The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on December 6, 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, Sheriff Randy Starkey, and Undersheriff Kelly Dean.
Chairman Wade led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Road and Bridge- Foreman Fred Thomas met with the Commissioners and discussed road and bridge business. He updated them on road maintenance and presented a quote from John Deere for a new blade. He is waiting for a quote from Wyoming Machinery on a blade also.
The Commissioners and Mr. Thomas reviewed the quote from Rawhide Fabrication for auto gates.
Old Business- Commissioner Griffith updated the Board on the public health nurse building remodel. She has conducted a walk through with one contractor so far. She also discussed snow removal at the library.
Community Services Juvenile Grant Program- Commissioner Griffith did not know if the grant had been approved; however, there is someone in Niobrara County that is interested in the staff position. She said the application is extremely lengthy but will be trimmed down. She also discussed a Zoom meeting she attended regarding this grant and said a program director met with the group and would help them develop goals and draft plans.
Sheriff Starkey said he had talked to Converse County about their vehicles they are disposing of and said that two will be ready soon.
Predator Board Sportsman Appointment- The Commissioners received a letter from the Predator Board recommending that Richard Edwards be appointed as a Sportsman’s Member.
Commissioner Griffith moved to appoint Richards Edwards to the Predator Board as a Sportsman Member. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried. This is a three-year term.
Elected Officials and Department Heads- Sheriff Starkey addressed an email he received from the Wyoming Department of Transportation regarding a shortage of Highway Patrol and snowplow operators statewide. He said this would have a significant impact on his office because they will be responding to incidents normally managed by the Highway Patrol. He said this will cause an increase in overtime expenses
Treasurer Keri Thompson said her office has been busy conducting day to day transactions.
Clerk of Court Chrisanna Lund said a jury trial was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week and she would be closing her office on Friday morning, December 9th, to attend Judge Ed Buchanan’s robing ceremony. She noted that she is waiting to hear from a contractor on the status of repairs needed in her office.
4-H Youth Educator Kellie Chichester said right now is a slow time for 4-H.
Assessor Teri Stephens said her office is busy entering new construction information.
Emergency Management Coordinator James Santistevan said he was assisting the Town of Lusk with cyber security and discussed sheltering in place during blizzards or other adverse situations.
County Clerk Becky Freeman said her office is busy finishing inputting election information.
Vice-Chairman Midkiff said he has been busy attending meetings for the Planning and Zoning Manual Rewrite.
Chairman Wade gave a brief history as to why the manual requires updating. Currently, there are not any provisions that pertain to wind energy, etc. He explained the first meeting dealt with building codes in the county. The next meeting scheduled for December 8, 2022, will explore wind generation and solar towers as well as road use permits, mainly industrial road use permits.
Public Health Nurse Darcy Cowardin noted there had been an outbreak of COVID at the prison. She said she had found another grant that should help pay for the public health nurse building remodel.
Sheriff Starkey addressed inmate medical invoices and the extreme costs associated with them.
County Attorney- Anne Wasserburger discussed the Memorandum of Understanding between the BLM and Niobrara County regarding plan amendments for the management of Greater Sage-Grouse. She said it was in order and was ready for approval.
Resolution 22-16 – Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the Officials Holidays for 2023. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried. A complete copy of the resolution is available on the County’s website: www.niobraracounty.org.
Resolution 22-17– Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve the Commissioner Meeting Dates for 2023. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried. A complete copy of the resolution is available on the County’s website: www.niobraracounty.org.
Memorandum of Understanding for Greater Sage Grouse- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the Memorandum of Understanding establishing a cooperating agency relationship between the BLM and Niobrara County regarding plan amendments for Greater Sage Grouse for the management of Greater Sage-Grouse. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Wyo Lawn & Tree- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve the renewal of yearly services for 2023 with Wyo Lawn and Tree for courthouse and justice center for $526.05 and for the library for $347.95. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.
