The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Darlington's first month in office, learning the ropes


February 3, 2021

After his first month as a county commissioner, Rick Darlington says, "I'm still wet behind the ears. There is a lot to learn." They meet every Monday, and two Tuesday's a month. They do review reports sent to them through email from the various departments. They have not met to discuss any direction concerning COVID. AngelJohnson sends reports to keep them informed. Rick is spending considerable time looking at and understanding the budgets of each department as well.

Bob Pasha is the new chairman since Darin Schuster left the commissioners. The position goes to the longest-serving commissioner. The destruction of the old gas station on the west side of Big Sandy started under Darin Schuster but is being completed. "You may have seen some guys in asbestos gear tearing out the asbestos. "We are now responsible for tearing down the building." It is a Brown Field area, so after the building has been demolished, the site's dirt will be removed from all the fuel leakage in the past. The county owns the property, but they don't know what it will be after completing the project.

"It's been an open winter. It's been pretty easy this winter. No snow to plow." He said they are in the middle of hiring another road maintenance man. It needed to be posted "in house" for ten days, and now it needs to be in the paper for two weeks. After which, he will be interviewing those who applied.

The Chouteau County commissioners stay focused on any legislation discussed in Helena through MACO emails (Montana Association of Counties). Recently the legislation they are following is: HB 104 Revise county leasing authority; HB201 Revise prevailing wage district laws and dispatch city designations; HB 220 Allow special district to receive funds from federal revenue sharing programs; SB123 Allow a county to locate a county office outside of a county seat; LC1083 Revise renewable energy laws; LC clarify the definition of bison; LC1295 Revise collection of delinquent coal gross proceeds property taxes, and LX1299 Establish state/public lands use sustainability program.


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