Golf course and pool discussed as town readies for summer season

LUSK - Lusk Town Council had a full agenda as they discussed multiple ordinances, golf tournaments and plans for the Tiger Plunge. The meeting starting with visitors from the LEMS Tiger Club. Students met with council and Mayor Lytle prior to the meeting to talk about the role that a council and Mayor play in society. During the formal meeting Tiger Club discussed their microsociety activities. Each student has a “business” that functions within their micro society. The students also hold elected or appointed positions. Students have been learning about not only government structure but business and business expense as well as personal income and personal expenses.

Following the presentation by Tiger Club Edward Tirado approached the council to remind and invite them to the American Legion State Convention that will be hosted in Lusk this summer from June 15-18. Last summer Tirado approached the council regarding setting special pricing for attendees for the pool and the golf course. Council agreed to consider and discuss at the May 12 meeting. Tirado also requested an official welcome proclamation. Legionnaire visitors will include American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, American Legion Sons and Wyoming American Legion Riders of the U.S. Many attendees will bring families and Tirado is looking forward to the business this convention will bring to Niobrara county. He wants to help create a wonderful experience for the visitors and feels a package or pass offering to the pool and golf course will encourage them to come early and enjoy their trip. The Legion is also still offering advertising slots in their convention book for anyone who is interested in supporting this.

Lusk Liquor Store owner Rob Carpenter came before the council requesting a change in liquor license ownership from sole proprietor to LLC. The liquor license renewal was due just five days before he received the legal papers for his LLC. Council advised that Carpenter must submit a transfer of ownership to the state and pay the application fee of $100. They also advised that since the holder of the liquor license must lease or own the premises that Carpenter needs to create a lease or deed the building to the LLC in order for the license to be legally held by the LLC for operating. Council did agree to waive a new $1500 liquor license fee given that Carpenter just paid for the annual fee and he is the only partner in the LLC. The council provisionally granted the license to the LLC as long as both conditions (transfer application and lease of the building) are taken care of.

In department updates Chief Bo Krein reported that the department had 217 incidents in the month of April. Citations are up but accidents are down and traffic is increasing. The department is preparing for summer traffic. New cameras have been ordered for the pool and the department has started on cleanup ordinance enforcement. They will be more strict with citations this summer than in years past. Krein informed council that they have been dealing with a lot of barking dog noise complaints. He said that with construction crews this creates more of a problem for dogs that are housed outside in fenced yards and just asks that while pet owners need to be considerate of their neighbors and aware of high volume of traffic when choosing where to keep their pet, everyone needs to just be aware that construction can cause pets to be stressed and bark more than usual during the day.

Krein has once again been approached about potentially setting time limits for parking on main street. While meters would be the most efficient way of dealing with time limits (proposed 2 hour parking limit on the 200-300 blocks) the department can monitor this if this is something council would like them to look into. The department has two officers assisting with the 307 challenge in Newcastle next week.

New golf course superintendent Trevor Barner reported that the golf course is open. The water is on and almost all leaks have been fixed for now and crews are already mowing. He continues to work on getting all equipment in working order. Councilmen Dean Nelson commended Barner by saying, “It looks good, thank you.”

New pool manager Joyce Hammer was present with several requests for council. Hammer recommended that the pool try to work with physical therapy for use of the pool. Council agreed as long as it is outside of normal hours. Hammer is also hoping to receive funding from the recreation grant board to help provide free swimming lessons for kids. Hammer recommended some changes to pricing at the pool. The daily rates of $2.50 for 6-18 and $3.50 for adults will remain the same however an increase in the adult season ticket to $90 and family pass to $180 were recommended. Hammer also asked for a 10-punch pass for $20 and a $75 monthly family pass (to be used from the first to the thirtieth/thirty-first) were requests additions. Council approved all changes. As a reminder, the family pass is good for four individuals all living in the same household. Children five and under swim free but are required to be listed on the pass. Hammer is aiming for an open date of June 1 but it is dependent on being able to get all of the lifeguard training done. She is looking at a combination of online and in-person training to do this.

Town clerk Desirae Matthews-Leleux reported that all loans for phase 1 are official closed out and transferred to the USDA. Lusk State Bank has formally converted systems to Banner Capital so they are working with the town to learn the system for payroll and ACHs. All LSB routing numbers must be updated in the ACH system for payments to pull through on the May 9. The airport snow plow truck bid opened on May 2 and those bids should be ready for review at the May 12 special meeting.

Public Works Director Todd Skrukrud reported that sewer work has been completed for phase 2 and what water systems are done are being pressure tested. The transfer station finally had some electrical work done and the doors are functional again. The electricians will finish the job once the cleaners are done. There is a dispute with the cleaning company because they came back with a price increase so Skrukrud is working with the insurance company to get that straightened out. Town crews will be patching, sweeping and fixing streets from winter damage. Parks will be open and watered as early as next week. The third street bid opening is May 4. The state once again called the town regarding the billboard going north. Skrukrud advised that the Silver Dollar would like to lease the billboard for $200 a year and maintenance and liability would transfer to the leasee. Council approved this contract to be drawn up. Free dump week is May 19-26. This is for residents only, no commercial contractors. There is one free dump and there are limits on tires and load sizes.

Under old business council approved the changes to ordinance 8-15-150 that will require TIPS training to be completed prior to starting work for servers, bar backs, bartenders and managers of establishments with retail liquor licenses. There was clarification that they are not required to have their actual TIPS card, but proof that they completed the training in the form of a signed roster by the instructor is adequate.

Council disapproved the liquor license for the Niobrara County Club. It was discovered that because of state law, since the Town of Lusk owns the building they will have to take over the liquor permit as a political subdivision and then lease it to the country club for one year. It was a bit convoluted but in order to stay true to the nature and intention of the law this was the best solution.

The budget passed second reading with council requesting that all raises be at 3% across the board for third reading. Council was also reminded that while it does not appear to be a “balanced” budget at this time, the difference is the funds that are accruing for loan payments that must begin accumulating from the rate increase in order to meet those loan payment deadlines.

Under new business the council approved the Rawhide Golf tournament for Saturday July 29 with reduced greens fees and closing the course.

Jacie Hite approached council regarding the Manville 4th of July golf tournament to raise funds for the barbecue and fireworks. Council requested more information from Hite and did not make a decision at this meeting. More information will be made available at the May 12 meeting.

The livestock permit renewal for Ben Volk was approved.

Ordinance 9-10-100 passed first reading for changing livestock permitting range from 300 yards to 100 yards. Extensive discussion regarding the need for this change was held. Council was divided on whether this should be just for poultry or for all livestock. More discussion will be held during the second reading.

Following executive session for personnel council adjourned.