September 7, 2021
Town of Guernsey
Platte County, Wyoming
Present: Mayor Paustian, CM Augustyn, CM Delgado, CM Harris, CM Kelley
Staff: P. Hebbert, L. Bryant, Chief Smith, Judge W. Conner, J. Thomas and F. Jones, Attorney for Town of Guernsey.
Guests: Rose Martinez, Penny Wells, Christa Bartel, Starr Patterson, Pat Russell, Lori Ibarra, Ada Pulos, Allison Gapter, Jim & Elizabeth Pallow, Joe Michaels.
Via Zoom: Terri Vandam, Shenna Thomas, Cassie Wells, Melissa Howe, Lisa Bristow.
Mayor Paustian called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. He welcomed and thanked the assembly for attending. All joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Agenda: CM Kelley moved to approve the agenda as written, seconded by CM Augustyn. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes.
Minutes: CM Harris moved to approve the regular minutes for August 17, 2021, as written, seconded by CM Delgado. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes.
Consideration of Claims: Mayor Paustian presented the vouchers for approval. CM Augustyn moved to approve the Considerations of Claims in the amount of $259,659.13, seconded by CM Delgado. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes. Vouchers follow in their entirety: A & M Electric, $3004.50; Rebecca Batchelor, $81.00; Bear Creek Originals, LLC, $168.00; Dana Bell, -$72.75; Black Hills Energy, $1475.43; Blueline Custom Vinyls, $750.00; Brad Cook Construction, $675.00; Michael Brown, $450.00; Lynne Bryant, $50.75; Burns Insurance Agency, $20.00; Capital Business Systems, Inc., $300.46; Caselle, Inc., $600.00; CenturyLink, $1225.39; William M. Conner, -$72.75; Crystal Ice Company, $150.00; Fast Stop 1132, $93.41; Guernsey Super Foods, $10.90; Connie Hollin, $64.95; William R. Holtz, $105.00; Home Depot Credit Services, $221.48; Howshar Hardware, $395.82; Imperial Pump Solutions, $2326.30; KS State Bank, $687.00; Larson Park Petty Cash, $33.60; Nebraska Printworks, $230.26; Neil Waring, $42.50; Northwest Pipe Fittings, $4.74; One-Call of Wyoming, $20.25; Platte County Record Times, $219.00; R & R Products, $87.04, Sarah Mosley Cleaning, $355.00; Gene Sharp, $300.00; Staples Credit Plan, $7.99; Cory Stenson, $31.02; TDS Collection Services, $15,517.66; Team Laboratory Chemical, $3957.05; Torrington Beverage, $551.05; United States Postal Service, $193.05; Van Diest Supply, $3932.50; Verizon Wireless, $589.60; W S Darley & Co, $501.95; Watchguard Video, $2325.00; Wheatland Automotive, $112.99; Wheatland R.E.A., $38.89; WMPA, $107,116.67; Wyoming Retirement System, $300.00; Total Invoices: $149,144.10. Payroll, $54,153.20. Taxes & Benefits, $56,361.83. TOTAL CLAIMS: $259,659.13.
Camp Guernsey Back Brief: Christa Bartel gave the Camp Guernsey Back Brief. She passed out a map to demonstrate the airspace expansion for Camp Guernsey for training purposes which has been approved by the FAA. This action is in the public phase of advisement and she encouraged anyone with questions to contact the Camp. There will be a community advisory meeting on September 21 at 1 p.m. with General Porter in attendance. Camp Guernsey has upped their health level status to C, meaning all must mask and maintain social distancing. Applicable positions have been put back to telework status. If attending the community advisory meeting, please bring a mask.
Police Department Vehicle Contract: There are ongoing negotiations between the attorney for the Town of Guernsey and the leasing agency. CM Harris made a motion to table further discussion, and this was seconded by CM Kelley. Motion carried with 5 ayes.
