The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on May 4, 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.
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.
He reported on the status of the blade. He said that Wyoming Machinery recommended rebuilding the transmission instead of repairing it because repairing it wouldn’t solve the problem long term. Rebuilding the transmission will cost approximately $50,000 and will come with a three-year warranty.
Mr. Thomas said he decided to move forward with the transmission rebuild.
He then updated them on the status of the 2020 Winter Road Rehabilitation Project. He said that approximately one mile of road has been completed because Timberline Services, Inc. had been delayed two weeks due to bad weather.
He said that the road and bridge crew is having to redo blade work they did before the storm. They are also trying to keep up on cleaning out auto gates.
He said he drove McMaster Road and measured it in three different spots. He said that it was approximately 21.5’ wide and the auto gates installed out there are 20’ auto gates.
He received the dead-end road signs for the Shane Road and others and will be installing them soon.
He discussed the Ruffing Pit and said that there are approximately 40 – 45 thousand tons of gravel on the ground. He stated that he would also need to gravel the County’s portion of Gravel Pit Road, which is approximately one and one-tenths mile.
Lastly, he updated them on his meeting with the Centennial Woods representative regarding snow fences along county roads.
County Coroner- The Commissioners held a phone conference with County Coroner Pete Pier regarding the county’s coroner vehicle. Mr. Pier said he has considered using the truck, but he had concerns about the gurney latching system. The group discussed options to make improvements.
Josh Harkins with BenchMark of Torrington presented the signed change order #2 and a final pay request for the 2020 Spring Road Rehabilitation Project.
The Commissioners also visited with him about separating the county’s stockpile at the Ruffing Pit from the rest of the material there because the county’s auditors require the stockpile to be measured. The Ruffing Pit isn’t large enough to segregate the county’s stockpile from the rest of the material on the ground so it was suggested that some kind of diagram could be drawn showing where our material is located.
Mr. Harkins also updated the Commissioners and Mr. Thomas on the status of the county easements that cross state land. He said the State Lands and Investments Board meets on June 3, 2021, and they will let him know if all of the paperwork submitted is sufficient.
Elected Officials and Department Heads- Emergency Manager James Santistevan said he had assisted Converse County in a hazmat spill by Lost Springs.
He said he had contacted the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security (OHLS) regarding the generator removed from the fairgrounds and what the rules were for selling it since it was purchased with an HLS grant many years ago. He said that according to the OHLS if the generator does not have a resale value of over $5,000, it can be sold.
Sheriff Cary Gill reported on the trip that Lieutenant James Frye took to Buffalo for training on the commissary account.
He said his office is getting ready to hold an abandoned vehicle sale.
Treasurer Keri Thompson said it was business as usual in her office.
Assessor Teri Stephens noted that the notice of appeal period ended on May 3rd.
She has hired a part-time person for the summer who will be working four days a week.
Extension Agent Denise Smith and 4-H Coordinator Kellie Chichester said the fairgrounds is getting busy. They submitted the first round of estimates for roof, stucco, and gutter repairs and replacement of the water heater.
Clerk of Court Lund said there were no jury trials scheduled and that a court security meeting needs to be held later this month or in June.
Commissioner Griffith said that JoAnn Wade is designing the historical plaque for the courthouse.
Detention Lieutenant James Frye and Sheriff Cary Gill met with the Commissioners to discuss the Cares Act Funding available for jail video conferencing updates. The grant will reimburse up to $2,500.00 and can be used to purchase a computer, a monitor with speakers, and a conference camera.
Lieutenant Frye said they have a computer and camera they use now, but when a hearing is occurring, they can’t use the main computer for anything else.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to authorize the Sheriff’s Office to use Cares Act funding, administered through the Wyoming Supreme Court, for jail video conferencing equipment not to exceed $2500.00. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Lieutenant Frye updated the Commissioners on a meeting he attended regarding commissary accounting.
County Attorney- Deputy County Attorney Doyle Davies met with the Commissioners and discussed county business.
Old Business-The Commissioners discussed Health Savings Accounts. According to the auditors, there are specific rules and guidelines which would need to be followed.
Resolution 21-06- Commissioner Griffith moved to adopt Resolution 21-06, a resolution adopting the Niobrara County employee handbook.
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Niobrara County, Wyoming have been revising and updating the Niobrara County Employee Handbook that was originally approved by the Board of County Commissioners of Niobrara County, Wyoming on October 15, 1996, with an effective date of November 1, 1996, by Resolution 96-23;
WHEREAS, the revisions and updating of the employee handbook have been completed by the Board of County Commissioners of Niobrara County, Wyoming; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of Niobrara County, Wyoming that the Niobrara County Employee Handbook effective May 4, 2021, should replace that Employee Handbook approved by the Board of County Commissioners of Niobrara County, Wyoming on October 15, 1996, with an effective date of November 1, 1996, by Resolution 96-23.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Niobrara County Commissioners for Niobrara County, Wyoming that this Resolution 21-06 and the Niobrara County Employee Handbook effective May 4, 2021, is effective following adoption and signature by the Niobrara County Commissioners this 4th day of May 2021.
UPON motion made by Commissioner Griffith and seconded by Vice-Chairman Midkiff, RESOLUTION 21-06 is APPROVED AND ADOPTED by a unanimous vote of the Niobrara County Commissioners this 4th day of May 2021.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Commissioner Griffith updated the group on a Zoom meeting she attended hosted by the National Association of Counties regarding the American Rescue Plan.
She explained that the funds are based on population and will be distributed in two portions.
She noted that as of April 29, 2021, guidelines had not yet been released on how funds can be used. She said there was no answer surrounding the use of these funds for broadband.
She also listened in on the Commissioners Health and Safety Committee meeting. The committee discussed HB0038, Community behavioral health-priority populations.
