MMIA Performance Survey: Please tell us how we're doing: complete the survey by July 15, 2021. Take the Survey

MMIA Performance Survey

MMIA Performance Survey: Please tell us how we're doing: complete the survey by July 15, 2021. Take the Survey

MMIA Membership Survey

The MMIA is conducting a survey to gauge how well programs and services meet member-owners' expectations.

We want to hear from all levels of municipal government employees. Please take a few moments to complete this brief survey by July 15th, 2021.

Responses will be used by the MMIA Board of Directors, made up of representatives from Montana’s municipalities at their August meetings to make strategic plans for the future of the MMIA.

Thank you for your time and participation.

Municipal Summits Postponed

2021 Municipal Summits

2021 Municipal Summits

Due to a recent exposure and the dramatic increase in COVID-19 transmission rates, the MMIA, League, and Local Government Center are postponing the remaining Municipal Summits.

These include August 23 in Glasgow, August 24 in Sidney, August 25 in Billings, September 1 in Kalispell, and September 2 in Missoula.

We will notify participants if and when the Summits are rescheduled.

Thank you for your understanding.

Alan Hulse, CEO
Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority

Tim Burton, Executive Director
Montana League of Cities and Towns
(406) 442-8768

Dan Clark, Director
MSU Local Government Center
Office: 406-994-7756
Cell: 406-570-4259

Jim Tillotson Service Program: May/June 2021 Virtual Sessions. Learn more

2021 Jim Tillotson Service Program

2021 Jim Tillotson Service Program

MMIA has reported attendees to the live Zoom trainings to the State Bar for CLE credits. If you watch a recorded training, you are responsible for self-reporting for credits.

Tillotson Recordings

Please be aware, these videos may take several minutes to load once you hit play.

May 19: Council Roles/Responsibilities:

Using social media, blogs, etc. to voice personal opinions.
Presented by: Jim Nugent, Attorney - City of Missoula; Dan Clark, Executive Director - Local Government Center; and Thomas Jodoin, Attorney - City of Helena

Land Use Sessions

You can view all the recordings from the 2021 Land Use Sessions on the Montana League of Cities and Towns website.

May 20: Local Public Health and Emergencies

What’s left of local authority?
Presented by: Kelly A. Lynch, JD, AICP - League Deputy Director and General Counsel

May 21: Ethics

Who’s your client – how to avoid potential conflicts when they exist between different factions of the city.

Presented by: Rich Hickle, Attorney – City of Kalispell; Sara Sexe, Attorney – City of Great Falls; and Greg Sullivan, Attorney – City of Bozeman

May 25: HR – 2021 Employment Law Update

Reasonable accommodation, requiring vaccines, sending people home if ill once the emergency declaration is over.

Presented by: Jordan Crosby, Attorney – Ugrin, Alexander, Zadick, & Higgins and Jill Gerdrum, Attorney – Axilon Law Group


May 26: Regulating Firearms

Understanding LR-130, HB 102, and Other Changes to Gun Laws.
Presented by: Kelly A. Lynch, JD, AICP – League Deputy Director & Legal Counsel

June 3: Recreational Marijuana is Coming

How to Be Ready For It.
Presented by: 
Kelly A. Lynch, JD, AICP – League Deputy Director & Legal Counsel

June 3: DUI Prosecution

Prosecuting DUIs from start to verdict including trends and information regarding marijuana and DUIs.
Presented by: Mary Leffers Barry, Deputy City Attorney – City of Whitefish

Montana Amended Rules for Community AEP Programs. Get Resources

Montana Amended Rules for Community AED Programs

Montana Amended Rules for Community AEP Programs. Get Resources

Montana Amended Rules for Community AED Programs

Effective November 21, 2020, the State of Montana amended the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) related to automated external defibrillators (AED) including ARMs 37.104.601, 37.104.604, 37.104.606, 37.104.615 and 37.104.616. MMIA encourages cities and towns with AED programs to review the amended rules and update their programs as necessary to comply with the changes.

 Where can the amended rules be viewed?

