The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on November 1, 2022, at 9:04 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 Undersheriff Kelly Dean.
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.
He discussed the proposed winter road project on portions of Cheyenne River Road. He said that due to the distance to haul material one way to the project, he was considering purchasing material from the Fisher Pit east of Newcastle. He also discussed purchasing water and trucking expenses included with the project. He will contact BenchMark of Torrington to begin a plan.
He said the crew will work on Manville Spur today and get it ready for gravel, and he hopes to place some gravel on 20 Mile Road next week.
Dru Bower with Dru Consulting called in to discuss the BLM Resource Plan revisions. Lisa Shaw with the Niobrara Conservation District was also in attendance via telephone.
Ms. Bower asked what the Commissioners hoped to gather from the meeting tomorrow evening. Chairman Wade said he expected a lot of attendance from Niobrara County residents and expected them to be very engaged.
Ms. Bower wanted to know the concerns and expectations of the Commissioners. Chairman Wade said the last time a revision was done, many people thought a lot of the plan infringed on private property rights. He also stated that with the new resource plan, custom and culture and property rights will be a concern.
Chairman Wade also addressed a concern expressed by a landowner regarding the Biden 30x30 land initiative. There are concerns that the BLM will try to include this in some fashion.
Ms. Bower said the public comment period was extended to November 28. She will draft some comments by November 14th for the Commissioners to review.
It was noted that a Memorandum of Understanding needs to be signed between the BLM and Niobrara County as a Cooperating Agency for the BLM Resource Plan Revisions and include language in there allowing Ms. Bower to act on behalf of our agency.
Elected Officials and Dept. Heads- James Santistevan, Emergency Manager, discussed a meeting he attended and said he needs to begin working on revising the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). He also addressed incidents concerning the fire sensors at the fairgrounds. The filters were dirty and were creating false reports of fires. The filters have been replaced and the system appears to be working properly.
Kelly Dean, Undersheriff, said they are still down one dispatcher and it is business as usual.
Kellie Chichester, Extension/4-H Educator reported on the Halloween Carnival and she said it went very well. The Extension Office will be hosting a Mustard Seed dinner on November 9, 2022 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Keri Thompson, Treasurer, updated the Commissioners on office operations.
Josh Harkins and Ben Martin, with BenchMark of Torrington, presented letters they will be mailing to box holders regarding the upcoming meeting for the planning and zoning manual rewrite.
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk, said her office is busy preparing for the upcoming General Election.
Chrisanna Lund, Clerk of Court said she spoke to Dave Lingelbach about fixing the carpet in her office. It has a wrinkle in it that is a tripping hazard and it needs to be removed. She also mentioned there are issues with the door handle going to the elevator.
Commissioner Griffith discussed next year’s congressional tour of which Niobrara County will be a part along with Platte, Laramie and Albany Counties. Goshen County might participate as well.
She said that some of the senior staffers are chosen to come to Wyoming to showcase various counties.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff discussed helping with the testing of election equipment.
Chairman Wade discussed the BLM Resource Plan update and said the Commissioners are planning to bid out a winter road project. He said there is approximately 2.4 miles on Cheyenne River Road that needs repaired.
He said they have only received one bid for snow removal.
Dean Nelson joined the meeting.
Resolution 22-15- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve Resolution 22-15 designating and declaring the week of November 7-13, 2022 as Operation Greenlight for Veterans and to encourage citizens and businesses to display a green light in a window of their residence or business. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded and the motion carried. A complete copy of the resolution is available on the county’s website at: www.niobraracounty.org/_departments/_commissioners/Resolutions.asp.
24- Hour Catering Permit- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve a 24-Hour Catering Permit for the Silver Dollar Bar to sell alcoholic beverages at the fairgrounds on November 12, 2022, for the Boots and Bling Gala. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried.
