Cut Bank School officials were pleasantly surprised on Jan. 7 when Glacier County Treasurer Don Wilson presented them with a check for $1,409,943.80, up-to-date reports…and an apology. Wilson appeared in the Glacier County Commissioners’ office shortly after Cut Bank Schools District Clerk and Business Manager Linsey Milender completed her presentation to the Commissioners, outlining issues she has had with obtaining accurate and timely reports and payments from Wilson. The Commissioners were informed by Wilson earlier he would not be in the office that day.
Milender showed the Commissioners the partial report–which had the totals cut-off–she had received earlier, and also presented copies of the emails she had sent over the last two months requesting complete reports from Wilson. She stressed the Cut Bank School District needed their November tax payment that should have been distributed no later than Dec. 20, in order to make their January payroll.
Commission Chairman Michael DesRosier was not in attendance at the meeting. Commissioners John Overcast and Mary Jo Bremner agreed it was “crucial” for the school district to receive reports and payments in a timely fashion. “If we can help you, we will,” said Overcast.
Milender pointed to the original October 2020 financial report, which she finally received from Wilson on Jan. 4, showed District No. 15 owed Glacier County $265,378.16. The report’s beginning balances didn’t agree with the previous month’s ending balances, she said, and the difference between the reports was well over $1 million.
“Our financials are really messed up,” said a frustrated Milender, who again cited the lack of communication with the Treasurer’s Office.
Moments later Wilson walked into the Commissioners’ chambers, with the corrected reports for October and November 2020 and a handwritten check for $1,409,943.80. He apologized to Milender and Cut Bank Schools Supt. Wade Johnson, as well as Glacier County Supt. of Schools Darryl Omsberg, the other school clerks in the county and the City of Cut Bank for the delay in the disbursement of funds and reports.
“Everyone is going to get their checks today,” Wilson said, including the Cut Bank International Airport, he added. The December tax disbursements will be made on Monday, Jan. 11, assured Wilson.
Johnson thanked Wilson and then requested “clear communication” between Wilson and Milender going forward.
In checking with City Clerk/Treasurer Linda Burley, the City of Cut Bank had not received the November or December tax disbursements as of Monday afternoon on Jan. 11.
Officials from the Cut Bank Airport Authority stated although they had not yet received any payments on Monday, Jan. 11, they anticipate receiving a check on Tuesday, Jan. 12, in the amount of $21,399.78.
East Glacier Schools Business Manager Denise Mason stated she received her school report packet “showing cash due to the school electronically at 1:25 p.m. today. I do not have a payment. That will typically arrive in the mail by check in the next day or two.”
Joni Woldstad, Clerk for the Mountain View Elementary School District, reported on Jan. 11 has not received the cash reports for November and December. Woldstad added, “We have not received any payment. Payments usually arrive by warrant.”
The Glacier County Conservation District representative stated as of Jan. 11, they have not received any tax payment from Treasurer Wilson.