The monthly County Talk program on KGVO featured County Commissioners Dave Strohmaier and Juanita Vero in the studio and Josh Slotnick on the phone to answer questions from listeners and to address county issues.

When asked about a possible state of emergency due to the recent increase in COVID 19 cases, Slotnick said the governor would have to declare a state of emergency to impose mask or vaccination mandates.

“Something your caller did say that was quite astute was that you mentioned ‘in an emergency’ and we have no declared emergency right now by the governor,” said Slotnick. “ There is no emergency situation. So the healthcare providers and the families of sick folks and the people who are sick and the people who are in spaces that can't really be used to definitely feel like there is actually an emergency. But the governor has not declared one.”

Commissioner Dave Strohmaier also weighed in on the subject of the lack of an emergency declaration.

“To the caller's question also, there's other legislation that passed this last session that really, and this may be with or without a emergency declaration, really hamstrings local government in terms of any sort of mask requirement, if that's part of what the caller is getting at as one possible health order, so that's currently no longer on the table,” said Strohmaier.

Emily Brock is the new Director of Lands and Economic Development, as well as being the Fairgrounds Director. Brock addressed the Wye, just one of the areas affected as a Targeted Economic Development District and the needs of that business district.

“The commissioners really identified the Wye as a place where we need to focus our attention for growth in the business sector,” said Brock. Of the many deficiencies out there, the biggest one is probably water. Businesses out in the wide area can't get enough water flow to have fire suppression and so that really limits their ability to grow.”

Brock then addressed the success at this summer’s Western Montana Fair.

“Concessions sold more than they ever had, and the carnival had its first $100,000 day,” she said. So it was a success all around. We can't take credit for bringing everyone there. That was really a COVID thing. People were eager to get out again. But what we can take credit for is the fact that we gave them an awesome fair. So they came and we delivered and I was so proud of my team for doing that.”

KGVO appreciates the willingness of the County Commissioners to come to the KGVO studios and answer listeners questions directly.

Listen to the entire conversation here.

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