On the Montana SOS Administrative Rules website.

Does MMIA  have sample AED programs that member-owners can use?

Yes, MMIA has a sample written program and sample AED inspection form that member-owners can customize to meet their needs. Sample materials are included as attachments on the right. For more details, contact the MMIA risk management department at 800-635-3089 or via email.

2021 Executive Forum Update

2021 Executive Forum

The Executive Forum for Mayors and City Managers typically takes place during the transmittal break during legislative years. However, due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the League, MMIA, and the Local Government Center have decided to forgo the traditional Executive Forum and communicate with membership via virtual town hall meetings throughout the legislative session. Please watch your email for invitations to these events. If you want to ensure your name is on our mailing list, please contact

2020 Risk Management Awards

2020 Risk Management Awards

Bob Worthington Risk Management Achievement Award

Each year, a municipal employee group, department, or member receives the Bob Worthington Risk Management Award for exceptional efforts to manage risk or prevent losses. This year, the award goes to Michael Kardoes from the City of Livingston. Kardoes was nominated for his thoughtful and strategic work for the city surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Kardoes implementing a risk management plan which demonstrated his great collaboration and communication, risk management, and leaderships skills. These risk management and leadership skills are evident daily whether it is dealing with complex legal issues and sensitive HR problems, resolving complaints without going to court.

Nominate Someone Today!

Nominations for this Risk Management Award are a great way to recognize exceptional work and encourage members to learn from each other. Make your nomination today by completing the form on the BWRMAA nomination page.

2020 Loss Control Awards

Each year member-owners of the MMIA Liability and Workers’ Compensations programs with the lowest claim expenditures/number of employees for the previous five-year period receive a loss control award. Members-owners with low incurred expenditures save money not only to their municipality, but also to the MMIA pools in which they participate.

Loss Control Awards for the Liability Program:

First Class Cities: Missoula
Second Class Cities: Anaconda-Deer Lodge
Third Class Cities: Three Forks
Towns: Culbertson

Loss Control Awards for the Workers Compensation Program:

First Class Cities: Billings
Second Class Cities: Miles City
Third Class Cities: Big Timber
Towns: Chester

Steps to prevent slips, trips and falls 1: Walk flat footed and take short steps. 2: Wear footwear that provides traction. 3: Step down, not out from curbs. 4: Use your arms for balance. 5: Don't carry too much.

Slip and Fall Prevention

Steps to prevent slips, trips and falls 1: Walk flat footed and take short steps. 2: Wear footwear that provides traction. 3: Step down, not out from curbs. 4: Use your arms for balance. 5: Don't carry too much.

Slip and Fall Prevention

Changing seasons means changes in walking conditions. Slips and falls can cost cities and towns big in the form of workers’ compensation claims from employees or liability claims if the public slips and falls on municipal property. As a member-owner of these MMIA programs, cities and towns can work together to keep people safe and save money.

Slip and Fall Prevention Poster

To prevent slip and falls, cities/towns should:

  • Establish a ground maintenance plan including snow removal.
    • For snowfalls of less than four inches, brooms and other hand tools can be used to clear walkways.
    • For snow accumulations of greater than four inches, mechanical means should be used for clearing snow.
    • When ice cannot be promptly removed, sanding should be done in parking areas and walkways.
    • Strategically place traction treatments such as sand, salt, or ice melt.
    • Consider implementing “self-service” stations for traction treatments for staff to utilize as conditions change.
    • Identify a location for the snow to be plowed and stored.
      • Avoid stockpiling in areas where runoff would pose hazards for pedestrians.
      • Ensure snow piles do not create an obstructed view to traffic.
      • Keep fire protection equipment such as hydrants clear from obstruction.
    • Maintain safe floors inside:
      • Use strategically placed mats to prevent tracking of moisture and
      • Have cleaning equipment and absorbent materials readily available for cleanup.

