The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on August 3, 2021, at 9:02 a.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Vice-Chairman John Midkiff, Commissioner Elaine Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman present.
Chairman Wade led in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Road and Bridge- Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners and updated them on road and bridge business.
He has a meeting scheduled with a representative from the Department of Environmental Quality tomorrow to review pits. He said that pit reports have not been filed in the last few years because there has not been any activity; however, he said he is supposed to file a report regardless of activity or lack thereof.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff asked Mr. Thomas if he fixed the problem with the blade that he had reported in a previous meeting. Mr. Thomas said he could not find the issue and the blade appears to be running fine.
Mr. Thomas said he is still looking for parts for the loader.
Old Business- Commissioner Griffith said that the historical information sign for the courthouse has arrived. The Historical Society will contact Ryan Meng to build a stand for the sign.
There was nothing new to report on the fairgrounds repairs or the American Rescue Plan except that Commissioner Griffith did say there was a video conference she would be attending regarding reporting requirements among other things.
2021 Mill Levies- Commissioner Griffith moved to set the 2021 Mill Levies as follows:
NIOBRARA COUNTY, WY
12.000 State School Foundation Programs 1,452,171
NIOBRARA COUNTY LEVIES
10.27000 County General Fund 1,242,816
1.33000 County Library Fund 160,949
0.40000 County Fair Fund 48,406
12.000 Total 1,452,171
6.000 County School Levy 726,085
25.000 School District Operating Levy 3,025,356
1.000 Recreation 121,014
32.000 Total 3,872,455
56.000 Total General Levies 6,776,797
6.000 Hospital District 726,085
1.000 Soil Conservation District 121,014
3.000 Rural Fire District 333,321
1.000 Weed & Pest District 121,014
1.000 Special Management Program 121,014
1.000 Niobrara Senior Citizen’s Service 121,014
Total Special Levies 1,543,463
8.000 Town of Lusk General Fund 75,045
8.000 Town of Manville General Fund 4,214
0.000 Town of Van Tassell General Fund 0
Total Municipal Levies 79,259
*Does not reflect Veterans TOTAL TAXES* 8,399,519
TOTAL LEVIES TOTAL MILL COUNTS
74.000 Total Levy Town of Lusk 8 Mills+1,2,3,5,6,10
74.000 Total Levy Town of Manville 8 Mills+1,2,3,5,6,10
69.000 Total Levy Town of Van Tassell 1,2,3,4,5,6,10
69.000 Total Levy Rural 1,2,3,4,5,6,10
NAME of TAXING AUTHORITY MILLS REQUESTED
1 Niobrara Conservation District 1
2 Niobrara County Hospital District 6
*3 Niobrara County School District No. 1 44
4 Niobrara Rural Fire District 3
5 Niobrara Senior Citizen’s Service District 1
6 Niobrara Weed & Pest Control District 2
7 Town of Lusk 8
8 Town of Manville 8
9 Town of Van Tassell 0
10 General Fund 12
*State School Levy - 12
*County School Levy - 6
*School Dist. Operating Levy - 25
*Recreation - 1
LUSK (0150) $9,380,593
MANVILLE (0151) $526,798
VAN TASSELL (0152) $133,414
RURAL NIOBRARA CTY (0100) $110,973,423
TOTAL VALUATION: $121,014,228
Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, motion carried.
The Commissioners discussed the University of Wyoming’s hiring of Professor Sharon Buccino as an adjunct professor to teach public land law and to run the Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Practicum. The Commissioners are against this hiring as the professor has a history of working against the natural resource industry.
Elected Officials & Dept. Heads- Dr. Melanie Pearce, Regional Public Health Supervisor, attended the meeting by phone and updated the Commissioners on the Prevention Grant and Public Health Nursing. She said that Katie Krein is doing great with the Prevention Grant. Next, she updated them on COVID cases in Niobrara County. She noted that most of the cases coming back positive are of the Delta variant. She said they are still encouraging vaccinations.
Sheriff Cary J. Gill told the Commissioners that he hired a new administrative assistant for the front office, as Keri Bennett, the current administrative assistant, will be leaving on August 20. He said they currently have four inmates.
