The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on April 6, 2021, at 9:03 a.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Vice-Chairman John Midkiff, Commissioner Elaine Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman present. Members of the audience included Jim Mackey and Noah Jones, Field Representative for Senator Cynthia M. Lummis.
Chairman Wade led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Road & Bridge- Road and Bridge Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners and discussed road and bridge business.
Josh Harkins, with BenchMark of Torrington, presented a change order for the 2020 Road Rehabilitation Project. This change order will provide a change to the estimated quantites of gravel to be applied to reflect actual quantities placed. This change is an increase to the estimated quantities for Base Bid A, Bid Item #5 “Haul and Place Owner-Supplied Aggregate (3”)”, Bid Item #7 “Haul and place Owner-Supplied Aggregate (3”) Boner Road – C.O. No. 1”, Bid Item #8 “Haul and place Owner-Supplied Aggregate (3”) Hat Creek Road 1 – C.O. No. 1”, Bid Item #9 “Haul and place Owner-Supplied Aggregate (3”) Hat Creek Road 2 – C.O. No. 1”, Bid Item #10 “Haul and place Owner-Supplied Aggregate (3”) Hat Creek Road 3 – C.O. No. 1”.
This change order increases the contract price by $1,723.99 resulting in a new contract price of $349,220.39.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve Change Order #2. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Foreman Thomas said that Caterpillar is pulling the transmission on the blade and will let him know what they find.
He mentioned that a road and bridge employee had backed into a car at YesWay earlier today. The employee had a post accident drug and alcohol test performed and the required paperwork was completed.
He also mentioned that a representative from Centennial Woods is supposed to meet with him tomorrow to review county roads where snow fence is to be installed.
Commissioner Griffith said that Ed Perry had contacted her and was concerned about a portion of McMaster Road. Mr. Perry asked her if someone would take a look at it because it is very narrow in spots.
Foreman Thomas inquired about purchasing additional gravel as there is approximately 20,000 tons remaining in the existing stockpile. He would like to purchase 10,000 tons from the Ruffing Pit, which would gravel approximately 6.5 miles of road.
Commissioner Griffith moved to purchase 10,000 ton of gravel from the Ruffing Pit. Vice Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Commissioner Griffith asked Mr. Harkins about the status of the State easement for Cheyenne River Road. He said paperwork has been sent in and they are awaiting a response.
Treasurer Keri Thompson, Assessor Teri Stephens, and Clerk of Court Chrisanna Lund joined the meeting to listen to what Mr. Jim Mackey had to discuss regarding IT services. Mr. Mackey gave a history of his work experience. He said he has a degree in accounting and has worked or volunteered his IT services in many places.
He said he doesn’t want to replace our current IT, but wants to help plan projects or assist in any way he can.
Commissioner Griffith voiced concerns over confidentiality and security of information
Chairman Wade said it was a very generous offer and if something came up we would surely let him know and he thanked him for his offer.
Jeb Hanson, Ed Perry, Kevin Baars, and Dan Henry Hanson were in attendance to discuss the 30 x 30 Resolution. Chairman Wade said he had sent Jeb Hanson, Republican Party Chairman, and Chelsea Baars, Farm Bureau Association Chairperson, a copy of the resolution to distribute to their respective associations.
Mr. Perry voiced his concerns over President Biden’s Executive Order 14008. Chairman Wade explained that the Commissioners were planning to sign a resolution in opposition to this Executive Order.
Mr. Perry asked that a copy of the signed resolution be forwarded to the American Stewards of Liberty.
Kevin Baars offered his support of the resolution on behalf of Farm Bureau.
Resolution 21-05- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve Resolution 21-05, a Resolution demanding substantial compliance with and in opposition of implementation of Presidential Executive Order 14008 dated January 27, 2021. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
County Attorney- County Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners about county business.
Sena Pearson, Chairperson of the Niobrara County Planning and Zoning Board met with the Commissioners and County Attorney Wasserburger to discuss the planning and zoning manual and ask if there was funding available to update it. If there was no funding available, Mrs. Pearson asked if Attorney Wasserburger could do the update. Attorney Wasserburger stated she was unable to take on this project, but presented a checklist that she developed for Planning and Zoning Board Members to use when a change of zoning request is presented to them.
A Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) meeting was held at 1:30 p.m.
Old Business- Commissioner Griffith reported on the historic informational sign for the courthouse.
WEBT Employer Plan Selection for Health Insurance Commissioner Griffith moved to sign the WEBT employer plan selection with the County continuing to pay the full employee portion of the health insurance premium for those employees working 30 to 40 hours per week, and pay a pro-rata portion of the health insurance premium for permanent part-time employees working 21 to 29 hours per week.
The pro-rata portion is defined as the number of work week hours upon which the employee was hired. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Y2 Consultants Proposal- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve Option 1 of Y2 Consultants Socio-Econimic Proposal with an estimated cost not to exceed $9,500.00, if State grant funding is available. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried. Option 1 would involve using existing datasets that come from local and federal sources to build a report on the general economic trends of the county including land allocation, revenues from various industries, and available demographic information. Y2 recommends a small steering committee to help with the development of the report.
Chairman Wade said he would discuss the repairs for the fairgrounds auditorium roof and gutters with Fair Boad Members and have them obtain firmer figures for those repairs.
American Rescue Plan- Commissioner Griffith reported on a Zoom meeting she plans to attend sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACO) regarding the American Rescue Plan. The United States Treasurery has not yet put forth guidelines on how the funding can be used. Once the guidelines for use are determined, the County may be able to apply for them.
Consent Agenda- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the consent agenda. Vice- Chairman seconded, motion carried. Items on the consent agenda were the minutes of the April 6, 2021 meeting and a Tax Roll Supplement for Chesapeake Operating, LLC. from the 2015 Tax Year for $597.92, a Petition of Affidavit for Rebate of Taxes for Chesapeake Operating, Inc. from the 2020 Tax Rolls for $653.91, and a Petition of Affidavit for Rebate of Taxes for Chesapeake Operating, Inc. from the 2020 Tax Rolls for $643.91.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5622. Published in The Lusk Herald on May 12, 2021