To avoid slip and falls, staff should:

  • Take care exiting your vehicle or equipment.
    • Slips and falls occur when exiting a vehicle because of surface changes, balance changes, uneven or slippery surfaces, and distractions.
    • Keep three points of contact with the vehicle until you’re sure of solid footing. Scan the environment for hazards.
  • Wear footwear appropriate for the conditions.
    • Smooth-soles and high-heels (cowboy boots have both) do not provide good traction during fall and winter conditions in Montana.
    • Wear non-slip or lug soled shoes or use traction devices on your footwear while walking outside.
  • Plan your route.
    • Use routes that are maintained regularly.
    • Try to avoid long and steep walkways and stairways in wet or winter conditions when possible.
  • Walk like a penguin when faced with snowy or slippery conditions.
    • Fast long steps with fully extended legs makes you vulnerable to slips.
    • Walk like a penguin to maximize stability. Lower your center of gravity by keeping knees bent and flexible. Point toes out slightly, keeping feet directly beneath you. Take small slow steps while keeping hands low and slightly out to the side. The worse the surface conditions, the more pronounced the penguin position.
  • Go up and down stairs with caution.
    • Stairways are common slip, trip, and fall areas and deserve extra attention.
    • Always use the handrail while going up and down stairs.
    • Avoid distractions such as using a cell phone or reading while walking on stairs.
  • Check inside buildings to avoid common slip, trip, fall hazards.
    • Curled rugs, spills, poor housekeeping, and other preventable conditions are common causes of injuries.
    • Be diligent about housekeeping, carry small loads, properly place electrical cords, and use the correct equipment for the job.
  • Notify your supervisor if:
    • You are aware of any unsafe conditions. Conditions change quickly, and your input is key in timely addressing of hazards. Keep yourself, co-workers, and the public safe by notifying your supervisor of safety concerns; or
    • You experience a slip, trip, or fall.
Trenching and Excavation Safety

Trenching and Excavation Safety

Working Excavator Tractor Digging A Trench At Construction Site.

Trenching and Excavation Safety

Quick Facts

Solid black weight depicting 1 tonDid you know the average cubic yard of dry fill dirt weighs 2,000 pounds? If it’s made up of a mixture of sand, stone and gravel, the weight can easily exceed 3,000 pounds per cubic yard. So the material of a 3’x3’x3’ excavation weighs as much as a mid-sized car!

There is no reliable warning when a trench fails. The walls can collapse suddenly, and workers will not have time to move out of the way. Even a seemingly small amount of dirt can fatally crush or suffocate workers. If they survive a trench collapse, they may suffer traumatic brain injuries, injuries such as compartment syndrome or crush syndrome, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and a host of other serious injuries.

What can you do to prevent workplace fatalities in trenching and excavation operations?

Follow the requirements outlined in 29 CFR 1926.651 and 1926.652. Following those requirements will help you protect workers and it is also the law! All employers, including municipalities, must comply with the trenching and excavation requirements found in those federal codes of regulation.

View the full 1926 Subpart P standards

Additional Resources

For additional resources on trenching and excavation safety including the Trenching and Excavation Safety Publication, Trench Safety QuickCard, Trench Safety Posters, and more, please visit:

Contact MMIA’s Risk Management Team

Contact Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Bureau


Nationally workplace fatalities related to trenching and excavation have tripled since 2014 according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Trench collapses, or cave-ins, pose a great risk to workers’ lives. When done safely, trenching operations can limit worker exposure to cave-ins and other potential hazards including falls, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres, and incidents involving mobile equipment.

Trench Safety Measures

Trenches 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep or greater require a protective system unless the excavation is made entirely in stable rock. If less than 5 feet deep, a competent person may determine that a protective system is not required.

Trenches 20 feet (6.1 meters) deep or greater require that the protective system be designed by a registered professional engineer or be based on tabulated data prepared and/or approved by a registered professional engineer in accordance with 1926.652 (b) and (c).

Competent Person

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards require, before any worker entry, that employers have a competent person inspect trenches daily and as conditions change to ensure the elimination of excavation hazards. A competent person is an individual who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards or working conditions that are hazardous, unsanitary, or dangerous to workers; soil types; and protective systems required, and who is authorized to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate these hazards and conditions.