County Attorney- Deputy Doyle Davies met with the Commissioners to discuss county business. Also in attendance were Teri Goddard, Tandy Dockery, and Ron Nelson, fair board members, Dean Nelson, and Kellie Chichester with the Extension Office. The group discussed the proposed offer they received to sell a portion of the Niobrara County Fairgrounds. This sale is contingent upon the sale of the adjoining properties and Chairman Wade wanted to impress on everyone that nothing be done on the county’s part that would put stress on surrounding landowners to sell.
Ms. Dockery said that the fair board has two members in favor of the sale, two opposed to the sale and one that is undecided. She asked where the proceeds of the sale would go if it went through. Chairman Wade said the money would have to go to the general fund, but thought some of it then needed to go towards fairgrounds maintenance and repairs.
Dean Nelson said there is a portion of land in Spirits parking lot that the Town of Lusk owns. If the property sold, he said they would have to go out to bid and no one has contacted them about vacating the alley.
The Commissioners discussed Community Juvenile Services Board Grant and noted that the wording for the joint powers board should be changed to a Community Juvenile Advisory Board. An advisory board allows everything to be run through the Commissioners and they ultimately make the decisions. It was noted that WYOHelp in Goshen County would administer the grant and any employee hired would be their employee.
Consent Agenda- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve the consent agenda. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried. Items on the consent agenda were the minutes of the October 18, 2022 meeting and receipts for October from the County Clerk for $3,317.50 and from the Sheriff for September for $580.00.
Payroll and the following vouchers were approved for payment:
Bills are listed in the following format: Vendor- Department- Description- Amount- October Payroll- $114809.64, Aflac- Various- Supplemental insurance- $6570.15, 3 Sister’s Truck Stop- Road & Bridge- Fuel- $49.95, Allbright’s True Value- Various- Parts, supplies- $293.41, Alsco- Road & Bridge- Shop towels & coveralls- $940.03, Anne Wasserburger, Co. Attorney- Supplies, dues- $645.69, ArcaSearch- Co. Clerk- Annual support fee- $6320.00, BAM Document Destruction & Recycling, LLC.- Sheriff- Document shredding- $234.90, Barnes Law, LLC.- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $360.00, BenchMark of Torrington- County Road Fund- Engineering fees- $7368.98, Black Hills Chemical & Janitorial- Various- Cleaning & maintenance supplies- $216.65, Black Hills Energy- Various- Utilities- $464.65, Blue Tarp Financial.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $39.99, Body Builders Body Shop- Sheriff- Vehicle repairs- $2890.50, Canon Financial Services- Various- Copier service agreements- $380.00, CenturyLink- Various- Telephones- $2147.91, CenturyLink Business- Various- Telephones- $87.08, Chantry Filener- General County- IT support- $4042.00, Cheyenne Cardiology Consultants- General County- Involuntary hospitalization- $95.28, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center- General County- Involuntary hospitalization- $8287.41, Cheyenne Regional Medical Group- General County- Involuntary hospitalization- $357.72, Civic Plus- COVID Vaccination Outreach Grant- Supplies- $1484.28, Connecting Point Computer Centers- Various- Copier service agreements- $391.51, Cory Wilcox- Coroner- Deputy coroner stipend - $150.00, County Clerks’ Assoc. of WY- Co. Clerk- Dues- $500.00, Decker’s Market- Various- Supplies - $263.17, Delta Dental of WY- Various- Dental insurance- $1063.95, Dennis C. Meier- Circuit Court Magistrate- Office rent- $1000.00, Double A Properties, LLC.- Co. Attorney- Office rent- $1000.00, Election Systems & Software, Inc.- Elections- General Election ballots & programming- $1517.59, Frank Parts Co.