County Commission: November Meeting Summary
The Sheridan County Commission met on Wednesday for their regular monthly meeting. Among the items discussed were courthouse security, purchase of an airplane hangar, and an agreement with rural fire districts.
Chairman Mike Nickel opened the meeting by commending courthouse staff for “having another seamless election.” He gave specific congratulations to winners in the commissioner’s race: Terry Cram, Nick Sidddle, and Christi Burgess Haswell.
Next, the commission recognized sheriff’s deputies Charles Gibbons and Kody Lamb, who were not present, for five years of service.
John Stopka, Sheridan County Airport manager, introduced an amendment to the Professional Services Consulting Agreement between the airport and Forecast, Inc. The company provides revenue projections based off of ridership estimates and an average fare. The amendment includes a financial “incentive” for Forecast, Inc. if revenue exceeds projections. Riverton passed the amendment to their agreement with the same company yesterday.
Commissioner Steve Maier said he was “not a big fan” of incentives of this type and the other commissioners agreed.
Commissioner Ringley asked what exactly the incentive was for, stating that a company should give the job “100 percent,” no matter what. Stopka explained that the work that goes into accomplishing projected revenue is collaborative. “We have to sell the tickets. They have to manipulate the seats,” he said. The amendment expires in June, which was the only reason the commissioners passed it. They will revisit the incentive issue at that time.
County Administrative Director Renee Obermueller outlined the updated Disaster Mitigation Plan. Counties must review their plan every four years in order to qualify for FEMA funding, and Homeland Security of Wyoming sets aside money to help counties comply. The commissioners unanimously voted to adopt the updated plan, which will be available on the county website.
The commissioners also unanimously passed a liquor license transfer from the Big Horn Smokehouse to Livery Stable, LLC, the new owner of the building. The license is “seasonal part-time” as the business will operate May through October, Monday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The license was signed by George P. Fletcher of Fletcher Development, LLC.
Obermueller also presented a grant agreement with the state to help enhance existing surveillance and security in the courthouse. The county started surveillance of the courthouse in 2008, and it has been “on our own dollar” since, so the commissioners were excited to be able to tap state funds.
Security enhancements to the courthouse will include replacing cameras, securing doors in the district court area, and installing alarm panic buttons in a couple of offices.
The funding comes from a state fund for courthouses in general, not just courtrooms. Consultants advised using only one entrance guarded by a full time deputy, bulletproof windows, and metal detectors.
Obermueller said the consultants didn’t fully understand the character of our community. “We’re just not there. For our needs, we are adequately covered,” she said. Anything else wouldn’t be worth the expense and inconvenience to our rural citizens. The grant agreement, in the amount of $22,515, passed.
The commissioners also passed a purchase agreement, and two leases, in order to secure ownership of a hangar at the airport.
Additionally, an amendment to a memorandum of understanding with the Sheridan Community Land Trust related to extending the Soldier Ridge trail system passed.
The final major piece of business was introduced by Deputy County Attorney Clint Beaver. He presented the commission with a joint-powers agreement for a county fire board. Beaver said the traditional “county fire board” wasn’t actually a legal entity.
The proposal creates a joint-powers board, an entity authorized in recent statutes, which didn’t exist in the 1960s, when the county fire board was formed. The commission voted to approve the agreement. The new joint powers fire board will continue to serve the same purpose as the former fire board.
The six rural fire districts have already met and approved the joint-powers agreement. The city fire department will not be involved, as the board will largely deal with funding matters unique to county fire districts. The board will have seven members including one representing Sheridan County. The agreement will go into effect in January of 2019.