County commissioners meet with library representatives


IN FLIGHT  — Brian Robinson captured this gorgeous photo of a bee gathering pollen from a flower garden in town.  Photo for the I-O courtesy of Brian Robinson




At their regular Wednesday morning business meeting county commissioners met with representatives from the Conrad and Valier libraries regarding their respective funding.

The Mayor of Valier presented an agreement for the Valier library outlining the financial commitment of the town and county.

There is a similar agreement with the City of Conrad for the Conrad library.

Commission chairman Sandy Broesder informed the Valier contingent that the commissioners couldn’t sign the contract until county attorney MaryAnn Ries had a chance to look at it.

She also noted that no numbers had come in yet from the Department of Revenue and, “our funding is extremely tight, but we can discuss it.”

Conrad librarian Carolyn Donath presented the commission with a letter in which it has requested a plan be adopted over a period of tax years to care of the disparity in funding for the two libraries.

“We do not feel it should have to be dealt with each year as we both have many other issues each year to deal with,” Donath wrote.

The original funding split for the Conrad-Valier libraries, going back to 1961 and remaining unchanged, was 57 percent and 43 percent respectively.

Last year it changed and following commissioner Broesder’s calculations, the percentages paid were 62.25 and 37.75.

Donath feels if the numbers had been divided accurately from the initial onset, the split would have been 69.8 and 30.2 percent.

She also noted that some changes in the operation have taken place and will continue to be evaluated, however, based on the service area population they continue to be underfunded.

There was no action taken on this request either and there won’t be until projections from the Department of Revenue come in.

Commissioners approved a tax abatement, #759, for $29.23 on a mobile home that was taken out of the county last year.

Mayor John Shevlin and councilwomen Wendy Judisch were on hand.

The mayor was wondering if there was any news on the shooting club going under the county liability insurance policy. Commissioners are still waiting for an agreement that is being drafted by the county attorney.

Concerning the work being done on the I-15 overpass and emergency access across land from the interchange connecting road to east side of Conrad was discussed.

The city has an easement agreement with the landowner for their access to the interchange connecting road but it is undetermined if the county and city has access across the land from the rod to the east side of Conrad.

Documents concerning this will  be reviewed and possibly have a reverse easement drafted.

The commissioners reported that plumbing for water and sewer lines are done, as is the electrical work for the Community Center.

Judisch, talking about the overpass project, reported to the commissioners that the Department of Transportation told her that the year 2014, or sooner is a target date for the rest area relocation.

The overpass project, she was told, was not as costly as anticipated, so there should be money available to relocate the rest area from Teton County up to here.

In other action by the commission, Joe Christiaens moved to recall the solicitation of bids for road graders. Bids had been scheduled to be open Wednesday morning.

Johnson made a second and the motion passed 2-1 with Broesder casting the no vote.

The commissioners moved and approved to loan the Port Authority $14,962.50 to be used only in their revolving loan fund to small businesses within Pondera County and not as operating funds.

This money is funding the county receives in an annual payment from the city for Blue Sky Villa.

The commission meets regularly every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. in the courthouse at 20 4th Ave. SW.

The public is always invited and encouraged to attend these business meetings.