The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on this date at 9:00 a.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Vice-Chair John Midkiff, Commissioner Elaine Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman, present.
Chairman Wade led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Road and Bridge- Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners to discuss road and bridge business.
Mr. Thomas asked the Commissioners if they wanted to add 1.1 miles of road improvements for the existing 2019 Road Rehabilitation Project. He estimated it would cost approximately $94,000. He said there were no culverts or auto gates that would need to be installed.
Commissioner Griffith moved to add 1.1 miles of road to the 2019 Road Rehabilitation Project- Cheyenne River Road and direct BenchMark of Torrington to draft a change order to that effect. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Mr. Thomas said that BenchMark of Torrington is still working on the post-construction road reports for Indian Creek and Cheyenne River Road projects from the ‘90s.
Chairman Wade asked about the status of the Ruffing Pit. Mr. Thomas said that Timberline Services, Inc. is waiting on the pit owners to sign the contract. Once that is signed, Timberline should be able to get in there and have things set up within 30 days to begin crushing.
Kurt Gaukel joined the meeting.
James Santistevan, Emergency Management Coordinator, stopped in and visited briefly with the Commissioners about Homeland Security Grants for the fairgrounds.
Denise Smith and Erin Smith, with the extension office, met with the Commissioners and updated them on the grant for the fairgrounds. They told the Commissioners that it was essential to have a representation of Niobrara County stakeholders attend the Wyoming Business Council meeting on March 5th in Greybull, at which time this grant will be reviewed and discussed.
They went on to discuss other grant options that could be utilized to offset costs for rewiring.
Mrs. Smith also mentioned that they are applying for two national awards for the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Fridays (f/k/a 4-H Fridays) and they are requesting a letter of support from the Commissioners. Commissioner Griffith said she would draft a letter for approval at the next meeting.
County Attorney- County Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners and discussed county business. Jim Jordan, the owner of Jordan Towing and Mike Smith and Sheldon Poage with Jordan Towing, joined the meeting to address the towing issue in Niobrara County.
The group discussed the situations which brought about the Commissioners’ decision to use out of county towing companies, especially when vehicles to be impounded due to criminal investigations are involved. Attorney Wasserburger stood firm in her assertions that Niobrara County would not take responsibility to pay for the tow of a vehicle in a criminal investigation. After much discussion, it appears that Mr. Jordan and Niobrara County reached an understanding that the County will not pay for the tow in the above scenarios.
Attorney Wasserburger informed the Commissioners that there was a slight change to the Tri-County Joint Powers Board Agreement. She said there was a statute that was incorrectly cited. She told them that as of March 1st, the County Attorney’s Office would be moving to 112 East Main St.
Prevention Grant Update- Kerry Steward, Community Prevention Specialist, and Dr. Melanie Pearce, Regional Supervisor, Public Health Nursing, met with the Commissioners and discussed the Prevention Grant program. Mrs. Steward said she had been in contact with School Resource Officer Tyler Stream regarding a diversion grant program for the school. She said there would be someone working with him on writing the grant and that she thought it would be comprised of three different programs and overseen by one person.
She updated them on additional meetings she will have with various entities within the County. She said that the warden at the Women’s Center voiced interest in working with her to establish a suicide prevention program.
Dr. Pearce updated the Commissioners on public health nursing matters. She said that the Maternal Child Health program is keeping her busy.
Ratify Letter of Support for Solutions for Life- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to ratify a letter of Support for Solutions for Life. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Wyoming Community Gas Contract- Commissioner Griffith moved to sign the 2020 Wyoming Choice Gas Program Supplier Delegation Agreement with Wyoming Community Gas for natural gas purchases for one year. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Birch Service Renewal Amendment- Commissioner Griffith moved to sign the Renewal Amendment between Birch Communications, LLC., a Fusion Company and Niobrara County for phone service for three years. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Commissioner Griffith discussed the need to enter into a contract addendum with Align to extend the time for completion of the Niobrara County Employee Handbook revisions. The original contract stated that work would be completed by 12/31/2019.
Bridger Pipeline- Ken Dockweiler, Director Land, Government & Compliance with Belle Fourche Pipeline, Co., met with the Commissioners and Road and Bridge Foreman Fred Thomas and updated them on the progress of the Equality Pipeline.
Chairman Wade discussed a U.S.D.A. grant that is available for a business development position. He will provide more information at a later date. He also talked about the Natural Resource Policy Plan.
Consent Agenda- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve the consent agenda. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried. Items on the consent agenda were the minutes of the February 4th, 2020 meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick H. Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, Clerk
Public Notice No. 5408. Published in The Lusk Herald on March 11, 2020.