Commissioners set June 20 for two public hearings

07_hr_6059NO PLACE LIKE HOME  — H&R Realty was the first place winner in the float category of the Whoop-Up Parade this past Saturday.  Way to go ladies.  I-O Photo by Pat Lee




Mark your calendar, the county commissioners have set June 20 for two public hearings.

The first will take place at10 a.m. in the commissioner’s officer at the Pondera County Courthouse, 20 4th Ave. SW.

This hearing will deal with the County Compensation Board which was established in law to review the compensation to elected county officials and to recommend a salary schedule for the coming fiscal year.

The second hearing, also on June 20, is set for 5:30 p.m. upstairs in the courtroom.

The commissioners are considering an increase in the county’s contribution to employees’ health insurance premium and the possibility of imposing a permissive levy in order to fund an increase.

Montana law requires that a hearing on the levy proposal be held.

In other action by the commissioners, an approach and excavation agreement(s) were requested and approved by the commissioners.

Justin VanDyke requested an approach agreement for the purpose of installing an approach on the north side of Pondera Coulee Road with a 15-inch culvert.

He also requested to engage in excavation on and under the road for the purpose of installing underground electrical wire. Both requests were approved.

Another encroachment agreement was approved on a request by Greg Orcutt on Pondera County right of way on Derby Drive.

The purpose is to widen an existing approach for use when moving agricultural equipment. No culvert is required. This request was approved.

Ray Stoetzel requested an encroachment on Pondera County right of way on Spur Road for the purpose of installing a water line across Spur Road approximately 500 feet south of 100 Spur Road driveway.

This agreement replaced the agreement approved on April 11.

It was announced that the Pondera Regional Port Authority (PA) is applying for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for economic development and possibly a match with Big Sky Trust Grant funding to do a feasibility study of railroad utilization in the county for the on and off loading of rail containers, lumber, bulk commodities, pelletized products, oil equipment and construction materials, wind generators, and other types of equipment.

The study would look at the existing rail facilities and make recommendations for improvements to the rail infrastructure to accommodate rail deliveries.

The City of Conrad, Valier, Brady and Ledger are the points of interest.

The application will need to be applied for under the name  Pondera County, however, the CDBG will be managed by the PA.

It should be noted the county will not be providing the matching funds and the PA will need to secure local matching funds from sources other than the county.

With that, Commissioners Joe Christiaens moved to approve the applications(s) for the PA, pending their getting local matching funds from sources other than the county. Commissioner Sandy Broesder seconded the motion and with Commissioner Cyndi Johnson’s vote, it passed 3-0.

The commissioners also passed a Supplemental Nutritional  Assistance Program (SNAP) and education support agreement between MSU-Extension Service and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MDPHHS).

The program provides federal funding for salary, benefits, training, educational materials and travel costs for nutritional education services provided through the Extension office.

The MDPHHS office of public assistance will collaborate to identify SNAP recipients and applications.

The commissioners rescinded a lease agreement passed earlier.

On May 2, the commissioners approved a leased agreement with Kevin and Heidi Forbes on three parcels at the county-owned Valier Airport.

Forbes notified the commissioners that only two parcels should have been included in the lease.

Commissioners moved to rescind the May 2 lease and to approve the amended lease agreement on two parcels of land.

The county commissioners meet every Wednesday at 10 a.m. in their office to conduct county business.

The public is always invited and encouraged to attend these meetings and view their local government at work.