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $163.63, Geographic Innovations- Various- Professional mapping - $1300.00, Goshen County Detention Center- Detention – Inmate housing- $660.00 Great-West Trust Co., LLC.- Various- Deferred compensation contribution- $16825.00, GreatAmerica Financial Services.- Various- Monthly copier service agreements- $121.87, Honey Badger Towing & Recovery, LLC.- Sheriff- Abandoned vehicles- $767.00, Jameson Cleaning & Maintenance- Facilities- Fairgrounds cleaning contract - $7500.00, Joe’s Landscaping & Services- Tree & weed cleanup at Public Health Nurse office- $1200.00, Jordan Towing- Sheriff- Vehicle repairs- $275.57, Joseph Bleming- Facilities- Justice center maintenance- $22.70, Katie Krein- Prevention Grant- Phone, IT expense, operational supports- $118.71, Ken Brown- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $1340.00, Kroll Associates, Inc.- General Co. - Cyber incident 2- $72.52, Lawson Products, Inc.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $286.64, Lusk Herald- Various- Publications- $3148.24, Lusk State Bank- Various- Payroll taxes -$34346.71, MasterCard- Various- Supplies, travel, postage, inmate commissary, telephone, schools, IT expense, new equipment- $4191.31, Matney Auction Service- County road fund- Pipe for auto gates- $21975.00, Matthew Gordon- Public Health Response Coordinator- Travel expense- $635.66, Michael Harberts- General Co. - IT expense- $1690.00, Michelle Kremers- Various- Travel, supplies - $167.51, NCHD- Various- Employee medical- $200.00, NCIC Inmate Communications- Detention- Inmate phone- $95.86, Nebraska Safety & Fire Equipment Inc.- Facilities- Justice center maintenance- $720.00, Niobrara County Hospital District- 1% Option Tax - $19865.88, Niobrara County Library- General Co. - Quarterly allocation in lieu of mill levy & deferred compensation- $38640.75 - Niobrara Electric Association- Various- Radio tower electricity- $51.63, Office Depot- Various- Supplies- $119.54, Pier Funeral Home- Coroner- Supplies- $366.00, Quadient Leasing- General Co.- Qtrly. postage meter lease payment- $1202.19, Rawhide Drug Company- Detention- Inmate medical- $47.17, Robinson Contracting, Inc.- Commissioners- Old Jail asbestos assessment- $3500.00, Ryan’s Custom Design- Road & Bridge- New equipment- $3000.00, Smith Psychological Services- Various- Employee medical- $800.00, Swanson Services Corp.- Detention Center- Inmate Commissary- $274.94, Teri Stephens- Assessor- Travel expense- $61.60, Thomas Y Pickett- Assessor- Professional appraisal- $4000.00, Thomson Reuters-West- County Attorney- Law library- $163.91, Torrington Office Supply- Various- Supplies- $259.10, Town of Lusk- Various- Utilities- $2217.10, Traci Bruegger- Facilities- Cleaning contract- $4300.00, UW Extension- Extension- Co. share 4-H educator qtrly. salary- $6532.50 Valley Motor Supply-Road & Bridge- Parts- $22.79, Verizon Wireless- Various- Cell phones, computer expense & base fee- $435.38, Vision Service Plan- Various- Vision Insurance $400.34, Visionary Broadband- Various- I T expense- $342.50, WEBT- Co admin- Health & life insurance- $15678.45, Westco- Road & Bridge- Fuel- $6609.04, Western Pathology Consultants, P.C.- Coroner- Autopsy- $325.00, Whitaker Oil- Various- Fuel- $1831.36, WY Dept. of Health- Co share of public health nurse salary (2 qtrs.)- $8491.94, Wyoming Enterprise Technology- Various- IT expense- $20.00, WYDOT Financial Services- Co. Clerk- Supplies- $240.40, Wyo Lawn & Tree- Facilities- Lawn care- $110.75, WY Assoc. of Co. Offices- W.A.C.O. registration fees- $800.00, Wyoming Network, Inc.- General County- IT expense- $200.00, Wyoming Public Health Laboratory- Public health nurse- Medical supplies- $28.00, WWC- Detention- Inmate meals- $2643.95, Xerox Corp.- Co admin- Copier service agreement- $130.52, Payroll Deductions & Accounts payable total- $270699.46
Grand total for October- $385509.10
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5857. Published in The Lusk Herald on November 23, 2022.