K9 Luci gets a reprieve

19_pv-first-day-school_4863PERCHED AND WAITING  — Like a “back to school sales” ad, these Prairie View school students hang out just waiting for the bell to ring.  I-O Photo by Tirsea McNeal




Luci, the K9 drug detection dog for Pondera County, has received a new lease on life.

Sheriff Tom Kuka met with the commissioners on Wednesday regarding the retirement of Luci saying that handler Deputy Shannon Gabbard would accept the canine officer.

With that news in hand, Commissioner Joe Christiaens moved to retire the dog to the care and custody of Deputy Gabbard. Commissioner Sandi Broesder gave the motion a second and it passed on a 3-0 vote, the third vote coming from Commission Chairman Cynthia Johnson.

In other business, the commissioners approved two encroachment agreements.

The first was one with Tom and Vicki Ophus to encroach upon the county right-of-way to build an access to a single unit residential property at 833 Dry Fork Road on the south side of the existing approach.

The second agreement was for NorthWestern Energy, presented by Conrad Mayor Wendy Judisch, to install a two inch plastic gas main beginning at 2629 Old Shelby Road to run along the west side of the Road.

This will provide a gas main extension from the existing farm tap to the new Conrad East Industrial Park.

Both of the above agreements were passed on a 3-0 vote from the commissioners.

Commissioners addressed a reoccurring problem of irrigation pivots watering county roadways.

On hand for discussion of the problems created when irrigation water sprays on county roads were County Attorney Mary Ann Ries, Sheriff Tom Kuka and County Road Supervisor John Stokes.

All were in agreement that spray from the irrigating pivot end has the potential of hitting a windshield of an unsuspecting motorist creating a safety hazard in addition to causing damage to the roads which require additional equipment and manpower to fix.

The county attorney noted that other counties have addressed the situation with ordinances addressing the violation and penalty for failure to comply under sections of the MCA (Montana Codes Annotated).

Following the discussion, Commissioner Christiaens moved, Broesder seconded, to have Ries prepare an ordinance regarding water on county roads. The motion passed on a 3-0 vote.

The first reading of the new ordinance will be on Aug. 29 at the regular meeting of the commissioners, at 10 a.m. in the courthouse.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 8 a.m. in the Valier Civic Center and another at 7 p.m. that evening, upstairs on the third floor, in the courtroom of the county courthouse.

The second reading of the ordinance was set for Oct. 3 during a regular meeting of the commissioners at 10 a.m. in their office. The ordinance will go into effect 30 days after the passage from the second reading.

The commissioners also approved amendments to the bylaws for the Joint Powers Authority (Workers’ Comp insurance providers) and the Joint Powers Insurance Authority (liability insurance provider.)

The next regular meeting of the county commissioners is Sept. 5 at 10 a.m. in the office at the courthouse.