The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order January 5, 2021 at 9:04 a.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Vice-Chairman John Midkiff, Commissioner Elaine Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman present.
Chairman Wade led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Election of Officers- Commissioner Griffith moved to appoint Patrick Wade to serve as chairman of the commission. Vice- Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Commissioner Griffith moved to appoint John Midkiff to serve as Vice-Chairman of the commission. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Wyoming County Commissioners Association (WCCA) Voting Member- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to appoint Patrick Wade as Niobrara County’s voting member to the WCCA. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Old Business- Commissioner Griffith had nothing new to report on the informational sign for the courthouse.
Road & Bridge- Road and Bridge Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners and discussed road and bridge business.
He said that Shea Abbott with Centennial Woods had contacted him about snow fence. They would like to construct snow fence along county roads and plan to meet with him in February. Work will most likely begin in late summer.
Josh Harkins and Brian Wakefield, engineers with BenchMark of Torrington joined the meeting and the group discussed the SLIB easements. Mr. Wakefield said that they have everything ready except the post construction report and survey.
2020 Winter Road Rehab Project Bid Opening- There were several bidders in attendance as well as via Zoom. Chairman Wade thanked them for their hard work in preparing the bids. Mr. Harkins opened the bids and Wyoming Earthmoving Corporation was the apparent low bidder with a bid of $128,602.65 for Base Bid A, County supplied gravel. Timberline Services, Inc. was the apparent low bidder with a bid of $177,529.80 for Base Bid B, contractor supplied gravel. Mr. Harkins said they would review the bids to make sure they were in order and report back with a recommendation to award the bid.
Elected Officials & Dept. Heads- James Santistevan, Emergency Management Coordinator, Cary Gill, Sheriff, Chrisanna Lund, Clerk of Court, Teri Stephens, Assessor, Denise Smith, UW Extension Educator, Keri Thompson, Treasurer, and Dr. Melanie Pearce, Regional Public Health Nurse Supervisor, met with the Commissioners and discussed office operations and county business.
Mr. Santistevan said that there wasn’t much going on in emergency management right now.
He said he extended his services to the Goshen County Emergency Management Office due to to an illness of their coordinator.
Sheriff Gill said there was an issue with the 2004 Dodge that had the new engine installed. It is under warranty and will be taken to Casper for repairs.
He said they are in the process of hiring a new detention officer and that the new pickup should be here sometime this week.
Ms. Lund said that there are four pending jury trials.
Assessor Stephens said that Declarations for personal property were sent out and some have already been returned.
She said that all transferred ownerships for 2020 are entered and she is setting agriculutural land values.
Mrs. Smith said that renovations and remodeling in the auditorium building appear to be going well. She said they aren’t scheduling any events in the main building through the end of February, but the Shooting Sports building is being rented on a regular basis.
Treasurer Thompson said her office has been busy collecting property tax payments and sales tax collections on motor vehicles were higher than normal. She also noted that the audit is done.
Dr. Pearce said that on the prevention side of public health, Katie Krein is working on setting up suicide prevention training at the hospital.
She noted that COVID testing is down and that the vaccine should arrive next week.
She said there will be a drive through clinic at the beef barn at the fairgrounds with the focus on first responders, teachers and those over 70. She has 130 doses available.
Commissioner Griffith updated the group on Cares Act Charitable Organizations funding.
Chairman Wade discussed the road rehabilitation project and employee manual.
County Attorney- Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners and discussed county business.
Executive Session- Commissioner Griffith moved to enter into executive session at 11:58 a.m. with Attorney Wasserburger to discuss an ongoing investigation. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried. Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to leave executive session at 12:00 p.m. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Mr. Harkins and Mr. Wakefield joined the meeting to recommend awarding the bid for the road project. They stated that because the apparent low bidder, Wyoming Earthmoving Corp., is using County owned gravel, the cost of replacing that gravel can be considered as an additional cost to the County with the cost to replace the gravel at approximately $67,286.00. When additing this to their bid, the total cost to the County would be $18,358.85 higher than the bid received by Timberline Services, Inc. under Base Bid B, contractor supplied gravel. They took into consideration the value of the material and recommended awarding the bid to Timberline Services, Inc.
2020 Winter Road Rehabilitation Project - Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to award the 2020 Winter Road Rehabilitation Project to Timberline Services, Inc., with a bid of $177,529.80 Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Fair Board Appointments- Tandy Dockery, Chairman and Corky Fosher, fair board member met with the Commissioners to review applications for fair board positions.
Prior to his resignation becoming effective, Corky Fosher contacted the fair board Chariman to withdraw his resignation, therefore there is no unexpired term to fill.
Chairman Wade asked for the recommendation for the five-year term. Mrs. Dockery stated that they were pleased with all three applicants, and recommended appointment of Taylor Barnette.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to appoint Taylor Barnette to the fair board with the term ending on December 31, 2025. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Resolution 21-01- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve Resolution 21-01, ACTION SUPPORTING COUNTY CUSTOM, CULTURE AND HERITAGE IN DECISION MAKING REGARDING FEDERAL LANDS IN NIOBRARA COUNTY, STATE OF WYOMING. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried. A complete copy of the resolution is on file in the county clerk’s office and on the county’s website.
Resolution 21-02- Commissioner Griffith moved to adopt Resolution 21-02, ACTION SUPPORTING COUNTY CUSTOM, CULTURE AND HERITAGE IN DECISION MAKING REGARDING STATE LANDS IN NIOBRARA COUNTY, STATE OF WYOMING. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried. A complete copy of the resolution is on file in the county clerk’s office and on the county’s website.
Resolution 21-03- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to adopt Resolution 21-03, E-911 Surcharge Fees. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried. A complete copy of the resolution is on file in the county clerk’s office and on the county’s website.
