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Missoula County Weekly | July 8-15: Commissioners to discuss pending budget requests; MPH hosting extreme heat, wildfire resiliency open houses

Post Date:07/08/2024 3:45 PM

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Budget request presentations begin this week

Following budget outlook presentations in Missoula and Seeley Lake, the Missoula County commissioners are encouraging residents to participate in the County’s budget process. Residents can watch the Missoula presentation online to learn how the County decides what to prioritize in its budget and how the county budget impacts property taxes.

Staff will present budget requests to the commissioners at their administrative public meetings, starting at the Tuesday, July 9, meeting. These public meetings take place at 10 a.m. most Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room 206 of the Administration Building, 199 W. Pine St. Participants can also join virtually via Teams, and the meetings are recorded and posted to the County’s YouTube channel. Agendas and information on how to join meetings virtually are available online at missoula.co/bccmeetings. A full list of pending requests is available on missoulacountyvoice.com.

Each year, the Missoula County commissioners and county staff work together to create the annual budget for county services and operations. The budget is created on the fiscal year, which runs from June 1 to July 30 of the following year. The fiscal year 2025 budget will cover July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025.

New podcast episode: Missoula’s Community Health Workers

In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control awarded a $1.8 million grant to Partnership Health Center to set up a community health worker program in partnership with Missoula Public Health and All Nations Health Center. Since then, this team of seven has helped more than 500 clients. But what exactly does a community health worker do?

This week, the Missoula County Commissioners spoke with Eileen Lamble, a community health worker, and McKenzie Javorka, program evaluator from the University of Montana, about how this program helps marginalized individuals re-connect to healthcare services. 

Click here to listen or find it wherever you get your podcasts under “The Agenda with the Missoula County Commissioners”.

Missoula Public Health to host wildfire, extreme heat open houses in Seeley Lake, Missoula

Missoula Public Health and community partners invite county residents to participate in Wildfire and Extreme Heat Resilience Open House events on Wednesday, July 10, in Seeley Lake and Missoula. These two events will focus on climate resiliency in Missoula County schools, specifically at Seeley-Swan High School, Russell Elementary and Frenchtown K-5.

Residents can attend these events at the Seeley Lake Community Foundation Building from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. or at the Missoula County Fairgrounds Floriculture Building No. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. These events are a collaboration with Climate Smart Missoula, Missoula County Public Schools and the Frenchtown School District. Registration is requested for both events: Seeley-Swan High School Open House and Russell Elementary and Frenchtown K-5 Open House.

Missoula County to buy Mullan Road building to relocate Sheriff’s Office

Missoula County will purchase an office building on Mullan Road, which will allow the Sheriff’s Office to co-locate near the Missoula County Detention Facility. The commissioners approved the purchase on July 2 at their administrative public meeting.

The County will buy the building, located at 2415 Mullan Road, for approximately $2 million using federal funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The purchase will not impact local property taxes.

The Sheriff’s Office is currently on the second floor of the Missoula County Courthouse Annex. Around 40 staff will relocate to the Mullan Road building sometime next year, placing the office near the detention facility, which employs the majority of staff who work in the Sheriff’s Office. The move also will free up space in the courthouse for the County to relocate court-related services there, including Youth Court and the County’s Pretrial Services Program.

The purchase is part of a long-term strategy to effectively reorganize county offices to better serve the public. This includes co-locating with many City services in the Engen Local Government Building in downtown Missoula. In addition to providing government services more efficiently, the reorganization will allow the County to sell some current properties so they could be redeveloped for several uses, including housing. The County had previously looked into buying the Mullan building in 2018 before the current owner purchased it. 

Commissioners seek applicants for planning board

Do you live outside city limits and want a chance to weigh in on development happening in the Missoula urban area? Apply to serve on the Missoula Consolidated Planning Board! Missoula County is currently seeking applicants to fill a vacant alternate seat on the board, with a term that runs through Dec. 31, 2025. 

The board ensures that Missoula County and City cooperate so future development positively impacts the health, safety, convenience and welfare of residents. Board meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Courthouse Annex Sophie Moiese Room or virtually via Teams. For more information and to apply, click here.

Missoula County myth busters logoMythbuster: ‘County elected officials get to choose whatever salary they want.’

This is FALSE. A county compensation board, which by law consists of up to four citizen members and eight elected officials, meets each year to determine elected official pay. There are many rules and procedures this board must follow to determine these salaries, which are outlined in Montana Code Annotated 7-4-2503.

Elected official pay must be uniform for all county elected officials, and some have special stipulations. For example, the sheriff's pay is also used to calculate compensation for undersheriffs and deputy sheriffs. This means if elected officials, including the sheriff, decline a pay increase, undersheriffs and deputy sheriffs also would not get a raise. The law also takes into account longevity pay and pay for elected officials who do more than one role (such as our clerk and recorder, who is also the treasurer).

The commissioners approved a resolution, based on the compensation board’s recommendations, at their July 2 public meeting setting elected official pay for fiscal year 2025. The increase reflects a 3% cost of living adjustment for eligible elected officials.

Engage with us on Missoula County Voice!    

Don’t miss these opportunities to get involved with county government:    

Job openings  

Looking for a job with great benefits? Join our team at Missoula County! Benefits include health, dental and vision insurance; paid parental leave and vacation, sick and holiday leave; free and confidential counseling services through an Employee Assistance Program; and enrollment in the Public Employees’ Retirement System. The following departments are hiring:       

  • Animal Control
  • Fairgrounds
  • Facilities
  • Financial Services
  • Larchmont Golf Course
  • Missoula Public Library
  • Missoula Public Health
  • Partnership Health Center
  • Planning, Development and Sustainability

See the full list of job openings at Missoula County and apply today!  

Missoula County in the News:

Selected Upcoming Events:

Find more events this week on the County’s Event Calendar!            

What are the commissioners up to? 

Recently, the Missoula County commissioners…

  • Approved contract amendments for the rodeo, carnival and other event services to reflect the expanded six-day Western Montana Fair in 2024.
  • Approved a resolution setting elected official pay for fiscal year 2025, reflecting a 3% cost of living adjustment for eligible elected officials.
  • Approved the annual contract between the Sheriff’s Office and Frenchtown School District for a school resource officer. 

Keep up with the commissioners yourself by attending a public meeting. Commissioners’ meetings and selected board meetings for the upcoming week are listed below, with links to agendas and Microsoft Teams links: 

Tuesday, July 9

Wednesday, July 10

Thursday, July 11

Monday, July 15

Please note that agendas for department and administrative meetings are published two business days before the meeting, and public meeting agendas are published the Friday before the meeting. Administrative and public meeting video recordings are available on the Missoula County YouTube page, and MCAT plays the public meetings live on Spectrum Channel 190.

Email bcc@missoulacounty.us or call 406-258-4877 if you have any questions or comments on an upcoming meeting.