Protective Systems

There are different types of protective systems. Designing a protective system is complex and requires consideration of many factors including: soil classification, depth of cut, water content of soil, changes caused by weather or climate, surcharge loads (e.g., spoil, other materials to be used in the trench) and other operations in the vicinity. Any system used must meet the required performance criteria of the standards.

Benching – means a method of protecting workers from cave-ins by excavating the sides of an excavation to form one or a series of horizontal levels or steps, usually with vertical or near-vertical surfaces between levels. Benching cannot be done in Type C soil (as defined in 1926 Subpart P Appendix A). Type C soil is common throughout Montana.

Sloping – involves cutting back the trench wall at an angle inclined away from the excavation. The angle may not be steeper than 1 ½:1 (for every foot of depth, the trench must be excavated back 1 ½ feet) unless the employer uses one of the options listed in 1926.652 (b) (1) (i) or 1926.652 (b) (1) (ii).

Shoring – requires installing hydraulic rams or other types of supports to prevent soil movement and cave-ins.

Shielding – protects the workers by using trench boxes or other types of supports to prevent soil cave-ins.

Access and Egress

  • Know where underground utilities are located before digging.
    • Use 811 services for locates, and have a copy of the 811 ticket readily available.
  • Conduct a personal protective equipment (PPE) assessment for each task workers will be performing, and provide the necessary PPE.
  • Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
  • Keep excavated soil (spoils) and other materials at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from trench edges.
  • Identify other sources that might affect trench stability.
    Provide ladders, steps, ramps, or other safe means of egress for workers working in trench excavations 4 feet (1.22 meters) or deeper.

    • Means of egress must be located so as not to require workers to travel more than 25 feet (7.62 meters) laterally within the trench.
  • Test for atmospheric hazards such as low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases when > 4 feet deep.
  • Inspect trenches at the start of each shift.
  • Inspect trenches following a rainstorm or other water intrusion.
    Inspect trenches after any occurrence that could have changed conditions in the trench.
  • Do not work under suspended or raised loads and materials.
    Utilize traffic control devices to prevent the motoring public from entering the work area and to separate traffic from the work to reduce vibration of the soil.
  • Ensure that personnel wear high visibility or other suitable clothing when exposed to vehicular traffic.

Pool Reopening After COVID-19

Reopening Municipal Pools After COVID-19

Swimmers In PoolTo our valued members,

Many of you are wondering if and when to reopen your municipal pools.  Although municipal pools cannot be open to the public during Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan, they may be allowed to reopen during Phase 2, if your municipality can follow distancing and sanitation guidelines.

To learn more about the distancing and sanitation guidelines, and to view national industry resources, please see our "Municipal Pool Reopening After COVID-19" risk management bulletin.

2019 Municipal Summits

2019 Municipal Summits! May 21 – Deer Lodge May 23 – Hamilton May 28 – East Helena May 29 – Conrad May 30 – Lewistown June 4 – Columbia Falls June 5 – Thompson Falls June 6 – Bozeman June 11 – Sidney June 12 - Colstrip. Reigster Online Today! Proudly brought to you by the MLCT, MMIA, and LGC.

2019 Municipal Summits

The Municipal Summits are statewide educational and networking events that bring together stakeholders in local and state government to share ideas and discover resources, coordinated by the Montana League of Cities and Towns (MLCT), the Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority (MMIA), and the MSU Local Government Center (LGC).

The Municipal Summits are open to all city staff and elected officials, and we encourage all to participate in the Summits. MMCT&FOA credits are available to those who attend.

2019 Dates and Locations are:

2019 Summit Topics include:

  • Legislative Update – MLCT
  • Public Information Requests – MLCT
  • Child Abuse Prevention for Municipal Operations – MMIA
  • Liability 101 – MMIA
  • Roles and Responsibilities – LGC

Lunch will be provided.

There is no cost for registration. If you have any questions, please contact Janel Favero, MMIA Communication Specialist at 406-495-7016 or via email .