Designation of Despository for Public Funds- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to designate Lusk State Bank as the depositiory for public funds. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
The Commissioners acknowledged receipt of a letter from Keri Thompson, County Treasurer disclosing all of her interest in any banking institutions in which Niobrara County has funds invested. Treasurer Thompson disclosed that she conducts personal business with Lusk State Bank.
Authorization of Investment of Public Funds- Based upon the recommendation of the County Treasurer, Commissioner Griffith moved to authorize the investments of public funds in the following depositories: Lusk State Bank, Multi-Bank Securities, Inc., Wyoming Government Investment Fund, and Wyoming State Treasurer/WYO-STAR and WYO-STAR II. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Appointment of Weed & Pest Directors- The Commissioners received nomination petitions from Neil Holmes, Area I, and Lee Lamb, Area II, for directors of the Niobrara County Weed and Pest Control District.
Commissioner Griffith moved to appoint Neil Holmes and Lee Lamb as directors to the Weed and Pest Control District for their respective areas. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Copier Connection Full Service Contract- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to sign the Canon Copier Full Service Contract with Copier Connecting Inc. for the copier located in the Clerk of Court’s Office. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Memorandum of Understanding- COVID-19 Disease Surveillance and Testing Activities- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the MOU between the WY Dept. of Health, Public Health Division and Niobrara County for $29,376.00 with an effective date of December 31, 2020 through June 20, 2021. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
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 December 15, 2020 meeting, receipts for the month of December from the County Clerk for $5,132.51, from the Sheriff for $245.00, from the Clerk of Court for $571.84 and from the Public Health Nurse for $435.19. Other paperwork included Tax Roll Supplements for Vermillion Energy USA, LLC., for the 2020 Tax Year for $2,478.62 and $1,325.70 and a Petition of Affidavit for Rebate of Taxes for the Cheryl R. Zimmerman Trust for $211.54.
Payroll and the following vouchers were approved for payment:
7604.66 Aflac Insurance; 45.01 Allbright's True Value Hardware; 59.78 Alsco; 990.23 AMBI Mail & Marketing; 408.00 BAM Document Destruction & Recycling LLC; 310.00 Barnes Law, LLC.; 3689.72 BenchMark of Torrington P.C.; 1649.01 Black Hills Chemical & Janitorial; 1726.22 Black Hills Energy; 18187.00 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming; 380.00 Canon Financial Services, Inc.; 169.00 Casper Fire Extinguisher Service, Inc.; 1421.15 Century Link; 89.51 Century Link Business Services; 6616.00 Chantry Filener; 180.00 Computer Projects Of Il, Inc.; 973.10 Connecting Point Computer Centers; 220.00 Converse County Public Health; 100.00 Cory Wilcox; 623.00 Cow Creek Aerial; 21.98 Decker's Market; 1142.70 Delta Dental of Wyoming; 1000.00 Dennis C. Meier; 1000.00 Double A Properties, LLC.; 5898.54 Falen Law Offices, LLC.; 57.39 Floyd's Truck Center, Inc.; 123.70 Frank Parts Company; 1984.02 Fusion Cloud Services, LLC.; 1300.00 Geographic Innovations; 54.42 Grainger; 18205.00 Great-West Trust Company, LLC.; 103.00 GreatAmerica Financial Svcs.; 947.92 Hiway Brake & Alignment; 1608.24 Honnen Equipment Company; 6996.56 Jameson Cleaning & Maintenance, LLC.; 90.00 Jub Jub, Inc.; 56153.50 JW Services, LLC.; 109.05 Katie Krein; 150.00 Keri Bennett; 10208.10
Lusk Herald; 5959.37 MasterCard; 120.43 Matthew Bender & Co., Inc.; 420.00 NCIC Inmate Communications; 819.00 New Jersey Family Support Payment Center; 4961.00 Newcastle Ambulance Service; 20.32 Niobrara County Assessor; 584.52 Niobrara County Circuit Court; 19024.47 Niobrara County Hospital District; 1725.00 Niobrara County Library; 237.02 Niobrara County Public Health; 5.80 Niobrara County Sheriff's Office; 49.72 Niobrara Electric Association; 108.49 Office Depot; 975.00 On Time Sports; 634.98 Parkman and Wilken, LLC.; 483.33 Rancher's Feed & Supply, Inc.; 64.26 Rawhide Drug Company; 1662.00 Sashanna Miller; 1033.25 Sheet Metal Specialties, Inc.; 81.97 Swanson Services Corp.; 100.00 Sylvestri Customization; 504.00 The Radar Shop, Inc.; 159.14 Thomson Reuters-West; 324.78 Torrington Office Supply; 2710.86 Town Of Lusk; 4500.00 Traci Bruegger; 26105.79 Tyler Technologies; 432.57 Uline; 6205.50 UW Extension; 782.39 Valley Motor Supply; 300.36 Verizon Wireless; 433.90 Vision Service Plan - (Wy); 1998.87 Visionary Broadband; 31.96 Wal Mart Community; 216.00 WEBT; 150.00 Wendi Dutcher; 4680.70 Westco; 219.00 Western Detention; 1000.00 Western Pathology Consultants, P.C.; 2399.91 Whitaker Oil; 100.00 WY Assoc. of Co. Agricultural Agents; 14.00 WY Dept. of Health Public Health Lab; 6466.02 Wyoming Dept. Of Workforce Services; 200.00 Wyoming Network, Inc.; 1234.80 Wyoming Women's Center; 15.00 Wyoming Woolgrower's Auxiliary; 130.68 Xerox Corporation;
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: 252981.67
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5562. Published in The Lusk Herald on January 27, 2021.