April 2022 Minutes


Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at Hot Springs Town Hall

ALSO be held via Zoom

Meeting called to order by Mayor Woods at 6:05 pm.

Present: Woods, Graham, Smith, Weatherly, Aldridge, Gray

Also present: Mariah Kardelis, John Carlbom, Aaron Matthew, Steven Sheffield, Scott Vollmer, Ladonna Volmer, Paul Stelter, Ron Szmergalski, Starla Rice, N Garner, C.R. Liesinger

A public hearing was held for the purpose of obtaining public comments regarding the Wastewater System Preliminary Engineering Report.  Liesinger presented a slide show and explained the reason for the this public hearing. He presented an overview of the PER, what projects were included and why. The PER is for the Town’s wastewater system. Some of the areas of interest include the Lagoons, Chlorination System, Collection system, main lines needing attention, the lift station, an extension for Camas area and sludge accumulation. There was council discussion regarding the issues with the failing lagoon liners, the blowers and pipes that need fixed or replaced and the public was invited to comment and ask questions. Ms. Vollmer asked about the funding for the project now as opposed to at the time of an emergency. Woods explained that whey you are doing maintenance and taking care of the system, you are a lower priority on funding than when there is an actual failure. He also explained that drinking water is easier to obtain funding for than sewer. Scott asked if there were contractors that could do the work. Woods explained that right now contractors are bidding projects high. Liesinger and Woods explained the deficiencies throughout the system and explained that the next step is a second public hearing to discuss the progress of the PER and to discuss more specifics on what our options are to address the deficiencies.

Public hearing ended 6:54 pm

APRIL 5, 2022  TOWN COUNCIL MEETING was held at Hot Springs Town Hall and via zoom.


CALL TO ORDER By Mayor Woods at 7:00 pm

ROLL CALL Present: Woods, Graham, Smith, Weatherly, Aldridge, Gray

Also present: Mariah Kardelis, John Carlbom, Aaron Matthew, Steven Sheffield, Scott Vollmer, Ladonna Volmer, Paul Stelter, Ron Szmergalski, Starla Rice, N Garner, Joshua Kifer, Ray Brown

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES Smith/ Weatherly 4-0 pass

PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS Woods explained claim items. We purchased a sludge sampler to judge sludge depth at the lagoons, three separate claims for water rights registration for wells at the lagoons, the lift station and the park, Justin Salmi for transporting D7 dozer and Unimog from Helena that the Town received through government surplus with the DNRC.  Smith/Aldridge 4-0 pass

FINANCIAL REPORTS February financials motion to approve by Smith seconded by Graham  4-0 pass.  Woods explained the budget presented and we are just under budget at this time. He also explained that we are working on getting supplies for road maintenance.


MAYOR Woods stated he has been busy with a lot of miscellaneous stuff this past month. There have been several meetings with the engineer for water and wastewater and we had a bid opening for the water project.

PUBLIC WORKS Public works has started the monthly town clean ups. They start in April and will be the 3rd Thursdays of the months. If there is a dumping fee, you must pay that fee in advance, or we won’t haul it. We do not haul household trash. They have been working on some streets and alleys and patching some potholes. Getting road supplies has been challenging. The gravel companies have been swamped but Polson will start hauling to us soon and we can continue to work on projects around town. They are also putting in some new street signs. Mike has several digging projects lined up with four or five new connections.

FIRE DEPT- Fire department was given two pieces of equipment out of Helena DNRC.  The D7 dozer has 400 hours on it. It is old but was never used much. The Unimog mobile excavator is a freightliner with front bucket and case backhoe on the back. Both items were free to the fire department with just transportation costs to the town. Fire crew has been busy with 3 grass fires, 2 car fires, 2 car crashes with one death. Woods met with tribal fire last week and they have lost several of their long time personnel due to retirement. They are extremely short staffed. The seat base will be back for the summer.

POLICE Submitted by Chief Pfleger and presented by Woods. Woods also shared that the police department has sponsored a Narcan training. They have also been busy trying to get people to clean up, dealing with decay ordinance and parking violations. Woods explained that parking an unused, unlicensed, broke down, uninsured vehicle in the town right of way for an extended period of time is not acceptable. Also, people are storing motor homes, travel trailers and boats on the town right of way as well and that is not allowed. Decay- is harder to determine. What some people see as decay others do not and Woods is supportive of property rights but at some point too much is too much especially if it is things like mattresses, furniture or household trash.

CLERK Gray expressed that it is imperative that people call 911 for emergencies. She explained that Woods and herself receive a lot of phone calls from people reporting emergencies on their private phones. Woods agreed that people have to call 911. We receive multiple calls for police, fire, ambulance and these calls have to go to dispatch. Gray explained that the town officers are not always on duty and when they are on duty, they are not always in the station. The dispatcher know which officers are on and available.

LIBRARY- report presented by Starla Rice

ZONING COMPLIANCE- Woods reported that this month has been wild with zoning compliance stuff. He has had several meetings with people who have property on Jaques road and with the people who are trying to buy the Walchuk property adjacent to the rodeo grounds. Walchuk had discussed a land swap with a property on Jaques road and then some people came forward that wanted to purchase his land. We have met with those developers to discuss annex possibilities, subdivision and building plans for the property.






WATER PROJECT BID- We received a few bids for the water project. Those bids were read aloud by CR Liesinger. Woods recommended we award Viking the tank rehab portion and the recommended awarding the rest of the project to Camas Creek construction.  The total of these bids is less than the available funding. They discussed the possibility of adding the generator to the project.

Smith made a motion to accept the award recommendations, seconded by Aldridge  4-0 pass


DESTINATION EVENT GRANT-We were awarded $7500. Ray Brown explained that the grant is for marketing such as event website, promotion, signs, banners. Hot Springs was awarded one of the highest grant awards. Motion to accept the grant and authorize Randy to disperse the funds Aldridge/Smith 4-0 pass

Ray Brown added that Community Development offers grant administration


PARKS AND REC BOARD Woods explained the need to establish some guidelines for the Rodeo grounds. There is homesteaders rodeo, another rodeo has contacted us, and other events that may happen at the rodeo grounds. We need to look at a way to manage it. He discussed options such as putting together a board that specifically manages the rodeo grounds or incorporating it into the parks and recs board. Smith-There is a parks and recs board resolution from 2010 that sets parameters. She stated all member terms have expired at this point and we need to start by reassigning the parks and rec board or make the rodeo a sub of parks and recs or make it its own board. Graham expressed concern regarding the limited number of volunteers that we already have and that adding an additional separate board would require more volunteers. Smith stated the town needs to manage it. Weatherly asked about the how the fairboard works and if the rodeo board would work like that?  Woods explained they are given a budget. Gray expressed concern that if it was run like the fairboard, all expenses and revenue would have to run through the town and she did think this was a good idea. Ray Brown recommended issuing a special permit and require the rodeo committee to create its own 501c3. Woods suggested Homesteaders could become a 501c3 and lease the property annual with an annual renew. For the parks and recs board Woods would like to see them actively seek out grants for our other park at the old sewer plant. No decision was made regarding rodeo grounds. Letters of interest for the parks and rec board will be due before the next town council meeting.

OFFICER ACHESON PAY RATE Woods recommended increasing Achesons pay to $16.00 per hour. He has been working with us for over year between filling in and becoming a permanent employee. He has had his six month review and has been doing a good job. Motion to increase Acheson pay to $16/hr  Smith/Graham 4-0 pass


There was none

ADJOURN 8:23 pm   Graham/Smith 4-0 pass

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