Readers claim that Adler's count of county vehicles on the project falls well short of the actual number.
GRANITE COUNTY - Additional insight and information has arisen since the October 3, 2017 Granite County Commissioners meeting that indicates the commissioners are not being honest when responding to the current allegations of fraud and abuse from county residents.
After last week's meeting, QSPNLive received communications from several residents and neighbors of Commissioner Scott Adler regarding the alleged test of a millings mulcher at his home in early September. The most prominent of these concerns the number of vehicles that Adler claims was on his property during the incident which resulted in his driveway being paved with millings using Granite County equipment, employees and materials.
In his initial interview with QSPNLive on September 27, 2017, Adler stated, "There were three pieces of equipment that weren't even the county's. The only piece of equipment that was out (that belonged to Granite County) was the roller. It was too wide for my driveway and rolled right over my phone box."
At the Commissioner's meeting October 3, 2017, Adler changed that number to a total of six. When asked by resident Susie Browning to list the specific vehicles that were used on the alleged test, Adler listed six pieces of the county's heavy equipment that included a tractor, mulcher, water truck, blade (grader), roller and a bulldozer.
Residents told QSPNLive to review the meeting video and look at the images supplied by county residents of the work at Adler's home. In reevaluating those materials, QSPNLive discovered that there are two, potentially three, additional vehicles that Adler has yet to account for on the project. In one picture there are two belly trucks clearly visible which have never been mentioned. Additionally, residents with heavy construction backgrounds stated that for the millings to have gotten into the belly truck, there must have been a loader at the site where the millings are kept.
Another point of concern at the meeting was the quote given by an independent contractor for the work done on Adler's driveway. It was this quote that Adler used to justify the $1,450 that he paid the county as recompense for the work that was done after residents began questioning the action. There were two quotes that Adler alleged to have gotten, using the higher of the two to make his payment.
That quote was given by Shadow Asphalt in Missoula, but it was not given to Adler. It was requested and submitted to Granite County resident Matt Piippo. According to company owner Jeremy Ogilvie, he was given the measurements for the project and asked to provide a quote.
Ogilvie told QSPNLive that he had not been to the site physically to actually see the work that needed to be done when he produced the quote.
As can be seen on the quote, Ogilvie was given a length of 150 feet, a width of 15 feet and a depth of three inches. That calculates to 562.5 cubic feet of millings to be applied. But neighbors say that is not even close to the actual work that was done and that the paving went all the way up to the shop behind his home.
In analyzing their claim, QSPNLive used the images it took combined with the satellite view of Adler's home on Google Maps. The date on the image is from June 2012 and is clearly before Adler added the shop to his property. The image clearly shows a dirt road all the way from the I-90 Frontage Road to where Adler's workshop currently resides on his property. As the drive passes his home and extends to the north, it widens to accommodate the additional buildings.
QSPNLive's photos, taken September 27, 2017, show Adler's driveway and what appears to be a seamless paving job that extends from the I-90 Frontage Road all the way back to Adler's workshop.
Using the mapping tools of Google Maps, QSPNLive was able to estimate that Adler's driveway can be more accurately calculated in three portions. According to Google Maps, the Shadown Asphalt estimate accounts for a little more than half of the driveway length from I-90 to the midpoint of his driveway near the house. From there it is an additional 130 feet by 15 feet wide in this second section. In the workshop section there is an additional 107 feet at a width of approximately 20 feet. Using the same depth and calculations as the original estimate, and adding the three segments together, the potentially paved area is 1,585 cubic feet of millings.
When using a cost/cubic foot ratio from Shadow Asphalt's original estimate, and reducing it 5% for any errors in estimation, the potentially paved area at Adler's home would cost approximately $3,881.49.
How much of Adler's driveway was actually worked on remains a point of contention as it dictates the actual price for Adler to reimburse the county and its citizens, if the Shadow Asphalt estimate used eroneous measurements.
QSPNLive made an inquiry of Prosecution Services Bureau Chief Brant Light in the Montana Attorney General's Office Friday seeking access to the email sent by Granite County Attorney Blaine Bradshaw that asked the state office for their opinion on whether or not an investigation should be opened on the matter. Light was in trial throughout the day Friday and was not able to return phone calls, but his office did indicate that the communication from Bradshaw was a public document and that a copy could possibly be obtained Tuesday as Monday was a holiday.
Bradshaw has declined to release the document as it is part of an ongoing investigation within his office. He indicated that releasing the document (if it were actually not a public document) could compromise his investigation and its findings. Since Light's office is not part of that investigation, they indicated that when he was free Tuesday that QSPNLive could obtain a copy.
As of October 9, 2017, there are no agenda items addressing any further portion of the issues raised by residents at the October 3, 2017 meeting.
NOTE - This story originally ran on QSPNLive.com October 9, 2017.