All three members of the Glacier County Commission attended the Nov. 1 meeting at the courthouse in Cut Bank, with Michael DesRosier attending by phone. Roads Supervisor John Evans and Weed Department Supervisor Jimmy Racine were also in attendance.
The commissioners first voted to pay for a replacement liner on the county’s gravel crusher. The old liner has 15 years of use on it, Evans said, and needs to be replaced in order to produce smaller sized material. The new liner costs $10,208, Evans said, and installation costs could vary depending on who does the work. The commissioners, therefore, did not specify a dollar amount in their approval to give Evans time to determine the best installation option.
The Blackfeet Tribe has reconstituted its weed department and made Dan Belcourt its director, Jimmy Racine reported, and the two of them are working to develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to begin cooperating in mutual weed management. He said he’d sent a copy of the proposed MOU to County Attorney Terryl Matt for her review. In the meantime, he said the two entities are determining whose rights-of-way are whose.
The new Tribal department has two years worth of grants to work with, Racine said, but lacks manpower. If an agreement can be reached, the county weed department would hire at least two and perhaps as many as four additional workers to take on the task.
“I want an agreement in place before we start,” he noted.
Chairwoman Mary Jo Bremner said she would contact Matt so the matter can be put on a future agenda.
Moving on, Racine said he’d been contacted by the state about his department’s not having a board. Human Resources Director Mike Kittson said the old board had quit meeting some years ago so the Commissioners took over being the board. Roads Supervisor Evans noted Glacier is the only county in Montana whose Commissioners act as a board, and Racine said that while not illegal, the state would like to have more community involvement through participation in such a board.
Discussion ensued over complications that might arise due to conflicts over authority with another layer of potential “supervisors” in the mix. Treasurer Don Wilson warned the board must be carefully structured to avoid such conflicts. If a board were appointed, Racine said he would like to be one of its members. Kittson said he would deliver a package of bylaws and regulations to the commissioners for their approval.
The commissioners voted to send MOU documents to Terryl Matt for her review and to explore creating a board for the weed department with Jimmy Racine as one of its members.
The commissioners then approved supporting Operation Green Light (OGL). A national effort to support Veterans, OGL asks counties around the country to show a green light from Nov. 7-14. Glacier County has ordered green flood lights to light up the courthouse in Cut Bank as well as county properties in Browning.
“It’s a good project to recognize our service men and women now serving and in the past,” Bremner said.
Finally, the commissioners approved a consent and lease agreement with Logan Health. Chairwoman Bremner explained that when Northern Rockies Medical Center underwent a name change to Logan Health, it opened the door to contract negotiations. Lawyers from Logan and the county looked at possible changes and agreed on alterations that will reduce the county’s responsibilities in maintenance and insurance.
“It’s good to get it done,” said Cherie Taylor, president of Logan Health in Cut Bank, “... and we were happy to change maintenance and insurance.”