The three commissioners attended the January 5 meeting at the Cut Bank courthouse, along with Executive Administrative Assistant Jeri Johnson Elliot and Highways Supervisor John Evans.
The commissioners began by scheduling public meetings regarding Glacier County imposing a 3% tax on marijuana sales in the county. Commissioner Michael DesRosier noted that the state already taxes these sales at 20% and allows counties to add a tax of 3% more. He said that one percent of that 3% goes to municipalities allowing sales while 1.5% stays in the county and half a percent goes to the state.
Stating that the commissioners had previously agreed to a 3% tax, President Mary Jo Bremner asked them to set dates for public hearings on the matter. She further noted that not all decisions made for Glacier County would apply to the Blackfeet Reserve as it is federal property.
While Bremner called for the development of language for voters to approve, Elliot said no votes would be needed since voters had already approved the voting initiative that legalized recreational use in 2020. Public hearings should be held, she said, to gather the opinions of citizens.
Bremner asked Elliot to consider what would be needed while the Commissioners dealt with the public hearings. Since it was one of the topics for discussion, the choice of meeting dates will have to be approved at the next Commissioners meeting.
Commissioner DesRosier suggested that the hearings be held in conjunction with the regular Commission meetings, so it was decided to hold them, first on Tuesday January 11 at the Browning satellite office and on Thursday January 20 at the courthouse in Cut the bank.
Continuing, President Bremner said someone called her about damage to a vehicle from county snowplows at East Glacier Park. She asked the commissioners about snow removal at Browning, as it is no longer incorporated as East Glacier Park.
“We own some streets in East Glacier, like Clarke Drive, and that’s a difference between East Glacier and Browning,” Commissioner DesRosier said. “When Browning was disbanded the tribe got everything, equipment and everything, so I think we shouldn’t be doing their streets, they should either come back to town or do it themselves. We can help in an emergency, but they have to intervene. “
President Bremner said she had been invited to attend a tribal council meeting and would address these issues at next month’s general council meeting while seeking cooperative arrangements with the tribe.
Roads supervisor Evans said a problem at East Glacier is with people whose parked vehicles are not moved away from graders.
“Every year we go up there, but people don’t have an aisle,” Evans said. “Some are really good at moving their vehicles, but others aren’t and we get calls. Graders are so big they can cause damage.
After discussing various ways to encourage people to move vehicles before snowplows, the commissioners said they would work on developing public service announcements on posters, on Facebook and on the radio. asking for the cooperation of the public. This being another point of discussion, she requested that a resolution be taken at the next meeting.