Melting snow causing problems with county buildings and county roads

LUSK - County elected officials and department heads came to the commissioners meeting to give their monthly updates. Sheriff Starkey reports that law enforcement utilized the Police department side-by-side four times during the storm. He says the jail is busy and with the melting the jail is starting to drip again but the contractor will be here on Thursday to look at it. 

Extension Educator Kellie Chichester reports that there are two places in the fairgrounds building that as the snow melts there are two spots where the roof is leaking, but Jerry Miller will be there to check it out soon. 

Clerk of Court Chrisanna Lunde reported that her office is doing an unusual amount of passports. They did 10 this last month where they usually do one a month. She said it must be nationwide since there is a backlog of applications that are taking quite a while to process. There are no court dates at this time.

County Clerk Becky Freeman said her department doesn't have much to report; it is business as usual.

Commissioner Elaine Griffith gave an update on the public health building. The county is still waiting for the grant funding to come through and the rebuild cannot start until that funding is available. The process is taking longer than usual.

Commissioner John Midkiff, Conservation District representative Lisa Shaw, Commissioner Pat Wade and Conservation District representative Heidi Sturman attended the BLM meeting in Newcastle concerning the resource management plan.  The BLM states they will be more transparent and the county is trying to stay ahead of the process this time as opposed to the last time. This was an informational meeting. Sheriff Starkey said he has been working on general policies for the office and detention. It would be "spendy" to get Niobrara up to date with their facility. There is a company that will come in and check our policies and training for the size of the facility and the amount of personnel working there. It is unsure how long it would take for the outside company to finish looking at the existing policies and procedures.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Converse, Platte and Niobrara County for Law Enforcement Extraterritorial Assistance was approved. This agreement makes it easy to assist the other counties when needed. 

The week of May 17 the contractor will be working on the sewer in the alley and so the company will be placing portable facilities for the library and courthouse during the work. 

Roads Department Superintendent Fred Thomas says the county roads are a mess with the melting. The roads are so muddy that he is concerned that if they work on them they will end up tearing them up. The crews are trying to go out by 5:00 a.m. and work until about 2:00 p.m. before it gets too messy to continue. He says he hasn't received any calls yet which is lucky. They did have to get one person out and bring them to town and they were assisted by the Lusk Police. Most of the major roads are all done though. 

County Attorney Anne Wasserburger discussed the National Opioid Settlement and how the percentages have gone down and how the funds would be used. She will look into finding out if we have to document how the funds were used or not. She also doesn't see any drawback to participating in the program. It was moved and seconded to participation in the program and that Anne Wasserburger can electronically sign the participation agreement and submit the document. 

Wasserburger also said she is available for legal questions regarding the consideration of the creation of an EMS district for Manville, Lance Creek and surrounding area.

Anna Skeen was appointed to the Community Juvenile Services Board.

The Commissioners signed the proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. 

The Consent Agenda was approved and the meeting was adjourned.