Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

County Commission Update

Hi Folks,

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day. At our regular meeting last week we held a series of four Public Hearings. The first Hearing was for the use of Title III funds that we have received over several years from Secure Rural School’s money. Since Congress has not reauthorized that payment the program is ending and we need to obligate the funds we have. The use of the money is very limited. We are proposing to use some of it to purchase a Curtain Burner, which would allow us to burn woody waste at our transfer sites without the danger of burning our wood piles the way we do now. Another use of the money would be to purchase a sign making machine so that we could easily sign all of our roads and trails so that fire and other emergency responders would have much better information.

The next two Hearings had to do with a permissive levy for employee health insurance and a permissive levy for the Sheriff’s retirement system. Both of those levies are mandated by law.

The final Hearing was for our Preliminary Budget. As most of you are aware, a lot of properties had some pretty substantial increases in their taxable values. I don’t really understand why that happened because the purpose of the State going to a two year reappraisal system instead of the six year cycle was to prevent major spikes in values. That apparently didn’t work this year. While we couldn’t prevent tax increases for some of those properties, we did lower the County wide levy by two mills which should help some.

The Conrow Fire is about 97% contained. The Type Three Team that came in from Nevada was great to work with. They have now transitioned out of here onto another fire. The B-D regular crew is doing mop-up and patrolling for hot spots.

FYI: A massive wildfire that burned across Indonesia in 1997 released between 13% and 40% of the world’s carbon emissions that year.


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