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Glacier County Public Health Nurse Jenny Krapf, LPN, will be leaving her position on Jan. 12 to pursue other career opportunities.

The Glacier County Commissioners met on Dec. 7 and Dec. 9  in Cut Bank and approved purchases to assist the Glacier County Sheriff’s Office and improve services offered by the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The Commissioners also approved starting the search to replace Glacier County Health Nurse Jenny Krapf, whose resignation is effective Jan. 12.

GCSO Captain Tom Seifert presented the Commissioners with a request to purchase thermal binoculars using the department’s Stonegarden Grant of nearly $6,000. Seifert said the binoculars are superior to night vision binoculars and also provide video, photo and GPS capabilities, which will be a valuable asset especially for search and rescue operations.

The Commissioners unanimously approved the request in the amount of $5,899.99 at the Dec. 7 meeting.

Clerk and Recorder Mandi Kennerly presented the Commissioners with a proposal to purchase a printer and scanner which would be capable of printing land plats and certificates of survey. Currently, her office is only capable of printing documents up to 11x17 inches and this would allow printing of documents up to 36 inches, she explained. Kennerly estimated the scanner the county had for that service has been broken and unrepairable for around 10 years.

The printer and cartridge will be purchased out of her department’s Records Pres-ervation fund and costs $6,221.51. It will be purchased from Selby’s in Billings. Kennerly said she has been budgeting for this piece of equipment, which will benefit not only her department but could be utilized by other county departments as well.

“We will be able to scan our own plats and certificates of survey and not have to send them out,” she stated, adding “it will be a nice service to be able to provide.” Instead of paying an outside vendor for the service, Glacier County will be able to collect those fees, she added. The Commissioners approved the purchase on Dec. 9.

Kennerly also updated the Commissioners on her search for an affordable archived digital search program for county records. The cost of the program could be covered by a portion of the county’s more than $2 million in federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Funds. The program would allow individuals to search land records and other public documents without coming into the county offices, she noted.

Human Resources Director Mike Kittson requested the Commissioners give him the go ahead to begin the search for Krapf’s replacement as County Health Nurse. “She resigned to take another position, broadening her horizons and her abilities,” said Kittson, adding “nothing forced her, this opportunity just fell into her lap.”

Krapf has offered to work with Kittson and Chief Financial Officer Chancy Kittson in the selection of her replacement and helping him/her in “transitioning” to make sure the “ball isn’t dropped” on any of the grants or other services currently under Krapf’s supervision.

Kittson and the Commissioners praised Krapf, who was unable to attend the meeting due to a vaccination clinic she was doing, for the exceptional job she has done in her position. They cited her work in forming partnerships with the Blackfeet Tribe and IHS, leadership with the County Board of Health and overall tackling the issues related to COVID-19, all while doing here regular duties. Kittson pointed out she has grown the department and its services from “a staff of one to a staff of three full-time nurses.”

He asked the Commissioners to review his proposed job description as soon as possible so he could begin advertising for the position. (See the ad in this week’s issue.) He is hopeful to have Krapf’s replacement hired by Jan. 3 to allow time for him/her to work with Krapf before her final day of Jan. 12.

Sweetgrass Development Executive Director Sarah Converse appeared via teleconference to discuss the Big Sky Trust Fund Grant issue and hold up of grant funds to LinkOne Holding, Inc. She informed the Commissioners the State has agreed to release the funds to the County to be passed through to LinkOne. The amendment to the existing contract, however, needs to be signed by the end of December or the grant and contract will be cancelled.

The State of Montana is currently withholding grant funds and state financial assistance from Glacier County for violations under the Single Audit Act, including the grant to reimburse LinkOne Holding, Inc., for payroll already paid out. Glacier County sponsored the Big Sky Trust Fund job creation grant on LinkOne’s behalf to encourage the company to hire more employees from Glacier County.

Converse said Wayne Johnson has been unable to get ahold of Glacier County Attorney Terryl Matt to confirm receipt of the amendment and if it is agreeable to Glacier County. Commissioner Michael DesRosier said they had received the information via email from Converse.

Chairwoman Mary Jo Bremner invited Converse to get on the Commissioners Dec. 14 or Dec. 20 agenda to further discuss the issue. It was not on the Dec. 14 Commissioners’ agenda released to the public on Dec. 10.

According to the Department of Administration, the only state financial assistance being released to Glacier County is for public safety needs. As of July 2021, over $685,000 in state assistance has been withheld from Glacier County.

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