August 17, 2021
Town of Guernsey
Platte County, Wyoming
Present: Mayor Paustian, CM Delgado, CM Kelley, CM Augustyn
Staff: L Bryant, M Allred, M Holt, J Thomas.
Guests: Christopher Martinez, Terri Vandam, Christa Bartel, Troy & Shawna Reichert, Pat Russell, Lori Ibarra, Ada Pulos, Craid Gapter, Mark & Bev Spungin, Jim & Elizabeth Pallow.
Via Zoom: Jackie Holtz, Lisa Bristow.
Mayor Paustian called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. The assembly joined in the Pledge of Allegiance and was welcomed to the meeting.
Agenda: CM Kelley moved to approve the agenda as written, seconded by CM Augustyn. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Minutes: CM Delgado moved to approve the regular minutes for August 3, 2021, as written, seconded by CM Kelley. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Consideration of Claims: Mayor Paustian presented the vouchers for approval. CM Augustyn moved to approve the Considerations of Claims for $206,069.17 seconded by CM Delgado. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes. Vouchers follow in their entirety: Anderson Carpet Sales - $519.86, B&C Steel - $1,354.50, Bell, Dana - $72.75, Bob Ruwart Motors - $146.64, Capital Business Systems - $139.58, Caselle - $600, CNA Surety - $350, Conner, William - $72.75, Cowboy Supply House - $202.90, CPS Distributors - $238.78, Crystal Ice - $62.50, Deere Credit - $11,868.60, Guernsey Gazette - $2,743, One-Call Wyoming - $8.25, Reserve Account - $150, Runner, Meredith - $5.75, Sam’s Club MC - $2,029.15, Sarah Mosley Cleaning - $350, Stotz Equipment - $350.00, SYNCB/Amazon - $1031.69, TDS - $1166.58, Town of Wheatland - $1380.58, Vistabeam - $4459.50, WAMCAT - $130, Westco - $1883.58, WEXBank - $4,290.44, Wheatland REA - $39.34, WMPA - $118,562.16, Wyrulec - $447.44. Payroll –$44,660.53, Taxes & Benefits – $10,752.65. Total Vouchers – $206,069.17.
Camp Guernsey Back Brief: C Bartel gave the Camp Guernsey Back Brief. She stated that things on camp are slowing down due to budget constraints and pending reimbursements. Mayor Paustian asked about the recent fire on federal property belonging to Camp Guernsey. Ms Bartel said that this fire occurred in an impact area, there had been no use of ordinance prior to the fire and the cause is still under investigation.
Police Department Vehicle Contract: Sergeant Holt gave the council information on the lease for the new police vehicles. The contract is currently with the town attorney as there are a few things in the contract that need to be addressed before signing. CM Augustyn made a motion to table signing the contract until next council meeting and seconded by CM Kelley. The motion carried with 4 ayes. Holt said that the Guernsey Police Dept has had 64 calls in the last 30 days with at least five arrests, and one recovered stolen truck that was assisted by the Scottsbluff Police Department. He informed the council that all officers have been recertified with standard firearms. Sergeant Holt stated he will enter the academy for leadership development the first week in September. There was a lengthy discussion about the ongoing issue with overgrown weeds, particularly with two business properties on the west end of town. Sergeant Holt had spoken Frank Jones, the town attorney, earlier in the day. Mr Jones advised that the managers of these businesses could legally be cited for the weed ordinance violation. Holt stated he would be following through with these citations. Sergeant Holt also stated that Mr. Jones had given his permission to destroy old evidence that is no longer needed. Sergeant Holt also discussed the purchase of a Stop Stick, a spiked traffic control device that our officers have been trained on. The department has decided to purchase one unit and hang it in the office. Holt stated that the Guernsey Police Dept has been involved in at least 3 high speed chases in the last 12 months making a Stop Stick necessary.
Open Container Permits: Ben’s Bar had requested an Open Container Permit for Gordon Davis Park for August 21 from 12 to 6 p.m. A motion to approve this permit was made by CM Kelley and seconded by CM Augustyn; the motion carried with 4 ayes. Guernsey Volunteer Fire Dept requested an Open Container Permit for upstairs at the VFW for August 21 from 6 to 10 p.m. for their annual Casino Night. A motion was made to approve this permit by CM Augustyn, seconded by CM Kelley, and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Public Comment: Ada Pulos wished to speak about the ongoing weed problem. She said that much has been made of the weed issue on the west side of town, but there is also a problem on the east end. She stated her displeasure over having to clean up weed debris that blows onto her property. She suggested that we might need a new, more stringent ordinance if our current weed ordinance is not strong enough. CM Delgado assured Ms Pulos that the ordinance is adequate as written, but there was a general agreement that the ordinance needs more uniform application.
