Council discusses insurance switch

Andrew Peterson/Special to the Herald Lusk’s town council and Mayor Lytle seated in the council chambers are Dean Nelson, Rebecca Blackburn, Douglas Lytle, Calvin Carstensen and Thomas Dooper.

LUSK – Held on Sept. 7 at 5 p.m., the council meeting for the town of Lusk was conducted at the Town Hall and consisted of the city council members of which included our mayor, Douglas Lytle. Also on the council were Dean Nelson, Rebecca Blackburn, Calvin Carstensen, and Thomas Dooper. It began with the opening of the pledge of allegiance, followed by the approval of the agenda for the meeting of the day. Bills and the treasurer’s report were also double checked and approved, followed by the minutes from the prior meetings.

Hoping to offer a potential change for businesses, and brokers that might help employers or their employees, a guest speaker for Colonial Life spoke about various short-term and long-term solutions for business and personal life insurances. Voicing confidence in their packages to match anything currently here for local businesses for the council’s consideration, they hope to be available as a choice in the future, with dental as well as other benefits available as well. The council spoke and suggested the insurance speaker speak to the local employees, and see where they sit from there, to give the option to choose if they have a desire to change from anything they currently have.

It was noted to be a good season for the city, so far. Overall, this summer there was surprise to see people from the Douglas and Torrington areas still coming due to “the situation,” more so than last summer. This statement was not elaborated on further. There have been a good number of tourists the city has recognized before, though others have been new, it was noted, however it is the council’s feeling that city attendance for summer festivities was basically the same overall. There were a few more special events that more wanted to host, and sadly just were not made possible, but it was a good year.

Getting through to the tail end of the season this year, there have been a few equipment issues. A big part of the problem has been the production and supply line, with a glitch in the trucking company, causing them to try a few things and wait it out before finally seeing some results. Some are concerned about their one and only machine and hope that it doesn’t give out on them, but the pipeline is running well.

Questions arose about the quality of the water, asking if it were better from the council’s end, and the answer is, you just have a very low access to volume, and it is more or less trial and error on that end. If you try to run too much, which is way less than they should be able to run based on all the stats they have, you end up with a system failure at some point. They do have it set to run through the night, most times, and it seems relatively all right. However, based on what was said, the system is performing less than was predicted and what was speculated it could. They are doing their best and the townspeople are asked to bear with them. They did verify the pump was recently replaced and maintenance is being kept up. They are looking into future options, at this time.

In the month of August, the Police Department responded to 306 different incidents, in comparison to 2020, where the number was 318. The Sturgis rally traffic was handled pretty well, not a single accident report for the month of August, which was a bit surprising to the local officers, but also encouraging. Other than that, they have some training coming up in New Castle, while other training was finished last month, and finalizing some of their reports.

Officer Stuart Coxhead has received an award for saving a life during a response. Upon arriving on scene on June 23 of 2021, and immediately noticed the CPR was not efficient, he took over the CPR until the ambulance arrived and rode with the ambulance to the hospital. That individual is alive and recovering well. He received a roll of lifesavers, and something a bit more serious, a newly added Lifesaving Hero award from the Department. It is something they do not give out often and was an honor to be awarded to this officer today. All of the officers have responded and performed CPR at some point or another and it is a very important thing to know and do in this community, and that is why they train and that is why they have them show up to those emergency calls. Regrettably, a good amount of the time, it is unsuccessful, so to have a successful story, the chief is very proud.

The Gas Distribution Funds have been discussed and a few options like park improvements, or community projects, and the like were provided as ideas. Ultimately, they talked about sidewalk repairs as a part of the budget and an estimate will be provided for a later date and the rest will be held for future plans.

The hydraulic sewer drain cleaner ramjet has received a bid of $75,051 from Titan Machinery. This was discussed and construction funds were talked of and mentioned what were approved or equipment set aside for such. Ultimately, this bid was approved.

Social media, and the ability to archive it, for the sake of making a record and storing it for the public and the future, was discussed. This was a lengthy and decidedly difficult topic, some feeling that social media is a dangerous thing, to some degree, while others noting that in this day and age, it is almost required. It was brought up that since the city uses it, it is almost required to have some sort of record in case a legal copy of something is ever requested, they can retrieve it. In short, after a very lengthy back and forth, a trial test was decided to try it for a short period of time, and see how it works, before deciding on a final choice. Try it before you buy it, sort of appeal seems to be the decision on this one.

The ability or option to pay your bills online was also a topic brought up as an idea to add to the website, so for convenience or ease of pay for things like utilities. It was brought up that it was easier than taking the pay over the phone and would take a lot of stress and confusion out of paying for some people. Others, who would prefer, would still be able to come in, and pay in person, this is just a continued option, such as tickets or building permits as well. So far, a price comparison for this service is being looked into, and they are considering this.

The next meeting of the Lusk Town Council will be Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. in the Lusk town council chambers.

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