Commission reorganizes board, moves to become more accessible

38_baby-9281NEW YEARS BABY  — Breilla Rhean Stordahl joined our world on Jan. 6, at 9:36 p.m. weighing five pounds, 12.2 ounces. She was 20-inches in length. She was delivered by Dr. Peter Barran. The proud parents are Randy and Anne Stordahl of Conrad. She joins a sister Brylee and a brother Brayden. The paternal grandparents are Ernest and Jeanne Stordahl and the maternal grandparents are Daryl and Garnet Fladager.

The New Year baby was presented with a special quilt made by Pam Steiner of the Montana Prairie Quilters. She also received gift certificates from the Home Café, Joe’s Family Steakhouse, The Keg Family Restaurant, Village  Drug, a newborn photo session from Ah! How Sweet Photography and a silver-plated baby cup keepsake from Country Charm and Floral.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler





County commissioners passed a resolution Wednesday morning hoping it provides for better public participation.

Before that took place however, the commissioners, following a pattern after elections, rotated the chairmanship.

Sandra Broesder had been the commission chairman, but on a move by Joe Christiaens, it was moved to appoint Cynthia Johnson. With a second from Broesder, the motion passed on a 3-0 vote.

Broesder then moved to appoint Christiaens as vice-chairman, Johnson gave that a second and it passed on a 3-0 vote.

After discussion the commissioners passed R-18 which provides  public participation.

Presently, commissioners meet every Wednesday at 10 a.m. to conduct business.

Now, on the third (3rd) Wednesday of each month they will hold a listening session for the purpose of meeting with all interested individuals regarding matters of concern.

No action will be taken here. If it is needed, the topic, or subject, will be added to the agenda of the next regular business meeting.

The listening sessions will be begin at 5:30 the office of the commissioners in the Pondera County Courthouse and will end at 6 p.m., if there is no public present, or until participation in attendance ends.

As a reminder, the commissioners are open for business from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Their office will be open on Friday by appointment.

In other action, the commission passed R-19 with regards to mileage allowance and lodging and per diem reimbursement rates.

The mileage rate for local government employees has been set for the year by the IRS at 51-cents per mile for the first 1,000 miles within each month and 48-cents for mileage over 1,000 miles per month.

The in-state lodging rate will be $70 for most of the state. A few areas are considered “high costs” and that is adjusted.

Reimbursement for meals is $23, broken down to $5, $6, and $12 for breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively. Out of state lodging rates are slightly higher.

Commissioners also passed R-20 which deals with the setting of costs in tax lien sales, assignments, redemptions and tax deed sales.

The full resolution, as with any, passed by the commission may be viewed by any interested party at the Clerk and Recorder’s office during normal working hours.

In other action, the commissioner representative assignments to county, regional and state boards were made.

An old computer monitor that had previously been declared as surplus property was donated to the Pondera Regional Port Authority.

Dan Stahly of Stahly Engineering requested the approval of an increase in his fee for providing a review of Certificates of Survey for the county. He asked for a $10 increase from $45 to $55 per survey.

The request was approved by the commission.

Commissioners approved a claim for $750 from the Pondera Funeral Home for burial of an indigent individual.

The law covering indigent burial expenses has changed to allow (rather than require) counties to pay part or all of the burial costs of an indigent resident of the county. In this case, the commissioners allowed payment of $750 towards the burial costs.

Mark Blom of Nelson Architects was on hand for a construction meeting to review the status of the Community Center.

Kronebusch Electric is currently finishing the contract work first started under the HB-645 grant. Part of this work may qualify for payment under Tasks 10-11 of the energy grant with the remaining work being payable under the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant).

There was discussion of the ventilation holes left in the roof by Treasure State Roofing when that project was thought to be completed in 2009.

A representative from Treasure State has since stated that he was directed to leave the ventilation holes in the roof by the (then) architect for the project, Thomas, Dean and Hoskins.

The question has come up over the whether the closing of the ventilation holes at the time would be part of, or in addition to, the original contract terms and payments. Blom told the commissioners he would check with TD&H for clarification.

Right now, focus is on completion of Phase 2, to get the senior citizens into their space then complete the office space representing Phase 3.

There will be another meeting with Blom, Curry and Hoppes on Jan. 12 in the commissioner’s office at 11 a.m. and also a meeting is slated for 11 a.m. on Jan. 26.

There will be no meeting of the commissioners on Jan. 19.