June Minutes




June 4, 2019, 7:00 PM Prior to the regular Town Council Meeting

Hot Springs Senior Center 101 Main Street

Public Hearing was called to order by Mayor Woods at 7:07 pm

Mayor Woods read the resolution out loud.  Asked for public comment, there was none.

Public Hearing closed 7:10 p.m.



Hot Springs Senior Center 101 Main Street

CALL TO ORDER by Mayor Woods at 7:11 pm

ROLL CALL Woods, Stelter, Smith, Neary,Whitsett

Also Present: Amy Gray, Chief Pfleger, Stephen Sheffield, Bill Naegli, Daphne Digrinakis, Charlie Young, Nisca Warthen

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Motion to Approve Minutes of the April Town Council meeting made by Smith, seconded by Stelter  4-0 pass

FINANCIAL REPORTS Motion to approve financial reports for March and April made by Smith/Seconded by Stelter  pass 4-0

PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS  Motion made to approve claims made by Stelter /Seconded by Whitsett    4-0 pass


REPORTS Mayor Woods chose to move to Agenda items due to presenter during agenda items. 



Mayor Woods called for discussion on any New Agenda items, there was none at this time.

CONCERT AT RODEO GROUNDS– Harlee Salmi was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem cancer. There is a group of people requesting permission to use the rodeo grounds to host a benefit concert on her behalf. Event insurance will be required naming the Town as an insured party.  Motion to approve used of Rodeo Grounds for concert made by Neary/ Seconded by Smith  4-0 pass


MONTANA UNDERGROUND PAY APP- Final pay application for Wastewater Project due to Montana Underground. Motion made to approve pay app made by Smith/ Seconded by Stelter 4-0 pass

There was discussion between the Mayor and Council about the upcoming Water project and the need to bid the project out differently diving it into sections instead of making it one single bid project for a single contractor.


RESOLUTION # 2019-04R A RESOLUTION REQUESTING A MAIL BALLOT ELECTION FOR THE TOWN OF HOT SPRINGS 2019 PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS- Motion made to approve Resolution made by Smith/ Seconded by Whitsett 4-0 pass


2019 UPDATE OF THE SANDERS COUNTY MULTI-HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN- Presentation made by Daphne Digrinakis explaining the need for the Mitigation plan and the details of the plan. Having a plan in place keeps Sanders county and individual communities such as Hot Springs eligible to receive grant money in the event of an emergency. The plan will be finalized with copies sent to all communities soon. No action taken



MAYOR– Mayor Woods reported that the Town has completed the Wastewater project with Montana Underground

PUBLIC WORKS– We have received some of the New Gas tax monty and have ordered storm drains and culverts and will start patching the streets after the machine arrives. Testing at the Lagoons has resumed. Tests need to be improved and Woods is working with Sierra to improve test results.

FIRE DEPT– there were a few traffic accidents, no fires yet. Woods is anticipating a high fire season will all of the tall grass from a wet spring.  Naegli reported 4 fire starts in the county with the recent lightning storm.

POLICE-Officer Pfleger presented the police report. Woods stated that Officer Martin is still employed with the Town and despite rumors, he has not been in trouble.

COUNCIL– Neary questioned the two week time limit that was suggested at the work session regarding parking RVs and stated he had gotten some pushback on the topic. Woods explained that the ordinances would still have to go into the public comment period once and the public would have input before anything is decided or made into an ordinance.

CLERK– Clerk was absent from previous council meeting in order to attend the Clerk’s Institute in Bozeman. As always there is a good exchange of information between the clerks across the state, also time was spent there discussing Town business with Dan Clarke from Local Government Services.

LIBRARY Nisca presented the library report.

ZONING COMPLIANCE OFFICER- 3rd N and B street- owner is asking about putting in two more trailers.  A Street and 1st Ave – there is a new tiny house

PARKS/RECREATION BOARD– Steel posts are up for the swings and work continues on the swing set, we also need to look at getting power in the park

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE– last meeting was at MT Bar, reviewed Homesteader duties.

ARTIST SOCIETY- meets tomorrow at the Symes, Sponsors Main St Stage musicians, Photography show is on going.

Museum-will be open Saturday and Sunday of Homesteaders, COA bus will run from Senior center to Museum from 12-4.





Neary gives thumbs up to the Montana Bar for all of their hard work on their building- looks great.


Smith reported that Judy Norgard had been contacted by Bikers Against Bullies in August. They would want to do a presentation, and would like to have food vendors and musicians. Chamber of Commerce is considering sponsoring this event.


Woods explained that there was a question by Mary Whitsett about the number of connections in the town and that she had contacted the engineers. He explained that this information is available in Town Hall and there is an expense involved when the Engineers are contacted.  He then provided information on the number of users, explained EDU’s and discussed the rates. He explained the costs to the Town for the water system even if nobody is using it at all and that is how we determine our base fee.


Whitsett explained that she wanted to provide clarification from the last council meeting and that she did not vote to renew the attorney contract. She stated she had read from the MCA and read that the attorney is required by law to write ordinances. She says she now understands that he is to read the ordinances for legality purposes. She said she is in support of anything in local government that delivers services to the people in the form of a democratic process and she is skeptical of anything that diminishes this.

Gray explained that the MCA Whitsett was referring to specifically says that if the attorney is requested to write the ordinance, he would have to write the ordinance.

Whitsett explained that she was unsure about who would have been required to write an ordinance that was discussed at a meeting a couple of years ago.

Gray clarified that Whitsett had been asking about the Ordinance that allows people to comment during each agenda item during a Town Council meeting.  A couple of years ago there was a work session that Neary had been absent from. During that meeting there was discussion about allowing public comment during each agenda item. Mayor Woods had stated at that time that Neary would write the ordinance because he had been the one to initially present the idea of this and knew what he wanted.  Nothing had ever come of this over the past two years and Whitsett wanted to know why the more experienced council members hadn’t pushed this along instead of just letting it sit.

Smith explained that it was part of the review of the entire ordinance book and that they decide on changes in the work sessions and then make them as a group. They were still working on the review and it is to be included in this ordinance revision once it is complete.

Woods explained it is possible to change just one ordinance, but that we had decided to do it as a whole.

Whitsett stated that in the future maybe we consider doing it one at a time and have it expedited


Woods read MCA 7-4-4604 duties of the city attorney.

Gray explained that when the council wants to make changes to the ordinances or create new ordinances that the attorney reviews it to make sure we are not violating any civil laws, state laws or other legal issues. Once he states it is a legal ordinance, then it can go through the meeting process of Ordinances per MCA.

Gray also explained that if someone does not like the changes proposed they still have the opportunity to comment during the meetings and the council still has the opportunity to make changes until it is voted on and passed.

Whitsett asked if people could send a written statement if they are unable to attend, and was told yes they can. She also asked if it had to be signed and was told yes, it would need to be signed because the individual needs to take responsibility for their comment.



Motion to adjourn by Neary seconded by Whitsett  4-0 passed

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