The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order October 6, 2020 at 9:02 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 & Bridge- Road and Bridge Foreman Fred Thomas joined the meeting. He said approximately 2.1 miles of work had been done on Cheyenne River Road.
Commissioner Griffith said she had received a call from a resident saying they had heard that the County had asked the Fire District to purchase a blade. Foreman Thomas said that was not the case; that the Fire District had approached him.
Chairman Wade questioned the work that had been done on Hat Creek Road east of the schoolhouse. He said it appears more work has been done than what the Commissioners were aware of. Mr. Thomas said that is work that needed to be done. He noted a few more bad spots they needed to work on, and then they will move to North Lance Creek Road and other roads in the area that need some spot graveling.
He noted that Wade Habeck of Timberline Services, Inc. contacted him and said that all permitting is complete with the Ruffing pit.
The group discussed rebuilding the County’s gravel stockpile and moving forward on phase four of the Cheyenne River Road Project.
BenchMark of Torrington Engineer Brian Wakefield met with the Commissioners and Foreman Thomas and discussed the 2020 Road Rehabilitation Project as well as moving forward with a fall project on Cheyenne River Road.
Commissioner Griffith inquired about S Bar Hill and asked if there was any way to place some gravel on it. Mr. Thomas said it would be very expensive to engineer and complete.
Elected Officials & Dept. Heads- Clerk of Court Chrisanna Lund updated the Commissioners on the status of Courtroom Technology upgrades.
Emergency Management Coordinator James Santistevan told the Commissioners that the old generator had been disconnected at the fairgrounds. He said an inverter needs to be installed so it can be used at the courthouse. He told them that the handheld radios had arrived but still need to be tuned. He said he hadn’t heard anything new regarding the status of the Homeland Security Grant.
Treasurer Keri Thompson said her office is busy with everyday business and preparing for the auditors.
Assessor Teri Stephens said her office has been reviewing oil and gas equipment and entering new construction information. A new server, supplied by the Wyoming Department of Revenue, should be here next week, and the 2020 data is now on the assessor’s website.
Extension Educator Denise Smith updated the group on 4-H Fridays. They have achievement day on Sunday, and the Halloween carnival is still being held on October 31.
She mentioned that the office would be closed for a couple of days next week because they won’t have any phones or electricity. They will be working from home.
Sheriff Cary J. Gill said the last three state inmates have left, and it doesn’t appear they will be housing any more any time soon. He said that work should begin on replacing the floor in dispatch next week.
Prevention Specialist Katie Krein introduced herself and updated everyone on the Prevention program. She also discussed TIPS training.
Regional Public Health Nurse Supervisor Dr. Melanie Pearce said a flu clinic is scheduled for October 22, 2020; however, this is tentative depending upon whether or not the vaccine arrives.
She also said they are preparing for a COVID vaccine, but it is unknown when or how it will happen.
She said she purchased a tent with an adjoining room, so if they needed to conduct a mass vaccination, it could be done and have the necessary privacy.
She also noted that the school board is not continuing with surveillance with teachers and has 130 tests available. She will offer asymptomatic testing at the Public Health Nurse office.
She discussed a program called Civic Ready, which can go on the County’s website. It can send out mass texts and is $1413.00 per year. She said that the first year fees can be paid out of CARES Act funding and is a year to year agreement. The Commissioners were agreeable to try it for at least one year.
County Clerk Becky Freeman discussed the upcoming election and is busy preparing for the auditors, as well.
Jackie King, Deputy State Director for U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, joined the meeting by phone and discussed possible deadline extensions for the Cares Act Funding.
She also noted that Representative Cheney didn’t think a lot of legislation would be passed before the election.
County Attorney- Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners and said she had nothing new to report on the Guardian Ad Litem Memorandum of Understanding.
Executive Session- Commissioner Griffith moved to enter into Executive Session at 11:14 a.m. with Attorney Wasserburger to discuss personnel issues. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to leave Executive Session at 11:34 a.m. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried. No action was taken.
Commissioner Griffith moved to ratify a letter to Governor Gordon and Acting Wyoming State Health Officer Dr. Harrist supporting Niobrara County Health Officer Dr. Joleen Falkenburg’s request of a county-wide variance to the current State COVID-19 orders. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Library Board Member Appointment- Commissioner Griffith moved to appoint Valerie Wasserburger to the Library Board, filling the vacancy created by Lindsey Allbright’s resignation. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Endangered Species Act Regulations- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved that the Board be added to the list of commenters created by Falen Law Offices on behalf of several counties and conservation districts throughout the State concerning critical habitat designations as related to the new endangered species act regulations. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Due to the General Election and other conflicts, the November 5, 2020, Commissioner meeting was moved to November 10, 2020.
Signage for Courthouse- Chairman Wade informed the group that the Historical Society is working on a project where they are placing informative signs in front of historical buildings in town and have asked if the County would like one for the Courthouse. He said the Historical Society would pay all costs involved, and we would have input on the content and location of the signs. The Commissioners agreed to move forward with this project.
Foreman Thomas called and said that Simon Contractors has millings available and would sell them to the County for $5.00/ton, and there are approximately 2500-3,000 tons available. We would have to have them moved by October 19-20. The Commissioners authorized him to move forward in obtaining the millings.
