MINUTES FOR OCTOBER 4, 2022 TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
109 MAIN ST, HOT SPRINGS MT 59845
MEETING WAS ALSO HELD VIA ZOOM
CALL TO ORDER By Mayor Woods at 7:00 p.m.
ROLL CALL Present Aldridge, Graham, Weatherly, Smith, Woods, Gray
Also Present: Robert Neary, Steven Sheffield, Dottie Palmer, Scott Vollmer, Ladonna
Vollmer, Judy Norgarrd, Starla Rice, Ron Smerzgalski, Mary Whitsett, Holly Batt, Cody
APPROVAL OF MINUTES Smith/ Weatherly 4-0 pass
PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS Clerk has asked to include ME Lab claim to be paid as
it was received too late to include in claims this month. Discussed ME Lab claim and cost
of water and sewer tests. Weatherly/Smith 4-0 pass
MAYOR Woods reported on water project. We are trying to get the tank project finished.
It has been pressure tested and sanitized. We will test it, then test again and before it is
put online in the water supply. Camas will be tying in new lines at the well. The line
extension at A St and 3 rd isn’t going well. They have the line in but are unable to get clean
tests. They have chlorinated, flushed and retested several times and have gotten bad tests
back. We have decided to chlorinate our system as a maintenance procedure since we
have had several new taps and so much going on with the projects. We will chlorinate for
two weeks, then we will start flushing hydrants. We will continue to work with Camas to
complete the line extension project. We are in clean up mode for most of the project at
PUBLIC WORKS Public works has been installing water lines and sewer connections.
They are digging out stumps and doing some grading. Stop signs have been ordered and
they will start putting them up when they get here.
FIRE DEPT We have had some car crashes with fatalities, a plane crash with fatality.
We have been busy and it has been stressful for the volunteers.
POLICE Report provided by Pfleger presented by Woods
LIBRARY Starla presented the monthly reports and provided a couple of years of annual
library reports to the council
ZONING COMPLIANCE Woods stated he has been working with the developers at the
rodeo grounds property. We received their first set of plats today. They are designing
each lot to be just under 10,000 sq feet. They have found an engineer to begin working on
the civil side of things, water, streets etc.
We also received a request to review for a house on the south side of town
PUBLIC COMMENT FOR EACH AGENDA ITEM WILL BE ALLOWED
PARKING ON CHARLOT STREET- Woods advised council that one of the subjects
of this conflict has just had surgery yesterday and he asked council to leave the issue
tabled until all parties could be given an opportunity to speak. He opened it for public
discussion. Neary commented that he had reviewed the video from the previous meeting
and he was impressed that the Mayor had been researching this issue. Issue was left
tabled until a future meeting.
DRAW REQUEST WATER PROJECT Weatherly asked about the engineers fees and if they
still had money available to them. They do have some, enough for this draw. Woods explained
that at this time Camas Creek Contracting had 23 days of liquidated damages and that they are
responsible for extra engineering fees. We are withholding payment for liquidated damages.
Motion to approve draw request by Graham second Aldridge 4-0 pass
ESTABLISHMENT OF HOT SPRINGS COMMUNITY TREE FUND- Mike Geddes had
asked for this item to be on the agenda. He is not here. There is no further information.
NEW HIRE AND PAY FOR LIBRARY Nina DeCoster approved as new fill in hire at library
pay will be $9.20/hour. Smith/ Weatherly 4-0 pass
NEW HIRE FOR PAY UTILITY CLERK/ ADMIN ASSISTANT Jerry Kontos will be
retiring at the end of the year. Woods recommend hiring Stacy Gray to replace Kontos. We
advertised for a few weeks. She would start immediately part-time at $12.00 per hour in order to
get training. Smith/ Weatherly 4-0 pass
OPEN CONTAINER REQUEST MT BAR OCTOBER 8 TH October 8 th there will be a biker
group here. Judy Norgaard is requesting open container in front of the Montana Bar as well as
the sidewalk on the side to the beer garden. Aldridge/ Weatherly 4-0 pass
OPEN CONTAINER REQUEST MT BAR OCTOBER 29 TH Judy Norgaard explained her
request is for the 28 th and 29 th . There will be a band here on the 28 th and a Halloween costume
party on the 29 th . She is requesting for the front of the bar and the sidewalk to the beer garden for
open container. Aldridge/ Weatherly 4-0 pass
CONFLICT OF INTEREST MAYOR WOODS- required for elected officials to identify
potential business conflict of interest. Woods has his service station, Spring Street Autocare as
well as Gambles AR as his businesses. Smith/ Aldridge 4-0 pass
CONFLICT OF INTEREST ED WEATHERLY Ed Weatherly is an electrician who does
work for the town. Conflict of interest for his electrical work. Aldridge/Graham 3-0 pass
Weatherly did not vote.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Woods called for public comment on non-agenda items
Mary Whitsett thanked the officers for addressing a viscous dog issue on the south side of town.
