All three Commissioners attended the Jan. 5 meeting at the courthouse in Cut Bank, along with Executive Administrative Assistant Jeri Johnson Elliot and Roads Supervisor John Evans.

The Commissioners began by scheduling public meetings regarding Glacier County imposing a 3% tax on marijuana sales in the county. Commissioner Michael DesRosier noted the state already taxes such sales at 20% and allows counties to add a 3% tax on top of that. He said one percent of that 3% goes to municipalities allowing sales while 1.5% stays in the county and a half percent is returned to the state.

Stating the Commissioners had earlier agreed to a 3% tax, Chairwoman Mary Jo Bremner asked them to schedule dates for public hearings on the topic. She further noted any decisions made for Glacier County would not apply to the Blackfeet Reservation since it is federal property.

While Bremner called for language to be developed for voters to approve, Elliot said no vote would be needed since voters had already approved the ballot initiative that legalized recreational use in 2020. Public hearings should be held, she said, to garner citizens’ opinions.

Bremner asked Elliot to look into what would be needed while the Commissioners saw to the public hearings. Since it was listed as a discussion item, the choice of meeting dates would need to be approved at the next Commissioners’ meeting.

Commissioner DesRosier suggested holding the hearings in conjunction with the regularly slated Commission meetings, so it was decided to hold them, first on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Satellite Office in Browning and the next on Thursday, Jan. 20 at the courthouse in Cut Bank.

Moving on, Chairwoman Bremner said someone had called her about damage to a vehicle from county snowplows in East Glacier Park. She asked the Commissioners about snow removal in Browning since it is now unincorporated like East Glacier Park.

“We own some streets in East Glacier, like Clarke Drive, and that’s a difference between East Glacier and Browning,” Commissioner DesRosier said. “When Browning was dis-incorporated, the Tribe got everything, equipment and all, so I think we shouldn’t be doing their streets, They should either reincorporate the town or do it themselves. We can help in an emergency situation, but they need to step up.”

Chairwoman Bremner said she has been asked to attend a Tribal Council meeting and would bring these issues up at next month’s General Council meeting while seeking cooperative arrangements with the Tribe.

Roads Supervisor Evans said one problem in East Glacier comes from people whose parked vehicles aren’t moved out of the way of the graders.

“Every year we go up there, but people don’t have driveways,” Evans said. “Some are really good about moving their vehicles, but some don’t and we get calls. The graders are so big they can cause damage.”’

After discussing various ways to encourage folks to move vehicles ahead of the snowplows, the Commissioners said they would work towards developing public service announcements on posters, Facebook and the radio asking for the public’s cooperation. This being another discussion item, she called for a resolution to be made at the next meeting.

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