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Commissioners Approve Raises

The Roosevelt County Commissioners approved a pay raise for non-elected officials during their meeting on Thursday, June 30.

The raise amounts to a 2.75 percent increase.

Commissioner Gordon Oelkers also proposed increasing the salary of the IT, road department and GIS heads to 92 percent of the clerk and recorder’s salary. The move is to put those positions on a pay scale.

The current increase for the three positions would be about 80 cents or 2.75 percent.

Commissioner Gary Macdonald said he supports the proposal because it’s about the same increase as the other non-elected positions will receive and puts the jobs under the clerk and recorder’s salary.

The motion passed by a 2-0 margin.

Commissioners noted that the City of Wolf Point is requesting $425,000 and the Town of Froid is requesting $86,000 in ARPA funds for waste water projects. The entities must provide matching funds. Oelkers said Culbertson and Bainville are making requests for about $200,000 each. The county has $921,000 available in ARPA funds.

“It’s all more or less spoken for,” Oelkers said. “We want to spend it on towns, or otherwise it goes back to the state.”

County attorney Frank Piocos provided information regarding the Janssen settlement’s second amendment.

The national opioid settlement calls for distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen to pay up to $21 billion over 18 years and parent company Janssen to pay up to $5 billion over no more than nine years for a total of $26 billion.

Of the settlement amount, approximately $22.7 billion is earmarked for use by participating states and subdivisions “to remediate and abate the impacts of the opioid crisis.” Piocos says about 15 percent of the funds will go to local governments.

It’s estimated that Roosevelt County will receive $66,000.

“With the problem we have with opioids in the area, it’s not a whole lot of money,” Oelkers said. Commissioners agreed by a 2-0 margin to agree with the settlement.

Commissioners approved receiving $45,369 from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for the county’s alcohol and drug abuse fund.

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