She also expressed her concern about a weapon being discharged in town. She also discussed her
concerns about bears in town and businesses that do not provide proper mitigation of bear
Aldridge suggested the possibility of anyone with trash service will need to have a bear proof can
Woods suggested the trash could be kept in an enclosure or shed and that is should be taken to
the dump often. He also reminded everyone to clear fruit trees to keep the bears away.
7:43 p.m. Smith/Aldridge 4-0 pass
SPECIAL HOT SPRINGS TOWN COUNCIL MEETING WAS HELD TUESDAY, OCTOBER
25, 2022 AT HOT SPRINGS CITY HALL, 109 MAIN ST. HOT SPRINGS, MT 59845
MEETING ALSO HELD VIA ZOOM
CALL TO ORDER By Mayor Woods at 7:00 pm
ROLL CALL : Weatherly, Aldridge, Graham, Smith, Woods, Gray
Also Present: Loren Fitzpatrick, Bev Bangen, Charlie Young, Carolyn Woods, Don Woods, Jim
Stobie, Tony Tinacci, Cody Scott, Steven Sheffield, Bob Woods, Jeannine Woods, Donna
Redmond, Janis Morigeau, Kele Alden-Odekirk, Mary Whitsett, Aaron Matthew
PUBLIC COMMENT WILL BE ALLOWED FOR EACH AGENDA ITEM.
2022 ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT CONTRACT- MAGDA NELSON, Woods explained
that we have used Magda Nelson for the past few years to do our Annual Financial reports. We
need to sign a contract so she can do it this year and get started right away. Woods stated that
her rate has gone up a little. Leslee questioned the timing of the AFR. Gray explained it is due
by December 31 st . Smith/Aldridge 4-0 pass
PROPERTY ABATEMENT – 315 NORTH RD, APPEAL HAS BEEN SUBMITTED: Woods
explained what has been going on with the property and that we have been trying to get the
owner to clean it up. He asked Loren Fitzpatrick, the town’s attorney, to explain. Fitzpatrick
read the community decay ordinance 18.08.010 aloud and explained the abatement order. The
owner was given 14 days to appeal and he has done that. It has now come to the council to
determine if a violation exists and if so to order an abatement, or to determine that no violation
exists. Woods explained to the council that they needed to discuss this and asked Odekirk to
explain his position. Odekirk stated he has been working hard to abide by the ordinance. Most of
the debris is off the property and he is unsure where to go from here. Weatherly explained he
drove by today and there was a good fence on one side but not around the rest of the property.
Explained that if the entire property had a similar fence it would help the problem. Woods
explained seeing the mess is part of the issue but it is also a fire hazard. There has been two fire
already and the debris makes it dangerous and difficult for fire department and ambulance
personnel to access the property. Woods also explained that the property has water and sewer
but still has now electricity connected. Odekirk stated he was waiting on the power company.
Fitzpatrick referenced Title 13 of the ordinances referencing pollution and asked how long it
would take to clean up to which Odekirk replied 2 weeks.
Fitzpatrick explained the Town needs to decide wit we abate the property, do the clean up and
put a lien on the property or not.
Smith questioned the condition of the fence built by Odekirk. Odekirk stated it was live edge
fencing. Fitzpatrick explained the fence requirements for shielding as stated in the ordinance.
Woods again explained that even with a fence, the interior is dangerous for first responders. It
also causes concern for rodents that will affect the entire neighborhood. If you are repurposing
lumber, it should be stacked neatly.
Stobie asked how many other people have gotten letters to which clerk Gray replied more than
one and that Odekirk was not being singled out. Woods explained this has been going on for
years with Odekirk. He had agreement to fence it and it was never done to satisfaction.
Fitzpatrick shared pictures of the property with the other members of the public. Smith stated an
abatement would mean the town would take everything loose off the property. Odekirk
questioned what type of materials would be allowed to remain on the property. Woods
mentioned that we could give him a little more time with a set time line. The council could visit
the property to determine what would be allowed to stay and what had to go. Smith insisted that
shielding is not enough. Fitzpatrick recommended that if Odekirk does not complete the agree
upon plan, that he will send another order for abatement and recommend follow through from
the town to abate the property.
Woods suggested Odekirk submit a plan with a specific timeline and council will need to
approve the plan and then follow each of the steps. Part of the plan will include council going to
the property to discuss what needs to be done. Woods suggested to table the issue until the
council meeting on Tuesday November 1, 2022 and for Odekirk to submit his plan at that time.
Graham requested proof of progress at that time as well. Fitzpatrick stated the Town can
postpone the hearing. He requested the town postpone for an alternate resolution. In the event
the plan is followed or agreed upon, the council will set a date for abatement order.
Motion made by Aldridge to table until next meeting to determine if a plan will be accepted or
an abatement order will be issued. Seconded by Graham 4-0 pass
PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Woods called for comment on non agenda items
Mary Whitsett: the debris at Odekirks property is in the way of emergency access, is a varmint
attractant and a hazard. She stated we had another property like this that has new owners and is
being cleaned up.
Smith/ Aldridge 4-0 pass