Consent Agenda- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the consent agenda. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried. Items on the consent agenda were the minutes of the September 15, 2020 meeting, and receipts for September from the County Clerk for $6,071.57; from the Sheriff for $795.00; from the Clerk of Court for $427.00, and from the Public Health Nurse for $145.06.
Payroll and the following vouchers were approved for payment.
7837.58 Aflac Insurance; 109.32 Allbright's True Value Hardware; 334.08 Alsco; 21.75 Alyssa Barnsdale; 928.00 Axon Enterprise, Inc.; 185.83 Barb Degering; 180.20 Barbara Orr; 2117.50 Barker Concrete & Construction, Inc.; 143.64 Becky L. Freeman; 4455.36 BenchMark of Torrington P.C.; 191.00 Beverly J. Miller; 528.93 Black Hills Chemical & Janitorial; 393.31 Black Hills Energy; 19329.00 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming; 621.31 Bob Barker Co., Inc.; 860.57 Boldon Welding & Repair, L.L.C.; 20.00 C & H Tire & Trailer Repair, L.L.C.; 380.00 Canon Financial Services, Inc.; 175.03 Carla Stroh; 18.13 Carmen Boussu; 191.13 Carmen Shane; 97.50 Casper Fire Extinguisher Service, Inc.; 1499.17 Century Link; 72.91 Century Link Business Services; 974.00 Chantry Filener; 153.06 Cheryl Lund; 195.00 Civil Air Patrol Magazine; 718.36 Coast to Coast Solutions; 1263.67 Communication Technologies, Inc.; 403.69 Connecting Point Computer Centers; 168.15 Connie Baker; 100.00 Cory Wilcox; 231.25 Danese Reed; 49.69 Decker's Market; 924.40 Delta Dental of Wyoming; 188.83 Denise Baars; 1000.00 Dennis C. Meier; 1000.00 Double A Properties, L.L.C.; 148.16 Elaine Francis; 984.66 Election Systems & Software, Inc.; 1307.12 Frank Parts Company; 2699.84 Fusion Cloud Services, L.L.C.; 1360.00 Geographic Innovations; 435.00 Gibson's Customs Towing, L.L.C.; 18655.00 Great-West Trust Company, L.L.C.; 103.00 GreatAmerica Financial Svcs.; 843.90 Herren Brothers True Value; 1193.63 Hiway Brake & Alignment; 744.20 Honey Badger Towing & Recovery, L.L.C.; 837.88 Honnen Equipment Company; 145.00 Jackie Bredthauer; 6800.00 Jameson Cleaning & Maintenance, L.L.C.; 196.75 Jennifer Kottwitz; 76.40 JoAnn Wade; 193.88 Joe Ellen Landkamer; 90.00 Jub Jub, Inc.; 159.50 Julieanne Greenough; 20059.97 JW Services, L.L.C.; 176.63 Karen Gaukel; 61.63 Karma Gaukel; 79.31 Katie Krein; 180.00 Ken Brown; 176.63 Lorrie Reed; 8189.65 Lusk Herald; 3489.34 MasterCard; 23.30 McKesson Medical-Surgical; 35733.14 Motorola Solutions, Inc.; 120.00 NCIC Inmate Communications; 819.00 New Jersey Family Support Payment Center; 1315.24 Niobrara County Circuit Court; 33.35 Niobrara County Clerk; 12688.64 Niobrara County Hospital District; 1725.00 Niobrara County Library; 402.27 Niobrara County Public Health; 79.75 Niobrara County Sheriff's Office; 34.75 Niobrara County Weed & Pest Control Dist; 49.93 Niobrara Electric Association; 156.50 Pam Parmely; 14.97 Rancher's Feed & Supply, Inc.; 434.94 Rawhide Drug Company; 123.00 Richard Jones D.D.S., L.L.C.; 2415.00 Sashanna Miller; 232.40 Shirlee M. Lambert; 1600.00 Steve's Truck & Equipment, Inc.; 95.09 Swanson Services Corp.; 100.00 Sylvestri Customization; 40.46 Taten Gaukel; 40.46 Taylor Gaukel; 175.50 Team Laboratory Chemical, L.L.C.; 1052.47 The Master's Touch, L.L.C.; 154.50 Thomson Reuters-West; 40.46 Toni Gaukel; 126.49 Torrington Office Supply; 3138.65 Town Of Lusk; 4500.00 Traci Bruegger; 82.69 Tyler Technologies; 413.99 Valley Motor Supply; 263.06 Verizon Wireless; 159.50 Vickie Scott; 433.90 Vision Service Plan - (Wy); 530.34 Visionary Broadband; 185.25 Vivian Fahy; 261.43 W.A.R.M. Property Insurance Pool; 216.00 WEBT; 3793.27 Westco; 2169.10 Whitaker Oil; 150.00 Wyoming Clerks Of District Court Assoc; 5853.00 Wyoming County Commissioners Association; 11390.70 Wyoming Dept. Of Workforce Services; 124.34 Wyoming First Aid & Safety Supply, L.L.C.; 50.00 Wyoming Lawn Sprinklers; 300.73 Wyoming Machinery Company; 200.00 Wyoming Network, Inc.; 715.78 Wyoming State Safe & Lock Co.; 3228.90 Wyoming Women's Center; 137.20 Xerox Corporation; ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: 215572.87
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick H. Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, Clerk
Public Notice No. 5526. Published in The Lusk Herald on October 28, 2020.