Consent Agenda- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve the consent agenda. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried. Items on the consent agenda included the minutes of the November 15, 2022, meeting, and receipts for November from the County Clerk for $6602.44, and from the Clerk of Court for $1369.58.
Payroll and the following vouchers were approved for payment:
Bills are listed in the following format: Vendor- Department- Description- Amount- November Payroll- $128306.47, Aflac- Various- Supplemental insurance- $6022.14, Allbright’s True Value- Various- Parts, supplies- $215.81, Alsco- Road & Bridge- Shop towels & coveralls- $348.44, Amanda Dawson- Elections- Election night help- $25.00, Anne Wasserburger, Co. Attorney- Supplies, dues- $230.49, Barb DeGering- Elections- Election Judge- $180.00, Barbara Orr- Elections- Election judge- $167.50, Barnes Law, LLC.- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $730.00, Becky L. Freeman- Elections- Travel expense, supplies- $245.56, BenchMark of Torrington- County Road Fund- Engineering fees, planning and zoning manual work- $15,769.79, Black Hills Chemical & Janitorial- Various- Cleaning & maintenance supplies- $1100.14, Black Hills Energy- Various- Utilities- $1414.69, Boldon Diesel Service, LLC- Road & Bridge- Equipment repairs- $168.27, Canon Financial Services- Various- Copier service agreements- $380.00, Carla Stroh- Elections- Election judge- $185.00, Carmen Shane- Elections- Election night help- $20.00, CenturyLink- Various- Telephones- $2287.16, CenturyLink Business- Various- Telephones- $70.95, Christina ZumBrennan- Detention- Inmate medical- $1500.00, Colby K. Sturgeon- Clerk of Court-Court appointed attorney- $220.00, Computer Projects of Illinois, Inc.- Dispatch- Computer expense- $198.00, Connecting Point Computer Centers- Various- Copier service agreements- $626.73, Connie Baker- Elections- Election judge- $135.00, Cory Wilcox- Coroner- Deputy coroner stipend - $150.00, Danese Reed- Elections- Election judge- $164.06, Decker’s Market- Various- Supplies - $94.23, Delta Dental of WY- Various- Dental insurance- $1087.40, Denise Baars- Elections- Election judge- $180.00, Dennis C. Meier- Circuit Court Magistrate- Office rent- $1000.00, Donna Thompson- Elections- Election judge- $157.50, Dooley Oil, Inc.- Road & Bridge- Oil- $958.15, Double A Properties, LLC.- Co. Attorney- Office rent- $1000.00, Elaine Francis- Elections- Election judge- $138.13, Election Systems & Software, Inc.- Elections- General Election ballots & programming- $494.55, Floyd’s Truck Center- Road & Bridge- Parts- $667.84, Frank Parts Co.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $443.43, Fritz’s Septic- Election- Maintenance- $225.00, Fusion Cloud Services- Various- Telephones- $2382.96, Geographic Innovations- Various- Professional mapping - $1816.88, Great-West Trust Co., LLC.- Various- Deferred compensation contribution- $17840.00, GreatAmerica Financial Services.- Various- Monthly copier service agreements- $103.00, Hiway Brake & Alignment- Sheriff- Vehicle repairs- $103.00, Hometown Country- Sheriff- Uniforms- $1025.00, Honey Badger Towing & Recovery, LLC.