DES Coordinator Fisher gave his weekly report to the Commissioners. There is one party in the FEMA buyout that would like to get their own appraisal. All others have accepted. One party also wants to keep some of the lots in the buyout.  Mr. Fisher is going to talk to City Council about possibly moving the ball field. They will be putting what the next step is concerning a Flood Plain violation on the February 25, 2019 agenda.


Brian Kurth met with the Commissioners regarding an Oil & Gas Lease.


Public Comment:


Sam Wilson, Bruce Hoiland, Larry Lekse, Jeff Raths, Edith Sloan, Dan McCaffree, Joe Vescovi, Pam Liggett, Dave Liggett, Joe H. Stahl, Mary Rose Beasley, Kelly Gebhardt, Loris Smith, George Smith, Tom Stockert, and Amy Angel were present.


Commissioner Berry said that he has gotten a lot of calls regarding HB403 and Commissioner Borner introduced herself as County Commissioner but didn’t say you were for yourself. Commissioner Borner said I voted as a citizen.   Bruce Hoiland said that she did not do it as an individual and that should be corrected. Commissioner Borner said there was a letter sent to the Chairman and Committee clarifying that she was not representing the Board. Commissioner Berry said the letter has not been sent and that they should make a vote because it needs to be clarified. (on February 25, 2019 start of business Commissioner Borner wanted it clarified that the letter was sent.)








Commissioner Carlson made the motion to table voting on hiring an Engineering firm for Central Common’s structural issues until after the February 25 meeting with Collaborative Design.  Commissioner Berry seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Commissioner Berry made the motion to open and vote on Bids for the Bathroom repair at the County Complex.   Commissioner Borner said that there was only one bid although we did try to get 3.  The bid is from Lekse Construction in the amount of $2,850.00 for 3 bathrooms at the County Complex. Commissioner Berry made the motion to accept the bid.  Commissioner Carlson seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Commissioner Berry made the motion to do a Resolution for an investigation of use of public funds on Cameron Road, a private road, and to determine how much money was expanded on a non-County Road. Commissioner Carlson seconded the motion but to discuss not do a Resolution. Commissioner Berry did not second the motion.  Motion failed.   Commissioner Carlson said for sake of order he will make a motion to discuss Cameron Road. Commissioner Berry seconded the motion for sake of order.  Motion carried.


Discussion on if Cameron Road is a County Road and the County funds used to fix it.


Joe Vescovi said that there is no easement in Section 13 or 14 of Township 8 North, Range 23 East for a County Road.  Mr. Vescovi said that records show that from 1958 to 1979 there is no road. The BLM gave a convenience ROW with no improvements to a family. Mr. Vescovi thinks the Commissioners should go talk to the BLM.  Mr. Vescovi said the stuff on the road needs to come off and the DNRC will decide. Mr. Vescovi has a water right in that area and a water right is senior to an easement and the road is impacting agricultural operation.


Larry Lekse said that the real road is a mile further west and thinks that it was mainly fixed to benefit Commissioner Borners family. Mr. Lekse said he can’t justify using County money and why didn’t the Rd. Department check on the easements and is concerned.


Jeff Raths had questions as to where the real road should be.  And said that Cameron Road has been maintained by the County for 30 or 40 years.


Commissioner Borner said that the Road Department keeps really good records and they are welcome to go there and get a flash drive of what they have.  Ms. Borner asked Mr. Lekse if he was a Commissioner in 2014. (he was) Ms. Borner said that before Tom Stockert was hired as supervisor in 2015 the Commissioners ran the Road Department and they had a project list.  Cameron Road was #19 on that list. The County has been maintaining that road for a long time by decisions a long time ago. If it wasn’t a County Road why weren’t decisions made a long time ago? In 2011 the County received money for that road.  When Mr. Stockert was hired the Commissioners no longer controlled road decisions and in 2016 the project list was changed and was no longer numbered. The reason was because dealing with mother nature, sometimes a road just had to be worked on and we gave the control to the Road and Bridge Supervisor.  Ms. Borner thinks Mr. Leskes charge against her and the County isn’t right. The Commissioners do not have a problem with not maintaining Cameron Road.


Mary Rose Beasley said that the real Cameron Road is a mile west of the one that was improved and she thinks that the resolution should include grave put on Thistle Road.  Why won’t you do an investigation if nothing illegal was done?


Commissioner Carlson said whether it is a road or not the maps show it is based in the 70’s and 80’s in the master book and that’s when it started being maintained.  Why wasn’t it addressed in 2011 when FEMA was there or before?  Why now?


Secretary Hagstrom asked who would do the investigation?  Commissioner Berry said the County Attorney.  Mr. Vescovi said the Water Court.  Commissioner Carlson said that he thinks MACo should be asked for a recommendation of an investigator so there would be no biased.


Dave Liggett agreed that they should eliminate the perception of biased.


Bruce Hoiland asked if the proper filings were done with the Sage Grouse?


Commissioner Borner said she doesn’t have a problem with an investigation to find out about the road and not a problem with not putting any more money into it.  It is the Commissioners job to manage and she doesn’t think a resolution is correct as far as how funds were spent by the Road Department.  That is an HR issue and the Commissioner’s need to follow manuals. Mr. Lekse thinks Mr. Borner should step aside because of a conflict of interest.


Road and Bridge Supervisor Stockert told everyone that he has contacted the State, DNRC and the BLM and roads do migrate. When he started in 2015 that was the map that was used.  He didn’t know that it was not right but he will check next time he wants to work on a road.  They do work on roads that only has 1 home a lot of times. Commissioner Berry said that if you have been maintaining it for so many years it should have a prescriptive ROW.  Mr. Stockert told everyone that he did tell the Commissioners that he was working on Cameron Road.  Commissioner Berry said he is a liar and never told them.  Mr. Stockert said that it is in the minutes.


Commissioner Carlson amended the motion to sign a resolution to do the investigation of where exactly is Cameron Road based on a MACo recommendation of an equal and non-biased person.  Commissioner Borner seconded the motion. Commissioner Berry said no to the motion.  Motion carried.  Commissioner Carlson will contact MACo regarding the investigation.


Commissioner Carlson made the motion to sign Resolution 2019-11 stating Musselshell County Insurance Qualifications. Commissioner Berry seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Meeting Closed.







Last modified: July 30, 2019

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