Madison County Board of Commissioners
August 2nd meeting encourages community feedback on local dump sites
The Public Health Department had multiple items on the agenda August 2nd. Training for suicide prevention for up to 30 people, professionals, and laymen alike welcome, was proposed. Unfortunately, suicide rates have increased, from 2011-2020 there were 17 in Madison County. In 2021 there were four, and in 2022 there have been four thus far. The training will be given on the Ruby side of the county at the Alder Fire Hall on Aug. 17 at 8 a.m. , and the Ennis side on Aug. 18 at 8 a.m. at Madison Valley Bank. Brett Lloyd, a Madison County native residing in Helena will provide the training. At a rate of $75 per person, MCBC approved $4,500 to cover all attendees. Postvention resources, like the prevention one approved, are slated for future discussion. MCBC also approved a new hire for the Public Health Department.
MCBC discussed the 3% excise tax on marijuana as allowed in House Bill 701. A resolution to put the question to the voters in the upcoming general election was approved. There will be two taxes to vote on: one for nonmedical marijuana and one for medical marijuana.
The Madison Meadows Golf Course, which Madison County owns, is still under discussion regarding creating a taxation district to cover improvements, maintenance and ultimately replace the irrigation system. MCBC still needs a taxable value determined and a budget presented to them to move forward. The Golf Course Association sent a list of things needed to get on the November ballot, but MCBC does not have all the information needed to approve a ‘resolution of intent to hold a referendum’. MCBC moved to approve the resolution contingent upon getting the information necessary to hold the required public hearing. The information was received by the deadline confirming that the public hearing will be held August 23rd, 1 p.m. in Virginia City.
Madison County dump sites were also on the agenda. A labor shortage has made it difficult to keep all the sites clean and maintained. Possible solutions discussed were additional labor, cameras, or bear proofing, such as Virginia City’s site has. The most affordable, effective, and clear-cut solution is limiting hours of access at night. A motion to ‘consider modifying’ the Ennis and Twin Bridges sites’ hours to limit night- time dumping and abuse was approved. The Ennis Solid Waste Container Site and the Twin Bridges Solid Waste Container Site will be close at 7 p.m. and open at 7 a.m. each day beginning Sept. 6. MCBC will would like to consider having winter and summer hours, but no specifics will be determined until they have received more community feedback.
MCBC approved a resolution to impose an open burn ban in Madison County but allowing Big Sky to include more restrictions if they feel it is required (See pg. A3 for full resolution). They also moved to approve an Interlocal agreement between Gallatin and Madison County for a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for emergency services to cover such things as evacuation plans, radio frequencies and other details necessary in a disaster or crisis.
The Sheridan Fire Department was also on the agenda. They would like to start getting bids for the construction of the new fire hall which will have four drive-thru bays, a kitchen, restroom and eventually a meeting room. They have a quarter of the money they need and are considering a mill or a loan to raise more. The Sheridan Fire Department did not need approval from the MCBC but wanted their blessing to move forward on the long-awaited project.