Christopher Martinez next took the podium. He mentioned the comments of Stacia Cook from the August 3, 2021, council meeting where she praised Guernsey as “an amazing place” to live. He seconded this and gave the room some history of the many times this community has come together to help their own. He addressed Floyd’s Floats and questioned whether or not a public official was achieving financial gain from a public resource. Mr Martinez brought up the recent lawsuits as well.
Shawna Reichert spoke about the Lodging and Tax Board. In an ongoing effort to reorganize the board and bring their finances in order, the board has had an audit of their finances between the years 2018 and 2020. Additionally, the Board has been working on rebranding with updated imagery and fonts. The new promotional photo features the North Platte River as it winds around the west side of town. They have brought this new branding to a new Facebook page. She noted that the board is still missing a board member for Chugwater and the Board is working to get someone appointed for that town. Their next agenda will be to promote current community amenities such as pools and parks rather than focusing solely on the history of this area.
Pat Russell rose to speak about supporting the council. She mentioned that it is the civic duty of all residents to support the board and the mayor regardless of whom they voted for. She expressed that when she comes to council with a problem, she is also going to bring a solution and challenged others who come before council to come with proposed solutions to the issues at hand.
Craig Gapter wished to discuss the presence of a very bright railroad light. Mr Gapter does not live within the town limits, but felt that a council meeting was the best place to voice his concerns and find a remedy. CM Augustyn stated that he had approached BNSF Railways about shutting off this light as there is currently little/no need for the light. CM Augustyn hopes that BNSF will agree to shut off that light in the coming days/weeks.
Department Reports: Matt Allred stood to give his departmental report. Mr Allred spoke about various projects for the Town of Guernsey. The pipeline transmission with WWDO is about to be finished. The water tank rehabilitation with Western Research & Development is in progress, and it should go fast. The engineering portion of the landfill capping project is complete. The area will be surveyed in the near future to include the use of drones. Mr Allred will be dealing with the lot north of the post office under the 1997 Code for abatement of derelict buildings with a reminder from CM Delgado that this endeavor will require council approval. Mr. Allred addressed fuel sales at the airport being a thing of the past. The fuel sales card reader is obsolete, and with the poor cost/benefit ratio, it does not make sense to try to replace the point-of-sale unit.
Mayor and Council Report: CM Delgado was the only council member with a report for this meeting. He wished to address the trail culverts whose care is now up in the air due to employee turnover at Camp Guernsey. Status of this is issue is currently unknown.
Mayor Paustian discussed the issues with the underground electrical wiring in the Haynes Development. This wiring has a lifespan of 30 years, and it is currently at year 42. It will need to be replaced because another fault in the line, as took place recently, will leave several customers on generator power. Mike Montgomery and Mike Fronapfel are currently looking at long-term solutions and what will fit both customer needs and financial concerns on the part of the town.
Announcements: Farmer’s Markets – Every Thursday in Gordon Davis Park starting at 5 pm, Duck Daze – August 21, Mobile Food Pantry @ Town Hall Parking Lot – August 21 @ 1 pm to 3 pm, Lion King (2019 version) – Movie in the Park – August 27 @ Dusk, Guernsey Volunteer Fire Department – September 1 @ 6 pm, G# – Concert in the Park – September 3 @ 7 pm, Town Hall Closed for Labor Day – September 6, Town Council Meeting – September 7 @ 6 pm
Executive Session: CM Augustyn moved to go into executive session. seconded by CM Kelley. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes. Public meeting took a break at 6:58 pm for executive session.
Regular Meeting Resumed: CM Kelley moved to resume regular session at 7:14 pm, seconded by CM Augustyn. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes. Executive session ended with a decision on the part of council.
Adjournment: With no further business to come before the Council, Mayor Paustian called for a motion to adjourn. CM Kelley moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:22 pm, seconded by CM Delgado. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Nicholas Paustian, Mayor
Lynne Bryant, pro tem, Clerk/Treasurer
Public Notice No. 1946 published in the Guernsey Gazette on September 14, 2021.