- Sheriff- Abandoned vehicles- $95.00, Hospital Auxiliary- General County- Supplies- $70.00, Jackie Bredthauer- Elections- Election judge- $180.00, Jameson Cleaning & Maintenance- Facilities- Fairgrounds cleaning contract, courthouse maintenance- $7725.00, Jennifer Kottwitz- Elections- Election judge- $203.75, Julieanne Greenough- Elections- Election judge- $155.00, Karen Alvis- Elections- Election night help- $20.00, Karen Gaukel- Elections- Election judge- $149.90, Karma Gaukel- Elections- Absentee board- $90.00, Kate Mullen- Elections- Travel expense- $45.00, Katie Krein- Prevention Grant- Phone, IT expense, operational supports- $143.23, Ken Brown- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $2160.00, LeAnn Dixon- Elections- Election judge- $238.75, Lori Himes- Elections- Absentee board- $52.17, Lorrie Reed- Elections- Election judge- $145.00, Lusk Herald- Various- Publications- $2367.00, Lusk State Bank- Various- Payroll taxes -$37500.28, MasterCard- Various- Supplies, travel, postage, inmate commissary, telephone, schools, IT expense, new equipment- $2890.68, Matt Mullen- Elections- Election night help- $20.00, Matthew Gordon- Public Health Response Coordinator- Travel & public health response coordinator expense- $1036.43, Michael G. Mayville- Facilities- Snow removal- $425.00, Michael Harberts- General Co. - IT expense- $600.00, Michelle Kremers- Various- Travel, supplies - $87.51, NCIC Inmate Communications- Detention- Inmate phone- $88.69, Niobrara County Clerk- County Clerk- Postage- $29.69, Niobrara County Hospital District- 1% Option Tax - $17782.27, Niobrara County Library- General Co. - Deferred compensation- $1725.00, Niobrara County Public Health- Public Health- Indirect costs- $396.27, Niobrara Electric Association- Various- Radio tower expense- $52.26, Palen Law Offices, LLP.- Clerk of Court- Court appointed attorney- $2598.92, Pam Parmely- Elections- Election judge- $157.50, Pamela Thomas- Elections- Election judge- $147.50, Pier Funeral Home- Coroner- Equipment repairs- $268.94, Pomp’s Tire Service, Inc.- Election- Equipment repairs- $180.00, Rawhide Drug Company- Detention- Inmate medical- $363.04, Regional West Medical Center- Coroner- Autopsy- $584.35, Ronda Pfister- Elections- Election judge- $142.50, Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc.- Road & Bridge- Oil- $360.16, Schindler Elevator Corp.- Facilities- Quarterly elevator maintenance payment- $1442.75, Shirlee Lambert- Elections- Election judge- $165.00, Swanson Services Corp.- Detention Center- Inmate Commissary- $171.30, Taten Gaukel- Elections- Election night help- $22.50, Teri Bruegger- Elections- Election judge- $197.50, Thomson Reuters-West- County Attorney- Law library- $163.91, Toni Gaukel- Elections- Election night help- $22.50, Torrington Office Supply- Various- Supplies- $477.81, Town of Lusk- Various- Utilities- $2652.27, Traci Bruegger- Facilities- Cleaning contract- $4300.00, Transwest Ford- Road & Bridge- Parts- $157.73, Tyler Technologies- Treasurer- Computer expense- $82.69, Valley Motor Supply-Road & Bridge- Parts- $1129.24, Verizon Wireless- Various- Cell phones, computer expense & base fee- $371.34, Vickie Scott- Elections- Election judge- $200.00, Vision Service Plan- Various- Vision Insurance $370.26, Visionary Broadband- Various- I T expense- $940.48, WEBT- Co admin- Health & life insurance- $17634.96, Vivian Fahy- Elections- Election judge- $150.63,Westco- Road & Bridge- Fuel- $6097.39, Whitaker Oil- Various- Fuel- $3273.28, Wyoming Enterprise Technology- Various- IT expense- $20.00, Wyoming Lawn Sprinklers- Facilities- Sprinkler system maintenance- $225.00, Wyoming Machinery Co.- Road & Bridge- Parts- $180.83, Wyoming Network, Inc.- General County- IT expense- $200.00, Wyoming Women’s Center- Detention- Inmate meals- $3511.68, , Xerox Corp.- Co admin- Copier service agreement- $130.30, Payroll Deductions & Accounts payable total- $151088.97
Grand total for November- $ 279395.44
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick Wade, Chairman
Attest: Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No. 5875. Published in The Lusk Herald on January 11, 2023.