Treasurer Keri Thompson said she and her staff are preparing to do the tax roll and bill taxes.
County Clerk Freeman did not have anything to report.
Commissioner Griffith did not have anything to report and Vice-Chairman Midkiff said that estimates for courthouse exterior repairs should be in by the next meeting.
Chairman Wade said that the Commissioners are going to adopt a resolution that will put in place our updated Natural Resource Management Plan. He said it is a joint plan with the Conservation District. He noted that both entities intended to ensure that the plans say the same things.
Kyle Borger and Dee Naslund with WyoHelp met with the Commissioners to discuss the Community Service Block Grant.
Mr. Borger said the primary purpose of the grant is to address poverty issues, remove barriers, and help citizens and counties to become more self-sufficient.
County Attorney- Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners and discussed county business.
She reviewed the resolution for the Natural Resource Management Plan update and thought it was fine to sign. Chairman Wade told her that the Commissioners and Niobrara Conservation District were going to meet at Washington Park for a joint signing. Attorney Wasserburger said that all action and discussion must occur in an open meeting and they are okay to sign it at the park.
The group discussed the possibility of the railroad no longer plowing fire lines. Attorney Wasserburger said she will investigate the matter further and report back.
Chairman Wade said that the Hospital Board members invited the Commissioners, the Town of Lusk Council, and the Mayor to discuss the ambulance service on August 10, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.
Resolution 21-12- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to adopt Resolution 21-12, a resolution approving the Niobrara County Natural Resources Management Plan. 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: https://www.niobraracounty.org/_departments/_commissioners/Resolutions.asp.
Planning and Zoning Board Member Reappointments- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to reappoint Brian Zerbe and James Kruse to the Planning and Zoning Board for three-year terms ending June 30, 2024. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Copier Full Service Contract- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the Copier Full Service Contract between Copier Connection and the Niobrara County Sheriff’s Office. 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 July 20, 2021 meeting, July receipts from the County Clerk for $4,384.00, the Sheriff for $213.25, and the Public Health Nurse for $284.46. Also included was a Petition of Affidavit for Cancellation of Taxes for Justin R. & Katie L. Smith from the 2021 tax roll resulting in a cancellation amount of $336.79 and a tax roll supplement for the 2021 tax year from Warren Broyles & Co. resulting in a supplemental amount of $619.76.
24-Hour Catering Permit- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve a 24-Hour catering permit for the Lusk Liquor Store to sell alcoholic beverages at the Ford wedding reception being held on August 14, 2021. Commissioner Griffith seconded, motion carried.
Payroll and the following vouchers were approved for payment:
Bills are listed in the following format: Vendor – Department – Description – Amount:
Aflac- Various- Supplemental insurance- $6889.26, Allbright’s True Value- Various- supplies, bldg. maintenance- $125.31, Alsco- Road & Bridge- Shop towels & coveralls- $389.17, Barnes Law, LLC.- District Court- Court appointed attorney- $20.00, Becky Blackburn- County Attorney- Supplies- $59.45, Black Hills Chemical & Janitorial- Various- Cleaning & maintenance supplies- $1008.39, Black Hills Energy- Various- Utilities- $323.70, Blue Cross Blue Shield of WY- Co admin- Health insurance- $18325.00, Boldon Diesel Service, LLC.- Assessor- Vehicle repairs- $181.28, Boldon Welding & Repair, LLC.- Road & Bridge- Equipment repairs- $72.00, C & H Tire & Trailer Repair, LLC.