Commissioners Scholarships- The Commissioners received eight applications for three scholarships. After reviewing all applications, the Commissioners awarded the scholarships to the following individuals: Calli Klein, Drake Lamp, and Jozalyn Potter.
Natural Resource Policy Grant Application Letter- Commissioner Griffith moved to sign a letter requesting Natural Resource Policy Account funds totaling $11,000.00 for a Socio-economic Profile report. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
Letter of Support for the Lusk Ambulance Service- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to sign the letter of support for the Lusk Ambulance Service in applying for a Needs Assessment Grant. Commissioner Griffith 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 April 20, 2021 meeting and receipts for April from the County Clerk for $4,012.00, the Sheriff for $486.25, the Clerk of Court for $553.10, and the Public Health Nurse for $249.07.
Payroll and the following vouchers were approved for payment: Aflac Insurance- Supplemental insurance- 7520.17, Allbright's True Value Hardware- Parts- 70.82, Alsco- Shop towels & coveralls- 424.06, Anderson Carpet Sales, Inc.- Retainage for fairgrounds auditorium work- 6686.96, Barnes Law, LLC. Court appointed attorney- 90.00, Becky Blackburn- Reimburse for postage- 75.94, BenchMark of Torrington P.C.- Engineering fees- 3899.03 BenchMark of Torrington P.C., Black Hills Chemical & Janitorial- Supplies- 298.88, Black Hills Energy- Utilities- 1210.30, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming- Health insurance- 17616.00, Boldon Welding & Repair, LLC.- Equipment repairs- 63.38, Canon Financial Services, Inc.- Copier service agreement- 425.00, Casper Tin Shop- Retainage for fairgrounds auditorium work- 6248.30, Century Link- Telephone- 1341.74, Century Link Business Services- Telephone- 90.03, Colby Sturgeon- Court appointed attorney- 360.00, Connecting Point Computer Centers- Copier service agreements- 75.23, Cory Wilcox- Deputy county coroner- 100.00, Decker's Market- Supplies, inmate meals- 50.13, Delta Dental of Wyoming- Dental Insurance-1143.30, Dennis C. Meier- Office rent-1000.00, Double A Properties, LLC.- Office rent- 1000.00; Erin Persche- Travel expense- 60.48; Falen Law Offices, LLC.- Natural Resource Plan update- 63.00, Frank Parts Company- Parts- 26.30; Fusion Cloud Services, LLC.- Telephone- 855.74, Geographic Innovations- Professional mapping services-1300.00; Goshen County Court- Garnishment- 524.99, Great-West Trust Company, LLC. – Deferred compensation- 18295.00; GreatAmerica Financial Svcs.- Copier service agreement- 103.00; Hiway Brake & Alignment- Vehicle repairs- 1687.41; Honey Badger Towing & Recovery, LLC.- Towing abandoned vehicles- 166.00, J. G. Construction, LLC. - Retainage for fairgrounds auditorium work - 2753.83; Jameson Cleaning & Maintenance- Fairgrounds cleaning and library repairs- 6865.52; Katie Krein- Prevention grant expenses-129.72; Ken Brown- Court appointed attorney- 630.00; Long Building Technologies,Inc- Maintenance-570.00.; Louis Hammer- CPR & first aid classes for Sheriff’s Office- 250.00; Lusk Herald- Publications 5015.40; MasterCard- Supplies, 603.36; New Jersey Family Support Payment Center- Wage withholding order- 819.00; Niobrara County- Payroll deduction- 513.00; Niobrara County Circuit Court- Garnishment- 849.90; Niobrara County Hospital District- 1% Option Tax- 10724.55; Niobrara County Library- Deferred Comp.- 1725.00; Niobrara Electric Association- Radio tower electricity- 51.63; Office Depot- Supplies- 1451.69; Office of the State Public Defender- County share of Guardian Ad Litem fees- 8170.41; Palen Law Offices, LLP.- Court appointed attorney- 330.00; Peter W. Pier- Reimburse for travel expenses and classes for trainings for Pete Pier and Cory Wilcox- 726.32; Quadient Leasing USA, Inc.- Quarterly postage meter payment- 1197.00; Rawhide Drug Company- Inmate meds- 15.44; Regional West Medical Center- Autopsy-538.30; Sheridan County Homemakers- Travel expense- 105.00; Stephens-Peck, Inc.- Supplies- 100.00; Texas Refinery Corp.- Oil- 448.00; Thomson Reuters-West- Law library-159.14; Timberline Services, Inc.- Gravel- 80000.00; Torrington Office Supply- Supplies- 92.87; Town Of Lusk- Utilities- 2479.27; Traci Bruegger- Courthouse, library, justice center cleaning contract- 4500.00; Transwest Ford- Parts- 120.25; Tyler Technologies- Computer expense- 82.69; USPS- Postage for postage meter- 3500.00; Valley Motor Supply- Parts- 88.74; Van Pelt Fencing- Fencing around HVAC unit at fairgrounds- 4135.54; Verizon Wireless- Telephone- 240.42; Vision Service Plan – Vision insurance- 433.90; Visionary Broadband- I T Expense- 530.34; WEBT- Life insurance- 211.50; Westco- Fuel- 2301.52; Whitaker Oil- Fuel- 3074.38; WY Dept. of Health Public Health Lab- Medical expense- 14.00; Wyatt Electric, Inc. – Lighting at fairgrounds- 2475.00; Wyoming Machinery Company- Parts- 214.36; Wyoming Network, Inc.- I T expense- 200.00; Wyoming Women's Center- Inmate meals- 576.46; Xerox Corporation- Copier service agreement- 129.58;
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: 223014.22.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5628. Published in The Lusk Herald on May 26, 2021