Windfarm Impact Fees
Impact Fees on Windfarm during 2023 we negotiated with Portland General for impact fees from the wind farm in northern Custer County. These fees are set by statute and may not exceed 0.5% of the total cost of constructing the wind generation facility. It was agreed that Custer County would receive .5% of the construction cost over a 3 year period. That agreement provides Custer County with $2,075,000 in 2023, 2024 and 2025, which totals $6,225,000.
Deadman Bridge progressing with final permit approvals pending and the contractor bid was awarded to COP Construction, LLC with replacement to occur in 2024.
In January 2023 Officials that were-elected-Newly elected during the General Election of 2022, take office. Re-Elected Officials are Commissioner Jason Strouf, Clerk and Recorder Linda Corbett, Justice of the Peace Mark Hilderbrand, County Attorney Wyatt Glade and County Treasure Tara Moorehead. Newly Elected Officials Sheriff Brandon Kelm, Commissioner Jeff Faycosh and County School Superintendent Carla Begger.
Working with Luci’s Office, Inc. Custer County has a Revised and much improved website (Custercountymt.gov), which has resulted in favorable feedback. We also embraced social media and have a Custer County Facebook page (Custer County, Montana). The use of these two mediums allow easier access to elected officials as well as timely updates to issues in Custer County Government.
November 1, 2023 County Attorney Wyatt Glade resigned his position to pursue his career goals. Shawn Quinlan who has served as Deputy County Attorney was appointed as Interim County Attorney until the next election (2024).
Custer County Growth Policy is completed; thank you to the Custer County Planning Board and all of the citizens who provided input and guidance to update this plan for our community.
The Solid Waste Landfill is needing to open a new lined pit for household garbage by the end of 2024. This project is estimated to cost the Solid Waste Landfill District about $3.5 million.
Grants applied for:
a. Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) update and Fairgrounds long term strategic plan.
b. Applied for a planning Montana Coal Endowment Program (MCEP) grant for three bridge replacements on Kircher Road and Bitterroot Road.
Custer County joined 48 other counties in Montana to contest the states assessment of 95 equalization school mills. This is property tax that the State of Montana assess to offset the General Fund which pays for the Montana Constitutional obligation to equalize school funding. The State of Montana sued the local counties in order to assess the full 95 mills and the Supreme Court ruled that the state has the authority to carry forward mills. This means that this property tax assessment is not subject 15-10-420 as is the rest of the property tax assessments.
New sewer line to the Grandstands and improved the water line to the Grandstands. Started a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) for storm water drainage on the Fairgrounds so that any improvements or additions will be done to encourage storm water runoff and not to create low laying land that accumulates water.
GIS department completed rural road infrastructure inventory mapping. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system that analyzes and displays geographically referenced information.
Hired a new Department Head for Custer County Transit (Charlie Despain) and a new Director for Council on aging (Keli Anderson).
Commissioner Jason Strouf was elected to Montana Association of Counties (MACo’s )Fiscal officer.
Commissioner Kevin Krausz was appointed by Governor Gianforte to the State 911 Advisory Board.