County compensation board meets

Wednesday morning the county compensation board held a public hearing in the commissioner’s office.

The board is comprised of elected officials and two citizen members; Commissioners Cynthia Johnson, Sandy Broesder, Joe Christiaens, Clerk and Recorder Janice Hoppes, Sheriff Tom Kuka, Treasurer Jeanne Moon, Dan Majerus from Stockman Bank and John McFarland from CBC. County Attorney Mary Ann Ries was excused from the public hearing.

At the beginning of the meeting Hoppes explained, by law, county governments are required to appoint a county compensation board to prepare a salary schedule for the elected county officials for the fiscal year.

Hoppes presented a worksheet showing salary compensations to other counties as well as the City of Conrad and the Clerk of the Conrad School District and other demographics of the other counties.

The board also reviewed the county contribution to the employees’ health insurance premium and the permissive levy as well as the potential for non-tax revenue.

The COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) for governments has been set at -.04 percent for FY 2010-11 and the county will see an increase in their portion of the health insurance premium.

A one percent increase would offset the additional health insurance premium paid by employees of the county health insurance plan.

The Clerk and Recorder and Treasurer will each request the additional compensation allowed their offices by law.

After a discussion, Commissioner Christiaens moved to recommend that, if anticipated revenues and expenditures allow, commissioners provide an increase of up to one percent to the annual salary of the county elected officials. McFarland gave a second to the motion and it passed by an 8-1 margin. Commissioner Johnson cast the lone no vote.

In other business, the commission approved an agreement with the State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services under which the County Health Department will administer a tobacco use prevention grant of $33,650.

The commissioners also approved an agreement with Stahly Engineering for retracement certificate of survey review at a cost of $45.

Commissioners approved to pay the $250 annual dues to belong to the Northern Montana Oil and Gas Association.

The commissioners also approved the transfer of an ambulance to Search and Rescue.

The county and the Pondera Medical Center are looking to purchase a new ambulance to replace the 1999 Chevy ambulance.

The Search and Rescue has requested to receive the ’99 Chevy ambulance when it is replaced.

In exchange, the county would sell the 1978 Chevrolet Cheyenne 30 ambulance that the Search and Rescue is presently using as an operation center.