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Commissioners February 23, 2024 Minutes

March 1, 2024

February 23,2024

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 by Commissioner Turley.  Commissioner Pancratz and Commissioner Goffena were present.

Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Goffena made the motion to approve the agenda for the day as is. Commissioner Pancratz seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Commissioner Pancratz made the motion to approve the February 16, 2024 meeting as written.  Commissioner Goffena seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Public comment:

Theresa Doumitt met with the Commissioners to let them know that she is in full support of the program Jody Dahl with the Jody Elise Foundation wants to do to help our children with mental health.

Kennie Minnie and John Rae met with the Commissioners regarding the buy sell agreement for the Wier Building.  The Commissioners are going to get it appraised and inspected to get a real feel for what the cost may be. The County’s goal is to salvage a landmark on Main Street.

End of Public comment.

Commissioner Goffena made the motion to table signing the Purchase Agreement for the Wier Building until they do more research. Commissioner Pancratz seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Commissioner Pancratz made the motion to sign Certificate of Survey 2024-4 for 2 tracts in Section 9, Township 6 North, Range 24 East submitted by Virginia Fidel and Diana Larson. Commissioner Goffena seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Commissioner Turley and Commissioner Goffena did claims for the week on Wednesday February 21, 2024.   Claims = $198,112.32

Theresa Doumitt visited with the Commissioners. Kasey Watson and Lea McGiboney with the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program were also present via GoToMeeting. Ms. Doumitt mentioned a meeting with Snowy Mountain Development Corporation and agency’s from around the State regarding the purchase of the Wier Building. They are trying to find out what kind of support they can get. The County wants to stabilize the building and then and then find a private developer to do the rest. They will also be checking with the Big Sky Development Block Grant Program, Economic Development Association and the Department of Energy to see if there are programs to assist with abatement of the building.

County Agent Solf gave her weekly report to the Commissioners. Ms. Solf has been doing quality Assurance Training reports.  They are still looking for sponsors for the pens at the fairgrounds. Tishawna Bailey was also present and told the Commissioners that she wants to start a “Youth Camp” at the fairgrounds in the summertime. It would be low impact camping. The Commissioners asked for a business plan and were open to her doing surveys for community interest.

Airport manager Gebhardt met with the Commissioners to ask the Commissioners if the Airport could make an arrangement with the Middle Musselshell County Water District for a repayment

strategy for a half grant, half loan for services from GreatWest for grant writing?  The Commissioner said as long as it is in the budget, they do not have an issue.

DES Director Russell and Coordinator Rook gave their weekly report to the Commissioners.  CFO Kirk was also present. There will be a conference call with Ms. Kirk, Mr. Russell and Mr. Rook at 1:30 today. Due to the gusty winds, they will be closing burning for the weekend. Multiple signs have been installed. Mr. Russell will be going to the MACo Mid-Winter Conference in Great Falls this week.

Amber Martinson-Blake and Dan Tronrud with Catalyst for Change met with the Commissioner to introduce themselves and talk about what they offer. (Jody Dahl and Angie Mozqueda were also present) They are an organization that helps youth in mental health crisis. Jeff Selle, Commissioner from Wheatland County was present via Zoom.  Mr. Selle said Wheatland County uses them and they have very productive. They have a Community Health Work (CHW) that was paid for by a grant. Once the grant ended, they put it into the budget. Catalyst will assist in grant finding and applications. They help law enforcement, the CHW stays with the people relieving the attending officer. The Commissioners are given reports yearly in March and the numbers are shocking.  (no names are given) Ms. Martinson-Blake said they get referrals from teachers, counselors, friends and hospitals.  Instead of a deputy taking a person to a psychiatric center a CHW can get them started on one of the programs   People are 3 times more likely to commit suicide after going to a psychiatric center. The County would pay for the CHW and provide benefits and an office and also pay Catalyst.   The Commissioners agreed to consider a pilot program for 1 year. But first they are going to talk to the County Attorney.

Public comment on the Petition to Close the Last Mile of Allen Road.

Barb Wacker, Jalee Hitchcock, Chad Hitchcock, Shay Wacker and Roger Siemion were present.

Ms. Wacker and Ms. Hitchcock made note that the petition provided by Mr. Widdecomb was not filled out as required, and is not present at this public meeting. Mr. Siemion stated that he has traveled the last mile going east on Allen Road multiple times to reach an old homestead area known as the Mattson Homestead for ranch purposes on behalf of the Wacker family.  Mr. Siemion acknowledged that additional roads offer access to Wacker property, but not with the benefit Allen Road provides. Shay Wacker stated that the east portion of Allen Road provides important access to cattle water tanks. Barb Wacker stated that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will provide to Wackers the Allen Road hunter access information as soon as all the hunter sign-in information is obtained. Chad Hitchcock supported the testimony of Mrs. Wacker, Mrs. Hitchcock, Mr. Siemion, and Shay Wacker.

Musselshell County Commissioners stated that it is not their responsibility to determine adequacy of document completion and act on the document as presented. Commissioners further noted that commissioners do not have authority to take any private property rights away from any individual.  Commissioners only have the authority to close a public road, and any private property right remains with the individuals involved. Therefore, Allen Road closure is a civil issue between

Mr. Widdecomb and the Hitchcock family. Commissioners will discuss east mile closure of Allen Road with County Attorney Adam Larson.

Monday February 26, 2024 Road Department Meeting.

Commissioner Turley, Commissioner Goffena, Road and Bridge supervisor Stockert and Secretary Newman were present.

They are going to need to discuss new pickups truck or options in the next couple years.  The prices are ridiculous even with the County discounts and programs. Same with tractors. They are fixing the culvert that was damaged by the oil field workers on Keggy Coulee Rd.

Last modified: March 1, 2024

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