Commissioners hold two public meetings

   Wednesday morning during their regular business session, county commissioners conducted a pair of public hearings.
   The first was conducted on the preliminary budget and the second followed on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
   At the preliminary budget hearing were representatives from the Conrad Public Library; Carolyn Donath, Nancy Bruner, Wendy Judisch and Mayor John Shevlin and Cheryl Curry.
   Janis Hoppes, Clerk and Recorder, reviewed the budget and noted that expenditures needed to be cut, particularly in the general fund and public safety fund.
   Head Librarian Donath noted that she, Bruner and Judisch were in attendance regarding the appropriations for the libraries and made her request for the Conrad library to receive more funding.
   The commissioners have not yet made a determination on library funding.
   To date, they are still conducting research with the State of Montanan Library Association regarding the state’s formula for distribution.
   There were no other comments on budget funding. No action on the library was taken. Commissioners will work on the budget until its final adoption.
   Regarding the public hearing on the NSP, Curry, representing the Pondera Regional Port Authority (PA) and Mayor Shevlin were in attendance.
   Curry presented an overview of the NSP and the PA’s role in the program.
   The intent of the program is to procure and rehabilitate foreclosed residential property and offer it for sale to parties meeting specific financial criteria.
   The purpose of the public hearing was to hear from the public regarding any objections and or affirmations of the program. There were no objections and no written comments received.
   In further discussion, Curry noted that the PA has determined it will not pursue any properties located in a flood plain or flood prone areas.
   There is one home under consideration at this time, located in Brady. The mayor wanted to know if a mobile home was located in a flood plain or flood prone area could it be procured and moved from that area. Curry said she would have to research that option.
   Commissioner Cynthia Johnson moved and Commissioner Joe Christiaens seconded to approve the NSP management program. This passed on 3-0, with chairman Sandy Broesder adding the third vote.
   In other business, Johnson noted that Pondera County is one of the counties in Montana granted additional bonding authority under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.