The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on November 16, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Vice-Chairman John Midkiff, Commissioner Elaine Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman present. Tyler Martineau with The Lusk Herald was also present.
Chairman Wade led in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Public Hearing- Chairman Wade recessed the regular meeting to hold a public hearing on retail liquor license renewals for Paleo Park and the Pronghorn Bar. Clerk Freeman said the applications were in order and the State had received and reviewed them. There were no other comments in favor of or in opposition to the renewals. Chairman Wade closed the public hearing at 9:03 a.m.
The regular meeting reconvened.
Retail Liquor License Renewals- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the renewal of a retail liquor license for Arlene Rapp, doing business as Paleo Park. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve the renewal of a retail liquor license for Rex F. Groves, doing business as the Pronghorn Bar. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried.
Road & Bridge- Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners and discussed road and bridge business.
He said he discussed stockpiling road millings with a local landowner and he was willing to host a staging area to store them. The landowner asked if he could have some of the millings in lieu of payment. Mr. Thomas said he still needed to visit with the State about the exact location for the storage of the product. These millings will be from the 2023-2024 state road projects in Niobrara County.
He informed Commissioner Griffith that he had looked at the North Jireh railroad crossing and said there was nothing he could do about the condition of the crossing. He said that it is a matter for the railroad to handle.
Josh Harkins with BenchMark of Torrington met with the Commissioners and Mr. Thomas to discuss a road rehabilitation project for the far west end of North Lance Creek Road.
The project would be approximately 5.5 miles with an 18’ road width.
The group had concerns about trucking costs due to the distance they would have to haul the material.
After further discussion, the Commissioners decided to have Mr. Harkins prepare a contract for bid. Tentative dates for the pre-bid and bid openings will be on January 5, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. and January 18, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. respectively.
Old Business- Clerk Freeman updated the group on the American Rescue Plan application and the socioeconomic plan funding.
Chairman Wade discussed an invitation from the Bureau of Land Management to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation and development of the Newcastle and Nebraska Resource Management Plans Revision and associated environmental impact statement.
County Attorney- Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners and discussed county business. She said the postage meter lease appeared in order and was ready to be signed.
Executive Session- Commissioner Griffith moved to enter into executive session at 11:04 a.m. to discuss personnel matters. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Commissioner Griffith moved to leave executive session at 11:29 a.m. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried. There was no action taken.
Executive Session- Commissioner Griffith moved to enter into executive session at 11:32 a.m. to discuss potential litigation. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to leave executive session at 11:52 a.m. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried. There was no action taken.
Postage Meter Lease- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to sign a product lease agreement with Quadient Leasing for an iX-7 series postage meter and accessories for 63 months at $133.57 per month. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried.
The Commissioners met with Niobrara County Planning and Zoning board members Sena Pearson, Brian Zerbe, Dan Henry Hanson, Rick Bridge, and James Kruse, to discuss revising the County’s existing planning and zoning manual.
Chairman Wade said he had contacted the natural resource attorney for the Wyoming County Commissioners’ Association and she suggested that we could adopt a plan using another county’s plan as long as we have that county’s permission.
The group reviewed another county’s plan because of the wind development occurring in that county.
Mrs. Pearson said she had visited with Platte County’s planning and zoning office and they offered assistance.
The group reviewed the TruGreen Lawn Care Service annual plan and Commissioner Griffith suggested obtaining a quote from Wyoming Lawn and Tree to compare services and prices.
Commissioner Griffith moved to authorize Clerk Freeman to sign the Corona Virus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds application. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Predator Board Member Reappointment- Commissioner Griffith moved to reappoint Royce Thompson to the Predator Board as a sportsman member for a term of three years. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Consent Agenda- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the consent agenda. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried. Items on the consent agenda were the minutes of the November 2, 2021, and a rebate of taxes for Balidor Oil & Gas, LLC. for $109.99 from the 2021 tax rolls.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5697. Published in The Lusk Herald on December 15, 2021.