NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’
NIOBRARA COUNTY, WYOMING
March 19, 2019
The County Commissioners’ meeting was called to order on this date at 9:03 a.m. with Chairman Patrick H. Wade, Vice-Chair John Midkiff and County Clerk Becky L. Freeman, present. Commissioner Elaine Griffith was present via telephone.
Road and Bridge - Fred Thomas Road and Bridge Foreman, met with the Commissioners and updated them on road and bridge business.
He discussed snow removal and said he would be addressing washouts.
Mr. Thomas discussed a conversation he had with a citizen who requested that Road & Bridge blade a neighbor’s private drive. Mr. Thomas said he could not do work on a private road unless it was an emergency and had concerns about liability because the actual landowner never requested assistance.
The Commissioners agreed with Mr. Thomas and confirmed his concerns about liability issues because the landowner didn’t request assistance.
It remains County Policy that road and bridge won’t go on private property to blade unless it is deemed an emergency.
He will try to meet with Vermillion and Thunder Basin to see what, if any assistance they could offer to help repair washouts.
BenchMark of Torrington- Bob Taylor and Brian Wakefield, engineers with BenchMark of Torrington, met with the Commissioners and discussed the Industrial Road Program. They also handed out copies of various applications, road permit forms for work done in the county’s right of way, oversize/over width permits and guidelines that are used in Goshen County and could be amended to use in Niobrara County at some point in time.
Prevention Coalition- Prevention Coalition Manager Kerry Steward met with the Commissioners to update them on the coalition activities.
She also discussed a funding opportunity for counties which would aid in the prevention of underage drinking. She stated that in the past the grant funding was handled by the State, but now it will be funded at the community level. She said that Converse, Goshen, Niobrara, and Weston counties have been encouraged by state evaluators to, as a region, apply for these funds. There will be a single fiscal agent for the region and Converse County Public Health would be the fiscal agent or manage the grant. If awarded, the grant would start 10/1/19.
Long Building Technologies- Brian Dubois with Long Building Technologies, met with the Commissioners and presented quotes for preventative maintenance on the HVAC systems at the Courthouse, Justice Center, Library and Fairgrounds.
Chairman Wade thanked him for his time and said they would discuss it during the budget session.
Shawn Leimser stopped in and updated the Commissioners on maintenance issues at the fairgrounds, jail and courthouse
County Attorney- Deputy County Attorney Doyle J. Davies met with the Commissioners and updated them on county business.
Executive Session- It was moved by Vice-Chairman Midkiff and seconded by Commissioner Griffith to enter into executive session at 11:25 a.m. with Deputy Attorney Davies, to discuss personnel and potential litigation issues. Motion carried.
It was moved by Vice-Chairman Midkiff and seconded by Commissioner Griffith to reconvene the regular session at 11:45 a.m. No action was taken.
Kenny Keenan met with the Commissioners to discuss a maintenance position. Chairman Wade explained that the position is currently filled and asked him if he would be interested in the position should it become available. Mr. Keenan said he would be and the Commissioners said they would keep him in mind if a position becomes available.
Wildland Fire Management Operating Plan- Assistant fire warden Shawn Leimser met with the Commissioners to discuss the Wildland Fire Agreement. He said there weren’t really any changes from last year.
It was moved by Vice-Chairman Midkiff and seconded by Commissioner Griffith, to sign the operating plan between the USDI BLM, Wyoming State Forestry Division, USDA Forest Service and Niobrara County. Motion Carried.
Transfer of FEMA Grant Funds- It was moved by Commissioner Griffith and seconded by Vice-Chairman Midkiff to sign the letter authorizing the County Treasurer to transfer $142,394.32 from the FEMA 4227 DR WY grant account to the County General Fund to reimburse the County for expenses incurred for road repairs resulting from the 2015 flood. Clerk Freeman wanted to clarify with the Commissioners that the money will be transferred to the general fund then a budget adjustment will be performed transferring said funds into the road and bridge account for road improvements. Motion carried.
Old Business- Chairman Wade discussed planning and zoning board member terms. He also discussed possibly updating the planning and zoning manual in conjunction with the Land Use Plan.
Gene and Joan Lenz met with the Commissioners to inquire about road and bridge policies and county policies on blading a private road due to the bad weather.
Chairman Wade reiterated that the County’s policy is to not blade private landowners’ roads unless it is an emergency and another concern is that we would take away from private industry.
Wyoming Child & Family Development- The Commissioners received a funding request of $1,000.00 and a property tax waiver request from Wyoming Child and Family Development, Inc. for FY 2020. It was moved by Commissioner Griffith and seconded by Vice Chairman Midkiff to approve the funding request of $1,000.00 and grant a property tax waiver. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda- It was moved by Vice-Chairman Midkiff, and seconded by Commissioner Griffith to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried. Items on the consent agenda were the minutes of the March 2, 2019 meeting.
Chairman Wade gave a brief overview of a broadband meeting he recently attended.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.
NIOBRARA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Patrick H. Wade, Chairman
Becky L. Freeman, County Clerk
Public Notice No.5242. Published in The Lusk Herald on April 10, 2019