The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on October 4, 2022, 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 Judy Lucas with The Lusk Herald and Sheriff Randy Starkey.
Chairman Wade led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Road & Bridge- Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners and updated them on road and bridge business.
Josh Harkins and Ben Martin with BenchMark of Torrington joined the meeting.
Two road crossing permits were received from Bridger Pipeline to bore under K-Field Road (CR 50), located as follows: Lot 4, Section 1, T35N, R67W, and 20 Mile Road (CR 23) located as follows: Lot 1, Section 1, T35N, R67W, to lay and construct an 8” nominal welded steel pipeline for the purpose of crude oil transmission.
Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the petitions from Bridger Pipeline to bore under K-Field and 20 Mile Roads. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Chairman Wade discussed a conversation he had with an individual regarding a weak spot on Wasserburger Road approximately ½ to ¾ miles from the highway. It is a heavily travelled road and needs some material. The individual thought that material from the Brown Pit would work on the road.
Mr. Harkins inquired about potential roads under consideration for future road projects. Mr. Thomas mentioned portions of 20 Mile, Cheyenne River, S Bar Roads, and possibly Petz Road needed work. Chairman Wade reiterated that these are only consideration items and not a final list of potential roads.
Elected Officials and Dept. Heads- Public Health Nurse Supervisor Darcey Cowardin and Public Health Nurse Michelle Kremers said they are getting ready for flu season. They have vaccine available, and they have COVID boosters. There are some flu clinics scheduled, but they recommended that people still call to make an appointment to ensure there is adequate vaccine available.
The group discussed improvement projects for the public health office.
The group discussed temporarily increasing the public health nurse’s hours from 20 per week to 24 per week. The State would pay the cost of the extra hours, but the 35% portion that the county pays of the salary will increase slightly.
Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the extra four hours for the public health nurse to work. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Kellie Chichester, UW Extension/4-H Youth Educator, updated the Commissioners on events happening at the fairgrounds. She wanted to extend her thanks to the Town of Lusk and Royce Thompson, for installing the banners on Main Street, recognizing National 4-H week.
She noted that 4-H Achievement Day is October 16, and the 4-H Carnival will be on October 31.
Keri Thompson, Treasurer, said her office is busy preparing for the upcoming audit.
Becky Freeman, County Clerk, said her office is preparing for the audit as well and the General Election.
Chairman Wade said that Albany, Platte, Laramie, Goshen, and Niobrara Counties will be hosting a congressional tour in August of 2023. This tour takes young congressional staffers from all over the nation to showcase counties.
Chantry Filener met with the Commissioners and discussed IT matters. Discussion was held regarding computer equipment and end point protection programs.
County Attorney- Attorney Anne Wasserburger met with the Commissioners. Jason Keith and Michael Bright of BRC Real Estate out of Denver joined the meeting via telephone. Mr. Keith spoke about representing a client who is planning on purchasing Spirits.
The client wants to purchase a portion of the fairgrounds property as well as all the properties south of Spirits to Napa to create a one or two-acre parcel for retail business.
Chairman Wade said the Commissioners would want to visit with the fair board. He also asked what kind of time frame they are looking at. Mr. Keith said they have a little bit of time, but are trying to assemble properties to make this plan work.
Gene Robinson of Robinson Consulting, LLC., stopped in to report on his findings at the old jail. He said they did find some floor tiles that probably have asbestos as well as some potential insulation concerns. He said he would send the samples to the lab and report back once he receives results.
Mrs. Wasserburger stated work is being done on the grant for the juvenile services board. She will also work on developing the joint powers board agreement and get people appointed. She said that there needs to be at least five members and they must come from law enforcement, the town council, county attorney, commissioners and one other individual.
Sheriff Randy Starkey updated the commissioners on hiring employees and bids for work in the Sheriff’s office. The group also discussed the list of vehicles for sale from Converse County.
There are approximately three commissioned vehicles that he would consider. Chairman Wade said he would contact Converse County Commission Chair Jim Willox for costs.
Michael Harberts met with the Commissioners and discussed IT work he is doing for the assessor’s office. He said he will be managing her computers and servers.
The Commissioners acknowledged receipt of the Predator Board’s Annual Management Report.
The Commissioners received a quote from Mountain Diversified for tree removal on the east side of the courthouse and in front of the justice center for $2,400.00.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve the proposal to remove four dead or dying Elm trees on the east side of the courthouse and in front of the justice center for $2,400.00 Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried.
2023 Annual Compensation Agreement- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve the annual contribution agreement between the University of Wyoming and Niobrara County for a County/UW Extension professional. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried. The County will contribute $26,130.00 annually to the University of Wyoming Extension. These payments will be made quarterly.
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 September 20, 2022 meeting, a tax roll supplement from Wesco Operating, Inc. from the 2022 tax year for $1269.60, and receipts for September from the County Clerk for $4,043.00, from the Clerk of Court for $998.80, and from the Public Health Nurse for $80.00.
