Thursday, January 7, 2021 @ 7:00 PM
Mayor Schwarzbach called the meeting to order.
Council members present: Colby Baumgarn. Jon Sheehy and Rich Jespersen in person. Darin Ray via Zoom
Staff Present: Tim LaBuda, PWD, Larry Geyer, Public Works and Wendy Kleinsasser, clerk.
Public: Lorrie Merrill, Adele Otto and someone who did not identify themselves, all via Zoom.
Approval of Meeting Minutes: Darin Ray moved to approve the November minutes, with an amendment clarifying the timing for funding for the Old Hotel cleanup. Rich Jespersen seconded and the motion passed.
Sheriff’s Report: None
Pivot: Nothing new to report.
Pool Report: Rich Jespersen had nothing new to report, but Mayor Schwarzbach reported on a meeting with the Big Sandy Education Foundation, who voted in favor of providing $30,000.00 in seed money for the pool.
Public Comment: None
KLJ: Luke LaLiberty of KLJ talked to the mayor regarding new grant funding, but it is not pertinent to the storm drain project.
Bear Paw Development:
CIP: We will put the updated CIP on the website and wait until we can hold the proper public hearings before determining whether a more in depth one is needed.
Brownsfield . Rich Jespersen was able to track down the current owner, Jeff Myers of the Myers Family Trust in Arizona. Rich and the mayor spoke with him regarding the property in question. It does not appear he has ever seen the building other than in pictures and has plans to turn it into Section 8 housing. He was under the impression that full mitigation of the building’s issues would cost around $80,000.00. The actual cost is around $230,000.00, and grant funding to cover the cost is available only to the town, not the individual property owner. He has hired a local contractor to begin work sheet rocking. Rich contacted him a second time but didn’t make much progress. The mayor and Rich will get legal advice and he will be contacted again. The council did vote in favor of seek permission to do a walk through and pursue the environmental assessment. Rich Jespersen made the motion, Jon Sheehy seconded, motion passed.
Legal Services: Jon Sheehy moved that the mayor sign the document to allow the town’s legal files be transferred from BKD to Hi-Line Law. Rich Jespersen seconded and the motion passed.
Junk Ordinance: Rich Jespersen was advised to follow the state ordinance on junk vehicles, but feels we should follow ours from 2003 as it covers much more than just vehicles. Rich will look into the possibility of reinstating the county junk vehicle program. He also proposed that there be an article in the paper explain what the ordinance is, then identification of the properties. Then a warning letter would be sent, giving the property owner time to work on a solution and meet with the council. Sixty days was suggested. If nothing is done, then a citation would be issued. Should the owner decide to appeal, first would be through a justice of the peace, then a trial let by the county attorney. If the owner loses, the clerk will have the county put the fine and the cost of cleanup on the owner’s taxes.
Water Ordinance: The clerk will check on progress with Dorsey and Whitney.
Committee Reports: Colby Baumgarn reported that the sign at the dump had been torn down and put in the dumpster, so we will be requiring a new one. Unified Disposal is considering installing cameras at all of their transfer stations
Mayor Report: None.
Public Works: Public Works has been working on graveling some of the streets.
* The shut off list was distributed
* The correspondence was distributed.
* Claims: Rich Jespersen moved to accept the claims. Jon Sheehy seconded and the motion passed.
General Journal Voucher: Colby Baumgarn moved to approve JV 2021-07, Rich Jespersen seconded; motion passed.
Any Business to be brought before the Council:
The next meeting will be held February 4th.
Due to equipment failure at one of the properties, which caused the owner’s water bill to be way out of line, Rich Jespersen moved to waive the overage costs prior to the new meter being installed. Darin Ray seconded. The motion passed with one council member voting nay.