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Commissioner’s Minutes March 11, 2019

March 18, 2019

March 11, 2019

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 by Commissioner Borner. Commissioner Carlson was present.  Commissioner Berry was absent.

Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Borner and Carlson did claims on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Commissioner Carlson made the motion to approve the agenda.  Commissioner Borner seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Commissioner Carlson made the motion to approve the minutes from March 4, 2019.  Commissioner Borner seconded the motion.

Commissioner Borner said that HB292 Coal Board Funding is going before the Legislature on March 14, 2019. Ms. Borner said she hasn’t seen anything on HB403 and the TSEP & Reclamation bill is in appropriations.

Old Business:

Wells Fargo- nothing new to report.

Extension Office damage- Commissioner Borner said that they put in a new claim for the office.  The adjuster should be there today and Servpro should be in this week sometime. Commissioner Carlson said that he talked to WWC Engineering and they can work on bids and specs if we add a task to their contract. Mr. Carlson said he thinks that they should go with all the same siding and roofing on the building.

Storage at the Courthouse- nothing for now.

Steps at the Courthouse- Commissioner Borner said they need to get a formal bid and get the job done.

Jim Pedrazzi, Joe Stahl and Bob Price were present.

Mr. Price asked the Commissioners about Goffena Bridge replacement taking so long.   Commissioner Borner said that they have 2 funding avenues Montana Department of Transportation Off Roads Project and TSEP. Ms. Boner said that the Commission as local government can’t make it go faster and they are waiting on the State. Commissioner Borner suggested they contact the Legislature to fund TSEP. Mr. Stahl asked if the public could go to the Legislature?  Commissioner Borner said they could and they could call Barry Usher and Senator Akney also.  Road and Bridge Supervisor Stockert joined the meeting.  Mr. Stockert said that he has been working hard on this project, the bridge will be done but probably not for a while.  The only tax payer dollars that will be used is to fix the road.

Maintenance Supervisor Jett gave her weekly report to the Commissioners. Ms. Jett gave the Commissioners another boiler bid.  They will plow the snow off of the other side of the County Complex parking lot.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Stockert gave his weekly report to the Commissioners.  Jim Pedrazzi, Joe Stahl, Bob Price Eli Yoder and Jacob Hostetler were present.  Mr. Yoder was present today because of the concern about the alteration of #4 Road and the safety of the horses and buggies they use going onto Highway 87.  Mr. Stockert told him he didn’t know how it could be avoided. They are trying to protect the farming and City infrastructure with the alteration.  The Highway Department will have to put up horse and buggy signs.  Mr. Pedrazzi gave the Commissioners a “Petition to Alter a County Road” Mr. Pedrazzi asked about the emergency road. Mr. Stockert said that the road would have to be used by the public also, not just emergency vehicles.  Mr. Pedrazzi said he would not do it because of too much liability.  Mr. Stockert said that eminent flooding on #4 Road will be discussed at the LEPC (local emergency planning committee) meeting tomorrow.  Mr. Stockert told the Commissioners that there were no errors or changes on the Montana Department of Transportation Gas Tax Map that was sent. Musselshell County will receive $57,592.96 from the gas tax and #45,101.39 from BARSSA. The fuel pumps are up and running.  There will be a meeting with the State for interim help with gravel on Goulding Creek Road on April 12, 2019.  They will let you know the time when they know.  Mr. Stockert told the Commissioners that they may have to close Snowy Mountain Road because of drifting snow.

Sheriff Lesnik gave his weekly report to the Commissioners. The boiler at the jail is not working.  There is someone looking at it now.  Mr. Lesnik is going to be sending a brochure to other States advertising for the Musselshell County Sheriff’s Office.  New vests were purchased for the department.

Public meeting for the State Burn permit System:

Edward Gouine was present and asked what the changes will be? DES Coordinator Fisher explained that you will log into the site, there will be a $6.00 initial fee to be paid by credit or debit card or bank check.  Mr. Fisher said it is pretty nice because you can look at the site and see who all is burning. John Pfister joined the meeting and asked why they were giving local control away?  Commissioner Carlson said that they weren’t and the County is still in control. Mr. Fisher said that he was informed by Director of Ambulance that dispatch would no longer monitor the calls this fire season. Mr. Pfister asked where the money goes? Mr. Fisher said part goes to the State and part goes to administration costs.

Since there were no more questions or public comment Commissioner Borner closed the public meeting.

DES Coordinator Fisher gave his weekly report to the Commissioners. The City of Roundup does not want to have a burn permit system. There will be 2 Public hearings for the DEQ Flood Plain Permits, March 13 and 20, 2019 and ending on march 27, 2019.  Mr. Fisher has sent out 5 certified notices to surrounding land owners. Mr. Fisher has applied for the next years EMPG funds and needs to have the assurances form and letter of commitment sign.  Commissioner Borner signed both documents.  Commissioner Borner and Commissioner Carlson will attend the LEPC meeting at noon on the March 12, 2019.

Commissioner Borner signed the Letter of Interest to the Jerry Metcalf Foundation for a grant to fund Phase 1 of the Teddy Blue Abbott sculpture by Greg Eiselein.

Gerri Korenko met with the Commissioners about the door at the Food Bank.

