County Commissioners approve appointments

Brandie Collins
Posted 6/6/24

Niobrara County Commissioners held their first meeting of the month on June 4. The commissioners appointed John Lashmett to the Predator Board as Sportsman-at-large. James Kruse and Brain Zerbe were reappointed to the Planning and Zoning Board for three-year terms.

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County Commissioners approve appointments

Posted

Niobrara County Commissioners held their first meeting of the month on June 4. The commissioners appointed John Lashmett to the Predator Board as Sportsman-at-large. James Kruse and Brain Zerbe were reappointed to the Planning and Zoning Board for three-year terms.

A 24-hour catering permit was granted to the Lusk Liquor Store for June 22 in order to provide service for the Alumni Banquet. A 24-hour catering permit was also approved July 12 and 13 to accommodate the Legend of Rawhide dance.

The commissioners set election personnel pay at a higher rate to compensate for their help this year. They decided to that the raise would be appropriate due to the higher minimum wages.

Road and Bridge foreman Fred Thomas reported that there was an increase of drilling activity within Niobrara County. Thomas stated that that the drilling companies must be held responsible for repairing county roads that they are frequently travel on. Such travel wears the gravel paths down, thereby creating potholes. Wetsell Company will begin replacing six auto gates for Cheyenne River and one head wall for 28 Mile Road as soon as their bond paperwork has been signed off on. The bond has already been approved. Wetsell needs to have the bond signed and sent off. Benchmark Engineer Brian Wakefield told the commissioners that he anticipates the completion of the bond paperwork this week. So, work on the project can begin later this month. According to Thomas, there is some concern over potentially adverse effects that wet weather could have on the concrete laying for the wall. The commissioners decided to approve this conditionally so that the work can be started.

Wakefield also reported that a survey that will be mailed to Niobrara County residents by the end of the week. Survey recipients have the option of filling out a physical questionnaire or completing one electronically. Printed surveys must be mailed back.  

Clerk of District Court Chrisanna Lund reported that she has new outdoor cameras for the Court House. A new camera for the election room is also ready for installation.

Undersheriff Kelly Dean reported that some Sheriff’s Office employees were ready to go to the academy and that most of the staff were exhausting their existing leave balances.

Melanie Pearce, the Public Health Regional Supervisor, told the commissioners that the open house her department held last Thursday was a success. Pearce said that quite a few people attended. Several attendees received vaccines and door prizes. She also pointed out that Public Health now has a new sign on their building.

County Attorney Annie Wasserburger told the commissioners that there were contracts that were “good to go.” There was a standard Rapid Fire Company agreement with the Niobrara County Sheriff’s Office that was ready to be signed.

Emergency Management Director James Santisteven reported that he did some weather spotting over the weekend. He was notified by Dispatch and the National Weather Service concerning storms that could potentially produce ping pong sized hail. He had also been at the fairgrounds to ensure the safety of Junior Rodeo Association attendees. A storm briefly formed but dissipated very quickly.

Emergency Response Coordinator Monica Wilcox told the commissioners that she had attended a meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She said that Homeland Security had used Niobrara County as an example of how emergency services ought to be employed during a flood. Homeland Security’s frame of reference was, of course, the flood that beset Lusk nine-years ago. Wilcox said that they had given Niobrara County kudos for a job well done. Wilcox has been working with EMS (Emergency Medical Services) on storing temperature-sensitive items from the Emergency Trailer. Lusk-Niobrara Ambulance Service Mike Mayville said that the aforementioned things can be stored at the EMS barn.

County Treasurer Keri Thompson reported that May 10 was tax payment time and delinquent notices were mailed. She went to Saratoga, Wyoming for the treasurers meeting. She said that they had discussed property tax refunds. She said that the Treasurer’s Office was able to help 38 people in Niobrara County.

There has been an issue with the Courthouse’s sprinkler systems. Thompson reported that she had to turn the sprinklers off manually. Eventually, the system had to be shut off entirely. The sprinklers weren’t hitting the lawn. Instead, they were hitting the sidewalks and parked vehicles. Thompson told the commissioners that this was an issue with Oftedal, who has been contracted through the Town of Lusk for sewer renovations. Commissioner John Midkiff volunteered to take care of this matter.

The next commissioners meeting will be held on June 18 at the Niobrara County Courthouse at 9 a.m.