NEW MEMBER — Pondera Medical Center board members were on hand at the courthouse Wednesday morning to present outgoing board member commissioner Joe Christiaens a special plaque for his 10 years of service to the board and PMC. From the left are Karla Styren, Jaynie Gollehon, commissioner Christiaens and Janice Hoppes, the newly elected commissioner who will replace Christiaens on the PMC board. In the back are Ted Kronebusch, former PMC board chairman, and Brent Gaylord, the PMC trustee board chairman. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
Ralph Bouma was on hand at the last commission meeting and again on Wednesday to present information to the commissioners in an application for a special prosecutor.
He is seeking a special prosecutor in the case of Robert P. Kropp who was allegedly murdered over 20 years ago to silence him from revealing the truth during an FBI investigation of an arrangement to bribe the Montana Supreme Court.
Material and information has been forwarded to County Attorney Mary Ann Ries to review and make a recommendation.
Commissioner Joe Christians was recognized by members of the Pondera Medical Center board of trustees for his 10 years of service to the board. He will be replaced by Janice Hoppes.
In other business, the commission approved an encroachment agreement requested by Mark DeBoo to install a water line to a new irrigation pump.
In a report to the commissioners, Cheryl Curry of the Port Authority said she had attended a meeting with local business people to discuss what can be done to boost the local economy.
A Safe Routes to School grant for $2,000 has been submitted. Funding will be used for adding sidewalks in high-traffic areas around schools, marking crosswalks, and modifying school bus drop-off places.
The PA has qualified for a second tier Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant and is looking for properties.
Commissioner Sandra Broesder reported from the Montana Northern Joint Refuse Disposal District that the NMJRDD is looking at additional land to the south of the landfill for possible expansion,.
They have accumulated a good cash reserve and are looking to set up revolving loans for economic development. The money would have to go through the Regional Port Authority or another government entity.
In an unusual action, a tax abatement that was denied at a December meeting for United Grain was rescinded.
The commissioners received a phone call from the Montana Department of Revenue (DOR) regarding the request for a new (or improved) business (grain elevators) constructed just off of the Pendroy Road.
The DOR reviewed the request under Montana law which includes a public hearing for which there was none.
Commissioner Hoppes moved to rescind action taken on the tax abatement and to schedule a public hearing with the DOR attending.
A hearing for United Grain elevators with the commissioners and the DOR has been scheduled for Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m. in the Pondera Center at 311 Virginia St. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if United Grain qualifies for tax relief for constructing a new business.
A lease with the Pondera Shooting Sports to lease 1.34 acres of land at the rate of $50 per acre was approved. In other action, the Clerk and Recorder, Kody Farkell was authorized to sign and submit financial reports for the Buckle Up Montana program.
Commissioners Christiaens, Broesder, Hoppes and Clerk and Recorder Farkell were approved to sign requests for payment on behalf of the Brady County Water and Sewer District.
A number of appointments were approved by the commission. Broesder was assigned to the Conrad Pedestrian and Decorative Lighting Committee; Paul Kronebusch was re-appointed to the County Planning Board and Robert Skorupa and Tom Hoover were named to the County Airport board.
The Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce got approval to add onto the Pondera County Search and Rescue Building at no cost to the county.
The extra room will be used to house the Christmas street decorations.
A previous agreement was amended, removing commissioner Broesder and adding Jeanne Moon, county treasurer to the Stockman Bank E-Biz account.
The commissioners meet every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. to carry out regular business.
The public is always welcome to attend and see their government at work.