- Sheriff- Tires & vehicle repairs- $975.11, Canon Financial Services, Inc.,- Various- Copier service agreements- $291.60, Century Link- Various- Telephones- $1413.63 Century Link Business Services- Various- Telephone- $99.28, Chrisanna Lund- District Court- Travel- $120.40, Colby K. Sturgeon- District Court- Court appointed attorney- $220.00, Communication Technologies, Inc.- Emergency Mgmt.- Supplies- $272.07, Connecting Point Computer Centers- Various- Copier service agreements- $630.00, Cory Wilcox- Coroner- Deputy coroner stipend- $120.00, Decker’s Market- Dispatch- $11.96, Delta Dental of WY- Various- Insurance- $1085.90, Dennis C. Meier- Circuit Court Magistrate- Rent- $1000.00, Double A Properties, LLC.- County Attorney- Rent- $1000.00, Falen Law Offices, LLC.- Commissioners- Natural Resource Plan update- $2907.04, Frank Parts Co.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $129.13, Fusion Cloud Services, LLC.- Various- Telephone- $849.20, Geographic Innovations- Various- Professional mapping- $1300.00, Great-West Trust Co., LLC.- Various- Deferred compensation contribution- $17895.00, GreatAmerica Financial Services- Sheriff- monthly copier service agreement- $103.00, Extension- annual copier service agreement $2,212.29, Hiway Brake & Alignment- Sheriff- Vehicle repairs- $164.91, Honnen Equipment Company- Road & Bridge- Equipment repairs- $5993.87, Jameson Cleaning & Maintenance- Fairgrounds- FG cleaning contract & courthouse maintenance- $6824.57, Katie Krein- Prevention Grant- Operational supports, telephone & prevention svc implementation- $146.80, Kellie Chichester- Extension- 4-H educator travel expense- $67.72, Ken Brown- District Court- Court appointed attorney- $880.00, Local Government Liability Pool- Co admin- Liability insurance- $14,326.00, Lusk Herald- Various- Publications, COVID vaccination notices- $6994.20, Lusk State Bank- Co admin- Payroll taxes- $31500.11, MasterCard- Various- Supplies, subscriptions, computer expense, travel, postage, prevention grant, transports, publications- $4,396.04, NCIC Inmate Communications- Detention Center- Inmate phone cards- $600.00, New Jersey Family Support Payment Center- Payroll- Child support- $819.00, Niobrara County Circuit Court- Payroll- Garnishment- $469.08, Niobrara County Hospital District- 1% Option Tax- $12090.37, Niobrara County Library- Co admin- Deferred compensation- $1725.00, Niobrara County Public Health- Prevention Grant- Grant admin- $228.94, Niobrara County Weed & Pest Control District- Fairgrounds- Fairgrounds weed control- $1489.20, Niobrara Electric Association- Various- Radio tower electricity- $51.20, Office Depot- Various- Supplies- $64.64, Quadient Leasing USA, Inc.- Co admin- Postage meter lease payment- $1197.00, Rawhide Drug Company- Detention Center- Inmate medical- $97.31, Sashana Miller- Detention Center- Inmate medical- $385.00, Swanson Services Corp.- Detention Center- Commissary - $100.30, Team Laboratory Chemical, LLC. – Road & Bridge- Road patch- $847.50, The Master’s Touch, LLC.- Treasurer- Mailing service- $750.00, Thomson Reuters-West- County Attorney- Law library- $159.14, Torrington Office Supply- Various- Supplies- $270.85, Traci Bruegger- Facilities- Cleaning contract- $4500.00, Tyler Technologies- Treasurer- Computer expense- $82.69, Valley Motor Supply- Road & Bridge- Parts- $82.32, Verizon Wireless- Various- Cell phones, computer expense & base fee- $240.43, Vision Service Plan- Various- Insurance- $400.34, Visionary Broadband- Co admin- I T Expense- $438.07, W.A.R.M. Property Insurance Pool- Co admin- Property insurance- $37088.94, WEBT- Co admin- Life insurance- $211.50, Westco- Road & Bridge- Dyed diesel- $1854.29, Whitaker Oil- Various- Fuel- $2158.23, WY Dept. of Health- Various- Quarterly payroll reimbursement- $4311.39, Wyoming Lawn Sprinklers- Various- Maintenance- $180.00, Wyoming Network, Inc.- Co admin- I T expense- $200.00, Xerox Corp.- Co admin- Copier service agreement- $129.87
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Patrick Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5663. Published in The Lusk Herald on August 25, 2021.