Roads, cattle guards, grants top recent agenda

Prairie County Commissioners met with the county’s newly appointed road right-of-ways project manager Gary Pfiefle this week during a regular commission meeting. 
Pfiefle, who began working on the easement project earlier this year, reported 18 signed easements for roads crossing private lands were returned by Prairie County landowners - legally establishing county right-of-ways on those roads. 
That is out of 40 initially sent out to landowners, Pfiefle said. Pfiefle estimates that there are about 120 easement letters left to be mailed. 
He expects the project will be completed by the end of the year.
“I haven’t had anybody that just flat out said, ‘no,” Pfiefle told the commissioners during the early morning meeting. He noted in one instance a landowner made an initial contact with him before receiving a letter to ensure the easement process would be applied to a road crossing his property.
Cattle guard concerns addressed
Prairie County Road Department Supervisor Mark Trask also met with commissioners to discuss the county’s cattle guard policy.
Trask noted that currently it costs the county $780 for each cattle guard with the county selling each for $850, while each cement stringer costs the county $265, with the county selling those for $150, spelling out a loss to the county. Trask suggested the prices be raised to $900 for each cattle guard and $250 for stringers. 
Commissioners agreed with the suggestion and unanimously voted to raise the price on both items.  
Questions were also addressed regarding the county and landowners responsibility for cattle guards. Commissioners noted that needed repairs to cattle guards are the responsibility of landowners.
Trask and Pfiefle have agreed to work together to update the county’s cattle guard policy, which was last updated in 1998.
Grandstand project to be partially funded with federal stimulus money
Commissioners met with members of the Prairie County Fair Board Monday afternoon for an update on the upcoming county grandstands improvement project to be funded by federal stimulus money. Fair board member Tom Pisk agreed to talk with Mike Stevenson from Stevenson and Design of Miles City to obtain a preliminary sketch of the project. 
The project, which is set to receive $80,000 from federal stimulus money, will go out for bid. Fair board members noted that the federal stimulus money will not be enough to complete the grandstand project.
The fair board currently has about $3,000 of donated funds set aside for the project.
Fallon Fire Hall discussed
According to meeting minutes, Commissioner Davis informed the commission that Lyle Sackman has purchased the previously owned Mar-Dic Potato Shop for use as a Fallon Fire Hall and Fallon Community Building. Monetary contributions are being asked of the county to the purchase of such building in the amount of $14,0000, according to August 31 meeting minutes. 
Commissioner Todd Devlin made motion to grant Mineral Royalty money to the Fallon Fire Department for the purchase of the building with the condition that the Fallon Fire Department match that amount within the next five years.

Published Sept. 2, 2009

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