Payroll and the following vouchers were approved for payment: Bills are listed in the following format: Vendor- Department- Description- Amount- September Payroll- $117832.44, Aflac- Various- Supplemental insurance- $6570.15, Allbright’s True Value- Various- Parts, supplies- $56.31, Alsco- Road & Bridge- Shop towels & coveralls- $174.22, Anne Wasserburger, County Attorney- Supplies- $86.51, Barnes Law, LLC.- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $550.00, Becky Freeman- County Clerk- Travel expense- $197.75, BenchMark of Torrington- County Road Fund- Engineering fees- $2529.19, Black Hills Chemical & Janitorial- Various- Cleaning & maintenance supplies- $878.07, Black Hills Energy- Various- Utilities- $280.97, Bob Barker Co., Inc.- Detention- Inmate commissary- $52.01, Boldon Diesel Service, LLC.- Road & Bridge- Equipment repairs- $3675.43, Canon Financial Services- Various- Copier service agreements- $330.00, CenturyLink- Various- Telephones- $2160.86, CenturyLink Business- Various- Telephones- $97.59, Colby K. Sturgeon- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $224.72, Connecting Point Computer Centers- Various- Copier service agreements- $503.88, Cory Wilcox- Coroner- Deputy coroner stipend - $150.00, Crook County- Assessor- ESRI GIS maintenance- $4114.00, Decker Auto Glass- Road & Bridge- Equipment repairs- $359.66, Decker’s Market- Various- Supplies, inmate medical - $21.54, Delta Dental of WY- Various- Dental insurance- $1110.85, Dennis C. Meier- Circuit Court Magistrate- Office rent- $1000.00, Double A Properties, LLC.- County Attorney- Office rent- $1000.00, Election Systems & Software, Inc.- Elections-Primary election ballots & site support- $9805.66, First American Title Insurance Co.- ARPA Funds- Closing costs for PH building- $590.00, Frank Parts Co.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $87.60, Fusion Cloud Services, LLC.- Various- Aug. & Sept. telephone- $2062.01, Geographic Innovations- Various- Professional mapping & printed maps - $1360.00, Goshen County Detention Center- Detention – Inmate housing- $1721.00 Great-West Trust Co., LLC.- Various- Deferred compensation contribution- $16424.32, GreatAmerica Financial Services.- Various- Monthly copier service agreements- $103.00, Hometown Country- Detention- Uniforms- $70.00, Jameson Cleaning & Maintenance- Facilities- Fairgrounds cleaning contract - $7500.00, Jub Jub, Inc.- General county- I T expense- $120.00, JW Services, LLC.- County Road Fund- 2022 Road Project Retainage payment- $26354.82, Katie Krein- Prevention Grant- Phone, IT expense, operational supports- $206.87, Kauffman Glass- Facilities- Justice center maintenance- $228.00, Ken Brown- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $1990.00, Lime Rock Resources V-A, L.P- ARPA Funding- Purchase of public health nurse building- $96849.83, Long Building Technologies, Inc.- Facilities- Building/equip. maintenance- $1920.73 Lusk Herald- Various- Publications- $4377.00, Lusk State Bank- Various- Payroll taxes -$35396.77, MasterCard- Various- Supplies, travel, postage, inmate commissary, telephone, schools, IT expense, new equipment- $2538.74, Matthew Mullen- Facilities- Building/equip. maintenance- $1200.00, Michelle Kremers- Various- Travel, supplies - $267.50, NCIC Inmate Communications- Detention- Inmate phone- $68.12, Niobrara County Hospital District- 1% Option Tax - $15647.22, Niobrara County Library- General County- Deferred compensation- $1725.00, Niobrara County Public Health- Public Health Grants indirect costs- $706.14, Niobrara County Treasurer- ARPA Funds & Treasurer- Property taxes on public health building, postage- $933.53, Niobrara Electric Association- Various- Radio tower electricity- $51.95, Office Depot- Various- Supplies- $92.66, Rancher’s Feed & Supply, Inc.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $79.10, Rawhide Drug Company- Various- Supplies, inmate medical- $160.75, Shook, Hardy, & Bacon- General county- I T cyber incident support- $4066.50, Smith Psychological Services- Dispatch- Employee medical- $400.00, Swanson Services Corp.- Detention Center- Inmate Commissary- $518.30, Team Laboratory Chemical, LLC.- Facilities- Fairgrounds supplies- $162.50, Teri Stephens- Assessor- Travel expense- $69.52,Thomson Reuters-West- County Attorney- Law library- $163.91, Torrington Office Supply- Various- Supplies- $264.17, Town of Lusk- Various- Utilities- $2649.36, Traci Bruegger- Facilities- Cleaning contract- $4300.00, Tyler Technologies- Various- Computer expense- $165.38, Valley Motor Supply-Road & Bridge- Parts- $571.75, Verizon Wireless- Various- Cell phones, new equipment, computer expense & base fee- $381.40, Vision Service Plan- Various- Vision Insurance $390.50, Visionary Broadband- Various- I T expense- $447.85, WEBT- Co admin- Health & life insurance- $18311.65, Westco- Road & Bridge- Fuel- $13637.47, Whitaker Oil- Various- Fuel- $3518.37, Wyo Lawn & Tree- Facilities- Lawn care- $110.75, Wyoming Association of County Offices- Dues- $400.00, Wyoming Dept. of Workforce Services- General County- Quarterly Worker’s Comp. payment- $8860.72, Wyoming Machinery Co.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $79.56, Wyoming Network, Inc.- General County- IT expense- $200.00, Xerox Corp.- Co admin- Copier service agreement- $130.30, Payroll Deductions & Accounts payable total- $316576.99
Grand total for September- $434409.43
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Attest: Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5846. Published in The Lusk Herald on October 26, 2022.