December Minutes



Hot Springs Senior Center 101 Main Street

CALL TO ORDER by Mayor Woods at 7:02 pm.

ROLL CALL- present-Woods, Neary, Stelter, Whitsett, Smith

Also present- Amy Gray, Steven Sheffield, Eric Pfleger, Dawn Dearmin, Maura Williams, Peg Winebrenner

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- Smith/Stelter  4-0 pass

FINANCIAL REPORTS Stelter/Neary 4-0 pass

PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS Neary/ Stelter 4-0 pass


MAYOR – Mayor Woods reported that he has spent a lot time in the past month dealing with the wastewater project issues and change orders. There was a stop work order while waiting on parts and supplies and a few changes requiring change orders. He also met with a representative from Orton Foundation and discussed the grant money for paying the coach for Heart and Soul.

PUBLIC WORKS-Dan Uski has been working with Sierra out on personal medical leave.  The sander is working and has been used a couple of times, Culverts have all been cleaned and inspected this past week.  There are a few that have been identified that need replaced or repaired.  Read pads and posts have been repaired and replaced. In all there were more than 40 that needed attention.  Public Works has also been busy helping the contractors working on the wastewater project.

FIRE DEPT- No fire calls this month, more than 20 ambulance calls but the majority of them were in the first 2 weeks of the month.

POLICE- Officer Pfleger presented written police report.

COUNCIL- Councilman Neary explained that he had been made aware of an ongoing issue regarding public documents and privacy concerns for consumers. Mayor Woods explained that this information Whitsett was looking for was not an actual document and that it was customer information that Mayor Woods felt was private. He stated the town attorney had weighed in on the issue and they both felt the information was private. Mayor Woods explained that an audit of the system by town employees found several properties in which there were 2 or more units, and 2 or more electric meters and therefore, per ordinance, they would be required to pay an additional fee. Letters were sent out prior to an increase in their bill.  He explained that the town has to be fair when charging for use. Whitsett expressed that she disagreed with Mayor Woods about the information being private and was said she was asking for the names of those who were sent letters.  There was continued discussion between the Mayor and Council and Mayor Woods stated he did not feel there was a compelling reason to give out the customer information and would not give out the information until compelled to do so by a district court judge. Neary brought up MCA 27-2-211(2) [statute of limitations], and the concept of ‘grandfathering,’  — and indicated both should also be addressed when considering this matter –an ordinance enforcement action— before any final decision was made.

Neary moved on with the zoning review that has been happening over the past few months and stated he felt there was a need to talk about tiny homes and more than one building on a lot during these reviews and that this needs to be a priority.

CLERK – Judge is at mandatory new judge training and will be seeking reimbursement at the next council meeting, Received a notice form the state that the 2016 audit must be submitted by December 31, 2018, AFR for 2018 is in progress but will be completed by Magda Nelson instead of Jessica Connelly, Once AFR is complete we will know if we have to do an audit for 2018 or a financial review based on revenue for the fiscal year.

LIBRARY- Winbrenner presented written library report

ZONING COMPLIANCE OFFICER- Shockey follow up- his units appear to be built according to his plan that he had presented to council

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE -working on memberships, progress is being made on $5000 digital media grant

ARTIST SOCIETY – Wine, cheese and chocolate tasting and auction brought in about $3300,  new news letter is out



Mayor Woods asked for public comment- there was none



APPROVE HIRE OF PART TIME OFFICER Motion made to approve hiring Dan Linder as part time officer – Neary asked if Police commission had been contacted and Pfleger stated it had. Stelter/Smith 4-0 pass


CHANGE JANUARY TOWN COUNCIL MEETING TO JANUARY 8, 2018 Council meeting would fall on New Years day and Clerk will be gone Motion to change meeting to January 8, 2018 Neary/Smith 4-0 pass


WASTEWATER PROJECT UPDATE AND PAY APPLICATION FOR MONTANA UNDERGROUND– multiple change orders- contractor is coming back to work after being gone for stop work order, $22,000 change order for the weir, bad manhole found in town that needed replaced created controversy with contractor. Mayor Woods reported that we have worked through all contract disputes. There were some equipment problems at lift station that are being worked on.  Motion to approve Pay app Neary/Smtih 4-0 pass


MORRISON MAERLE AND DORSEY WHITNEY INVOICE      Motion to approve invoices from Morrision Maierle and Dorsey Whitney

Stelter/ Neary  4-0 pass



Woods- council and Mayor work sessions continue on zoning, next meeting will be in January and will address variances, fencing and non conforming use.


Adjourn  8:15 pm  Neary / Whitsett  4-0 pass