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Commissioners Hear Stampede Committee Complaints, Approve Health Insurance Plan

The Roosevelt County Commissioners heard complaints from Clint and Arlyss Long of the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede Committee at their regular public meeting Tuesday, May 22.
In late May, the gate to the stampede grounds, south of Wolf Point, was hit by a person driving too fast down Rodeo Road for the third time in two years. Clint Long came to the meeting to plead with the Roosevelt County Commissioners to do something to reduce speeds along the road.

 

Long reported that people keep hitting the gate of the stampede grounds and destroying property while driving on Rodeo Road. Last year one person ran into the stampede grounds bathroom completely destroying it. Long said that the most recent event took place the night of May 21. A person hit the gate to the grounds and bent in inward.

Long said that he has requested multiple time that the commissioners put speed bumps on Rodeo Road in an effort to reduce the speed people drive at. “It’s getting expensive. In both money and man-hours to repair the Stampede grounds every few months,” said Long.

The commissioners agreed that something should be done. Presiding officer Gary MacDonald said that the commissioners have to consider the potential liability of someone going into the ditch due to the speed bumps. This is a question that the county legal team will have to answer.

“I’d be more concerned with the liability of someone getting killed,” said Long. “Because it’s going to happen eventually.”
MacDonald agreed that something needed to be done. People need to be slowed down on Rodeo Road.

Bill Juve, Roosevelt County citizen, said that he lives on Rodeo Road and that he and everyone else that lives on the road would be opposed to speed bumps. Juve cited speed bumps tearing up the shocks on vehicles.

Long said, “Bill (Juve), there are speed bumps in every shopping mall and parking lot in the state. It’s not tearing up anybody’s shocks.”

Juve suggested flashing lights as an alternative. Long argued that a drunk person going fast down Rodeo Road isn’t going to notice flashing lights. He said if they do notice them there is no guarantee that they will heed the warning.

Currently the speed limit on Rodeo Road is 35 miles per hour, a speed limit which those who have hit the Stampede grounds chose to ignore.

Arlyss Long stated that the people who have hit the Stampede ground have cost the Stampede committee well over $50,000 in the last two years.

“Unless someone wants to step up and donate $50,000 to keep up the building and Stampede grounds, then we are stuck,” said Arlyss Long.

Commissioner member Gordon Oelkers suggested that the commissioners hold a public hearing on the matter. MacDonald agreed and stated that he wants legal to look into what the commissioners can do.

Oelkers made a motion to set up a public meeting with commissioners member Duane Nygaard providing a second. The motion passed, date pending, unanimously.
“It’s a sad commentary on our times when you can’t have anything like this,” said Clint Long.

Returning to an issue from the previous public meeting, Oelkers made a motion to leave the Roosevelt County employee insurance rates with a $500 deductible. Oelkers stated that he wanted to keep the deductible the same for one more year and that hopefully the county can negotiate for better rates during the 2019-20 budget year.

Commission member Nygaard said he believes the $1,000 deductible would save the county money while maintaining the same insurance coverage.

Macdonald said he would agree with that statement, but the department heads agreed to sacrifice their budget rather than do a permissive mill for the 2018-19 budget year in order to keep their lower deductible. He sided with Oelkers, deciding that keeping the rate and deductible the same for one more year and renegotiating for better rates next year was the best move.

The motion to accept the county insurance rate with a $500 deductible passed 2-1 with Nygaard voting against the measure.
Several summer hires were approve.

Temporary summer employees for the Roose-velt County fairgrounds are Carly Bowker, Derek Bowker, Rona Butikofer, Dona Butikofer, Britten VanGorder and Kristine Mahlen.

Temporary summer employees for the Roosevelt County weed department were Ethan Hendrickson, Eric Hendrickson, Logan Nickoloff, Tony Williams, Noah Nickoloff, Carter Nickoloff and Lucas Oelkers. Commissioner Oelkers abstained from voting due to relations, but noted that this was the same crew who worked for the weed department last year.

At a special administrative session May 10, the commissioners approved and signed a Community Development Block Grant application and approved an environmental certifying official.
The CDBG grant application was approved unanimously. Nygaard was approved as the environmental certifying official. It was also approved to allow Nygaard to sign the finding of exempt environmental activities. Minutes for this meeting were approved at the May 22 meeting.

Other items of note:

•Commissioners approved two signal railroad crossings by Bainville. The Montana Department of Transportation had this as a planned project for 2018 and needed county approval. The crossing should improve safety.

•A memorandum of understanding with Tribal Enterprise was approved to maintain Brockton’s sewer and water system. The commissioners agreed to a rate of $180 per hour. Macdonald said that this should save rate-payers money.

•Commissioners approved signing a Federal Aviation Administration grant application for the runway crack sealing project at the Wolf Point airport. This grant application is a joint application with the City of Wolf Point. The entities are requesting approximately $68,000, the amount of bid from Roadway Services, for the project.

•A by laws change for MACo PCT were approved by the commissioners. The by laws change was to include MACo being able to use electronic communications to inform people of by laws changes.

•The commissioners approved the treasurer’s office to cancel $490.56 in outstanding checks from 2009 to 2012.

•Claims in the amount of $141,678.88 were approved for May 17.