Public Notice No. 5741.


The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order February 15, 2022 at 9:04 a.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Commissioner Elaine Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman present. Also in attendance was Tyler Martineau with The Lusk Herald. Vice-Chairman John Midkiff was excused.

Road & Bridge- Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners and discussed road and bridge business. 

He said he had discussed gravel prices with Timberline Services and was able to negotiate a better price.  

He also said that the crusher would be at the Manville Pit soon.  He was hoping to purchase 25,000 tons of gravel from that pit also. 

Mr. Thomas said that the state mine inspector was here and suggested closing most if not all of the pits. Mr. Thomas said he wanted to keep them for emergencies. 

Melvin ZumBrunnen contacted Chairman Wade and asked if road and bridge would smooth the Kirtley Cemetery Road. The Commissioners will discuss this further when all board members are present.

County Attorney- Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners and discussed the contract with Wyoming Behavioral Institute.

The group also discussed a towing bill from Jordan Towing. Originally, this was considered a private matter, but upon further discussion, it was determined the vehicle had been impounded and that portions of the bill met the abandoned vehicle statutes. The Commissioners agreed to pay $100.00 of the $211.00 invoice because that is what statute allows for mileage expenses.  The taxi service provided by Jordan Towing was not paid. Attorney Wasserburger said she would draft a letter to Mr. Jordan explaining why only a portion of the bill is being paid.

Dru Bower, President of Dru Consulting, updated the Commissioners via telephone on the Newcastle BLM Resource Management Plan Revision. She has been hired by Niobrara, Weston and Crook Counties to assist the counties in participating as cooperating agencies in the revision of the Newcastle Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Resource Management Plan.  

Ag Literacy Month Proclamation- Chelsea Baars, Lexi Dockery, James Kruse, Travis Krein, and Kevin Baars, with the Niobrara County Farm Bureau Federation met with the Commissioners to discuss the proclamation declaring the week of February 28 – March 4 as Ag Literacy Week. Ms. Baars explained that the mission of the volunteer non-profit organization is to reach out to classrooms to promote agriculture and ensure that children and adults know where their food comes from. 

Chairman Wade said how much he appreciates everything this committee does to educate the youth and adults.  

Commissioner Griffith moved to sign the Ag Literacy Month Proclamation.  Chairman Wade seconded, and the motion carried.  

Commissioner Griffith said that she spoke with Dale Miller and the American Legion hopes to put the flag disposal box at the Elks.

Old Business- There was nothing new on the SLIB Easements and Commissioner Griffith said she is working on Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the planning and zoning manual update.

Elected Officials & Dept. Heads-Treasurer Keri Thompson, Assessor Teri Stephens, County Clerk Beck Freeman, Clerk of Court Chrisanna Lund, Sheriff Cary Gill and 4-H Extension Educator Kellie Chichester met with the Commissioners to discuss legislative topics of interest during this legislative session. 

Vice- Chairman John Midkiff joined the meeting by phone. 

Debbie Sturman and Virginia Pullen from the Library joined the meeting and presented a quote from Miller Construction for $6,800.00 for repairs at the library. The quote is to remove and place the concrete slab at the main door and replace the metal hand railing at the original entrance. 

Ms. Sturman and Mrs. Pullen also discussed the alley access and noted the North entrance is really an exit, but wondered if they could remove the concrete landing and replace it with a concrete ramp down to the alley access. They felt this would be a good thing to have when the street project takes place later this year. 

Chairman Wade inquired as to whether or not the north access changes were necessary but agreed that the other work needed to be done.  

    Lance Creek Water & Sewer District- Todd Nelson, Wylie McGuire, Susan McGuire, and Donna Harvey with the Lance Creek Water and Sewer District and Tyrell Owens with Midwest Assistance program, met with the Commissioners to discuss the possibility of using American Rescue Plan funds to aid them in purchasing rights to a water well.  Currently, the acceptable water contamination levels fall below EPA guidelines.  They are out of compliance in two wells as far as arsenic and radium are concerned.  

Mr. McGuire said that the State wants the district to buy the rights to the well.  The cost would be $33,000.00.  

They have applied for grants, but would only qualify for 35% of $50,000.00.  Ms. Harvey said that the district only has this year to purchase the well.  

The Commissioners said they would like to see buy-in from the district as well and will discuss this matter at their next meeting.

Consent Agenda- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the consent agenda. Chairman Wade seconded, and the motion carried. Items on the consent agenda were the minutes of the February 1, 2022 meeting.

Commissioner Griffith moved to award a conditional permit to the Wyoming Banker’s Association to provide alcohol at their banquet reception.

The Commissioners held a phone conference with Cheryl Johnston of the Wyoming Bankers’ Association to discuss liquor permit requirements in Niobrara County. The Bankers’ Association would like to have a conference in Lusk and have a small 30-minute reception where they can provide the alcohol to the attendees and have it be self-served. The Commissioners explained what Niobrara County requires as far as catering and malt beverage permits are concerned. They asked Ms. Johnston to gather more information and report to them on the matter.

After the phone conversation with the Banker’s Association, Commissioner Griffith rescinded her motion.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.

NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Patrick Wade, Chairman

Attest:

Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk

Public Notice No. 5741. Published in The Lusk Herald on March 16, 2022.

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