October Minutes


October 3, 2017

Hot Springs Senior Center

101 Main Street

CALL TO ORDER: By Mayor Woods at 7:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL: Mayor Woods, Neary, Adams, Whitsett, Smith, Clerk -Gray

Also Present: Police Chief Stuart Smith, Stephen Sheffield, Nina DeCoster, Richard Hermsmeyer, Deana Peters, Sam Cowles, Linda Landrum, Deb Gaither, Bob Woods, Margaret Haliburton, Susan Roberts, Karen Evans, Ayla Blasius, Janelle Clarke, Bonita Ralph, Paul Stelter, John Marshal, Maura Williams, Brad Sutton, Deana Hazelton

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES: Motion made by Leslee Smith to approve minutes of September meeting, seconded by Adams, Pass 4-0

FINANCIAL REPORTS- Motion made by Leslee Smith to approve August financial report, Second by Adams pass 4-0

PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS- Motion made by Dick Adams to approve September claims, second by Leslee Smith   Mayor Woods explained that WEX $1090 is higher than expected because the fire truck fuel is on the bill but will be reimbursed from the State, He also explained that Northlake Diesel and a Towing bill are also not usual claims but that the fire truck had broken down and had to be towed to Kalispell and repaired. Claims for Fair EMS personnel and MARC chemical company for Public Works Pass 4-0


MAYOR: Mayor Woods reported that Mr. Simmons from Still Waters property is still going to discuss trees in town right of ways but that both the Mayor and Mr. Simmons have been very busy and have spoken but will still be meeting to go over information Mr. Simmons has collected. Mayor Woods reported that he had attended the Tribal Council meeting and given them an update on the Town. The Tribal council had expressed their appreciation for him taking his time to attend just to keep in contact with them.

PUBLIC WORKS: Mayor Woods reported we are down one employee, that Loberg has resigned his position and we have advertised the opening. Mark has been doing clean up, starting culverts and ditches next week, he has measured and mapped the culverts and storm drains and new lids have been ordered for some of them.

FIRE DEPT: No calls to report

POLICE: Chief Smith read his written report to council and attendees

COUNCIL: Neary reported he is still looking at potential corrections to the Dec thru June minutes but that he has been too busy, he also requested that official business not be included in Friday updates, but rather a separate email. He also asked about the culverts and storm drains being included in the sewer project. Mayor Woods explained that it is too late for that project and that any changes to the sewer project would mean you have to start all over again, he also explained that there is very little money out there in the form of grants for storm drains and culverts. Any work done comes out of the budget. We need to keep doing a little bit here and there and keep moving forward. We have them mapped now so we know where they are we can go in and open up the ends and make sure they are clean. Storm drains are in bad shape and we have six of them that are priority to fix.

Neary stated it might help to educate the public on what they can do to lessen the impact of the water.

Woods stated we had cleaned some ditches out, and a neighbor there went and filled it back in. We need to work with the homeowner to make things work.

Whitsett asked about the prognosis of the fire truck that broke down, Mayor Woods explained it was the truck that went to North Lake Diesel and was fixed and back in Hot Springs ready to go. Whitsett also asked about the Still Water property and asked Mayor Woods if he had spoken with the County Attorney to determine if it was city or county property. Mayor Woods asked if this discussion could wait until later in the meeting as it is an agenda item.

Woods reported that we have started a work session on the ordinances, started with Title 1 and 2 and that we will be doing a better job getting it advertised and stated that the next section to be reviewed will be 3, 4 and 5

LIBRARY- Linda Landrum read written library report

PARKS/RECREATION BOARD-Woods stated Clerk will contact insurance company regarding dinosaur and what is required to make it safe

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE/ARTIST SOCIETY: Leslee Smith reported that the Chamber of Commerce meeting would be held on the 5th at The Second Home. She reported that there would be a ghost walk and that they are encouraging people to do trick or trunk on Main Street for the kids. She also reported that the Legends Motorcycle group would be coming town and there will be an NA women’s retreat in town.

Artist Society board meeting will be the 4th at Wall Street Place. There will be a kiddie costume contest at the Senior Center

MUSEUM-closed for the season




 STILL WATER PROPERTY TREES IN RIGHT OF WAY- Woods reported that the Sanders County attorney says North Road belongs to the county and that we need to look each road and property because they are not the same. Woods stated that Glen Magera is going to follow up with the county attorney and find out about all roads. With what the attorney says, it would indicate that the right of way at the Still Water properties is not town property and we may not have a say in the trees. Neary states that in looking at the county plat maps, he believes that it is not county property. Woods is going to get in touch with the attorney again for more clarification. Neary stated that it looks like it is city property.

Janell Clarke stated that we either cite him for violating the ordinance or we don’t and that it comes down to enforcement. Woods explained that if it is not Town property we do not have jurisdiction to cite him for violating any ordinance. Adams stated that if it is on county property then we have no say. Woods stated that if it is not in town we can’t enforce it.



CORRECTION: VARIANCE FOR DECOSTER FENCE SHOULD BE ENCROACHMENT-Woods explained that a variance is for change in using their own land, and encroachment is for using someone else’s property. Nina DeCoster’s fence is on town’s property therefore calls for an encroachment rather than a variance. Nina asked if it would follow her deed and Mayor Woods replied that it would. Motion to change from a variance to an encroachment made by Adams, second by Smith. 4-0 pass


HOT SPRINGS CITY COURT EXISTING BANK ACCOUNT UPDATE- Valley bank is requesting that we allow the city court bank account to use EIN#, authorize Judge Joe as a signer and also authorize an administrator

Motion made by Smith to include Joe on the account, use the Town’s EIN# and to assign the current mayor as an administrator on the account. Second by Adams 4-0 pass


RESOLUTION No. 2018-03R-            A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE NOVEMBER 7, 2017 GENERAL ELECTION OF MUNICIPAL OFFICERS TO BE HELD BY MAIL BALLOT- Motion made by Adams, Second by Neary to approve resolution   4-0 Pass



Janell Clarke commented that she thought there was a lack of communication by the mayor with citizens’ concerns

Ayla Blasius explained that the Hot Springs PTO was planning a trunk or treat and that she forgot to get on the agenda to request that Main Street be blocked off for the event.

Woods- there is an ordinance that allows the Mayor or Police Chief to block it off for a couple of hours.

Whitesett- asked how invested are we going to be when we replace Ruben Loberg, are we going to hire someone local? She explained that it is known that Mayor gets up and does early morning work.

Woods stated that when the public works employees were hired, they both lived in town.

Whitsett also commented that she was mistaken that the ordinance review actually took place in 2016 and that the meetings were done 2 or 3 times and then that went away. The ordinance reviews have been done differently in the past.


Motion made to Adjourn by Adams Second by Neary   8:04 p.m.


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