Public Notice No. 6023

The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on December 19, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Patrick H. Wade. Vice-Chairman John Midkiff, Commissioner Griffith, and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman were present. Sheriff Randy Starkey and Brandie Collins with the Lusk Herald were in attendance.

Road and Bridge- Foreman Thomas reported on road and bridge business and noted they were busy working on equipment.

Old Business- There was nothing new to report on the old jail or the juvenile services program at this time.

Resolution 23-09- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve Resolution 23-09 setting the 2024 Commissioner Meeting Dates. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried. The resolution is available on the County’s website at www.niobraracounty.org/commissioners/resolutions.

Executive Session- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to enter executive session at 9:17 a.m. with Deputy County Attorney Doyle J. Davies, Darcey Cowardin, County Nurse Manager, Melissa Ohnstad, State Supervisor, and Stephanie Lund, Regional Public Health Nurse Supervisor, to discuss personnel issues. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried.

Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to leave executive session at 9:31 a.m. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried. No action was taken.

Leslie Stewart, Commissioner for State Parks and Cultural Resources, and Cindy Martinez, Brownfields and Orphan Sites Program Supervisor, met with the Commissioners others to discuss the old jail and potential Brownfields remediation.

Ms. Martinez explained the Brownfields program and what it could provide in the way of asbestos and lead clean up.

She said the State Partnership for Urban and Rural Development (SPURR) could conduct a Phase 1 assessment at no cost to the County which includes researching the history of the property and understanding Road Site and Planning its past uses. She also explained additional phases of SPURR.

Commissioner Griffith moved to go ahead with SPURR to review the old jail. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried.

BenchMark of Torrington- Brian Wakefield, Bob Taylor, Rachelle Anderson, and Kevin Boates, with BenchMark of Torrington met with the Commissioners and Planning and Zoning members Jordan Reed, Sena Pearson, Marilyn Nelson, James Kruse, and Road & Bridge Foreman Fred Thomas to review the planning and zoning manual revision. They also presented cost proposals for a County Road Use manual and an updated Land Use Plan (LUP).

Chairman Wade explained that we must have an updated LUP in place before we can adopt new Planning and Zoning standards.

            Mr. Taylor explained that everything goes hand in hand and references each other. He also said that the current LUP is in decent shape, but it needs to be updated to reflect new energy sources. 

            The Commissioners anticipated moving forward with the Road Street design and use plan.

            Mike Mayville stopped in and presented information on salt free products to use for the new concrete. Calcium Magnesium Chlorate is supposed to be safe, but it isn’t for new concrete.  He is having difficulties finding compliant products. He noted that the east side is the worst side as it is all new concrete. There was discussion about using sand to help with the snow. Commissioner Griffith suggested getting heavy duty outdoor mats for the outside entrances to help keep the sand from tracking into the courthouse.

Cheryl Lund joined the meeting.

            Sheriff Randy Starkey updated the Commissioners on the status of the roof project. He is trying to hire more people for detention.

            He also discussed enrolling in Wyoming retirement for law enforcement. He presented different contribution amounts that other counties contribute to the plan.

He said the roofing is supposed to be done by Feb. 24th, then the inside work can begin.

            Chairman Wade asked him if there was any way the County could be reimbursed by the Highway Patrol for extra patrolling done due to a shortage of Highway Patrol Officers. Sheriff Starkey said he would investigate it.

            Resolution 23-10 2024 Holidays- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve Resolution 23-10 establishing official holidays for 2024. Vice-Chairman Midkiff seconded, and the motion carried. The resolution is available on the County’s website at www.niobraracounty.org/commissioners/resolutions.

            Fair Board Member Reappointments- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to reappoint Jessie Reed to the fair board for a five-year term. Commissioner Griffith seconded and the motion carried.

            Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to reappoint Teri Goddard to the fair board for a five-year term with a start date retroactive to January 2023. Commissioner Griffith seconded, and the motion carried.

            24-Hour Catering Permit- Commissioner Griffith moved to approve a 24-Hour Catering Permit for Spirits to sell alcoholic beverages for the School Staff Annual Christmas Party. Commissioner Griffith seconded and the motion carried.

            Christmas Bonuses- Vice-Chairman Midkiff moved to approve a Christmas bonus to permanent full and part-time employees contingent upon the auditor’s approval. Full-time employees will receive $100 and part-time employees will receive $75.00.

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 December 5, 2023 meeting, a tax roll supplement for Vermilion Energy USA, LLC., from the 2023 tax year for $6,015.83 and receipts for November from the Sheriff for $276.00.

 

            There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.

 

                                                                                    NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

                                                                                                Patrick Wade, Chairman

Attest:
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk

Public Notice No. 6023. Published in The Lusk Herald on January 10, 2024.