Brian Johnson from Collaborative Designs, Structural Engineer Matt Hubbard and Owners Representative Mark Qualman met with the Commissioners.  Commissioner Borner told them that we need to come up with a permanent solution to the issues at the Musselshell County Central Commons. Ms. Borner said we need to look at it and see if it was a previous structural issue or was caused from work done. The Commissioners told of the problems at the Commons. Mr. Johnson said that it is a historical building, some of the cracks may be curing cracks some of them were there before.  Mr. Johnson said they took pictures throughout the project. Some items were not in the original scope of work so they didn’t get fixed. (Mr. Johnson supplied a field report with photos) The roof top units were fairly light and the trusses should hold them without a problem.  They have made 3 trips up to try to fix the issues, some without charge and every visit they recommended the Commissioner contact Cucancic and make them fix the problem because the problems are because of what Cucancic did or didn’t do.  Mr. Hubbard said that when they get calls from other Engineering firms about Musselshell County looking for other firms to address these issues it puts their professional integrity in question.  Mr. Qualman said that he asked that the County Attorney write a letter to send to Cucancic but he didn’t want to force the issue, but Cucancic needs to follow the contract. They all went to the Commons to look at the issues.

Public comment:

Present were, Bernie Ruhland, Kelly Gebhardt, Larry Lekse, Karen Merfeld, Bette Goffena, Robert Goffena, Troy Evans, Dave Liggett, James Borner, David Erickson and Bruce Hoiland.

Commissioner Berry called in from Meza, Arizona.

Kelly Gebhardt discussed some projects that are going to be separated from the FAA Entitlement funding.  Commissioner Borner signed the prepare information sheet for Mr. Gebhardt so they can move forward.

Mr. Lekse gave the Commissioners a public information request in regards to Cameron Road being a County Road and tax payers dollars used to fix it at the request of Commissioner Borner.

Mr. Hoiland told the commissioners that he has asked for minutes from the February 15, 2019 public meeting and has not been given them.  Commissioner Borner said that the minutes are available on the website as soon as they are approved and told Mr. Hoiland that he would need to supply a USB or pay for all copies.

Mr. Erickson asked Ms. Borner is she benefits in any way having Cameron Road worked on.  Ms. Borner said no she does not. Mr. Erickson said that the long and short of the paperwork from Mr. Lekse, if at any time a road is fixed, if a Commissioner has family on it, it is their fault? Mr. Lekse said there is a process to change or abandon. Commissioner Borner said that when Mr. Lekse was Commissioner FEMA funds went into fixing Cameron Road.

Mr. Liggett said that the MDT maps from the 1990’s show the east road was gravel and the west road was a 2 track.  If there was a mistake it goes back years.

Mrs. Merfeld said that Mr. Lekse paper has nothing to do with a County Road.  In the 1980’s there was a lot of really bad blood with landowners in that area and this is trying to destroy a working relationship. This is fueling a fire that doesn’t needed fueled.

Mr. Evans said that this is a political strategy for the future and is not appreciated.

End of public comment.

Item #1 to discuss and vote on hiring an Engineering firm for Central Common’s structural issues was removed from the agenda after the meeting with Brian Johnson/Matt Hubbard and Mark Qualman. Commissioner Borner said that they went through the buildings pretty well and they are confident that these are warranty issues and they only have until the end of June. Mr. Johnson has done a lot of work for this project very generously on his own time (as have Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Qualman) Commissioner Borner recommends we work with Mr. Qualman and send Cucancic Construction a certified letter regarding fixing the issues before the end of the warranty or turn it into the State, that they did not fix the problems that arose. Commissioner Berry would like to be able to revisit the matter if needed.  Item #2 to discuss and sign the Oil & Gas Lease for 189 Energy Group, LLC for various properties in Musselshell County was tabled for another week until after review by the County Attorney.  Commissioner Borner asked Commissioner Berry if there was a reason, he wanted the County Attorney to review this when they have signed other leases recently?  Commissioner Berry said to make sure the percentages are right and protect the County.

Commissioner Carlson made the motion to discuss and vote on having MACo provide training regarding the proper and professional way to treat County Officials and employees. Commissioner Berry second the motion to discuss.  Commissioner Carlson said that he had talked to McKenzie McCarthy from MACo and they would be able to do the training after Legislature is in session and it would be MSU Local Government training.  Commissioner Berry asked if there would be an expense to the County? Commissioner Carlson said as long as it is through MACo there would not be a charge. Motion carried.


Commissioner Carlson made the motion to vote on hiring Attorney Susan Swimley to handle all issues regarding roads to protect the County, Road Department and Commissioners. Commissioner Borner seconded the motion.  Discussion:  Commissioner Carlson said that Ms. Swimley is a former Gallatin County Attorney and now has a private practice. Ms. Swimley is willing to work with Musselshell County at a reduced rate to properly protect the County.  Commissioner Berry said we have never done this before and we shouldn’t waist money on it if there is no reason.  Commissioner Carlson said that this is a continuing problem and they need a non-biased person to look into it. Commissioner Borner asked the question of those in favor of retaining Attorney Susan Swimley.  Commissioner Carlson said Aye.  Commissioner Borner said Aye.  Commissioner Berry said Nay.  Commissioner Borner said that this all make her very uncomfortable.  Road and Bridge Supervisor Stockert said in public meeting that she never asked him to work on Cameron Road. She has witnessed what people in this town can do to each other and now she is on the receiving end.

There being no further business the motion was made to adjourn.  Motion carried


Commissioner Borner went to American title to sign documents for the FEMA buyout.



Last modified: July 30, 2019

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