Oath of Office: A motion was made by CM Delgado to administer this oath and the motion was seconded by CM Augustyn. Judge Conner was present to administer the Oath of Office to incoming Town of Guernsey Clerk/Treasurer, Pamela Hebbert. Ms Hebbert took her oath, welcome Ms Hebbert.
Resolution 2021-012: This resolution will remove Jasmine Sterner from all bank accounts held by the Town of Guernsey at First State Bank and make Ms Hebbert a signatory; all other signers will remain the same. A motion was made by CM Delgado and seconded by CM Harris, motion carried with 5 ayes.
Resolution 2021-013: This resolution will remove Jasmine Sterner from all bank accounts held by the Town of Guernsey with Banner Capitol Bank and make Ms Hebbert a signatory; all other signers will remain the same. A motion was made by CM Harris and seconded by CM Kelley, motion carried with 5 ayes.
Public Comment: Pat Russell rose to speak ask about a contingency plan for electrical supply to the Haynes Development. The council reported that the town is having difficulty locating parts to implement a temporary fix and agreed a contingency plan is important while a permanent solution is determined.
Rose Martinez expressed that an electrical outage contingency plan should address the whole town. There are a fair number of people who rely on equipment for health concerns. She encouraged the town to keep a list of those residents who may need assistance in the event of another outage.
Allison Gapter was present to follow up on a concern expressed at the previous meeting about a very bright BNSF Railroad light just outside of town limits. CM Augustyn reported that he had contacted BNSF and it appears the wrong light has been turned off. CM Augustyn noted he has a message in to BNSF to correct the situation.
Penny Wells expressed that the wiring issues in the Haynes subdivision should serve as a lesson for the town if another subdivision is ever pursued. She provided the council with a list of residences that she felt were in violation of the ordinance for weeds and for house numbers. She named residents in town whose mowing services might be utilized. Ms Wells expressed the importance of sewer lines getting regular maintenance and that a plan be in place for residential electric meter replacement. She asked when the last audit had been conducted. Deputy Clerk Bryant reported that an audit by BDO had recently been finalized. Ms Wells inquired about the status of repair to the walking path around the west side of the river that was washed out several years ago. Mayor Paustian reported that the Town of Guernsey does not own the land and had been working with the National Guard and David Bye to formulate a plan for repair. Ms Wells encouraged council members to access online videos created by Wyoming Association of Municipalities for training on topics such as ethics, conflict of interest and open meeting laws. She stated she had listened to the hearing from the recent lawsuit involving the Town of Guernsey and referenced the difference between the personnel procedures for police policy versus general policy. CM Delgado acknowledged the differences and noted the importance to the police department of their procedures. Ms Wells expressed her belief that Mayor Paustian and CM Augustyn commit a continuing injustice to the community in their failure to resign.
Ada Pulos brought forth suggestions for solutions to weed concerns encouraging a focus on those who want to care for their properties but need assistance. She said action needs to be taken early in March and that means might be identified to help pay those who do that type of work, possibly through contributions or grants. Ms Pulos inquired about a grant that was to be written to connect the trail from the guard camp to a bridge that would cross the river. Deputy Clerk Bryant reported that this TAP Grant through WYDOT had twice been applied for and not awarded. Alternative bridge options were discussed with cost and the county ownership of bridge property cited as obstacles.
Department Reports: Fire Chief Jeff Thomas thanked participants at the annual casino night fund raiser for the Guernsey Volunteer Fire Department. They cleared $1200. Funds are used for the department Christmas dinner and for food and water when members are out on calls. The plan for next year is to move the date to coincide with the Frederick golf tournament and move the event to the back room at Crazy Tony’s. Department members learned a great deal at a recent training with 3 other departments. There have been several gas leak alarms, in all of which seem that the odor of the new mosquito spray was mistaken for a gas leak. The GVFD will be participating in another multi-agency training on October 8th, as well as the 20th year commemoration of 9/11 events at the courthouse in Wheatland at 10:30 am on that date (9/11/21). The department is planning a project for the wife of the recently fallen Wyoming Marine who is pregnant and due soon. He also inquired about the use of the town hall bay for the annual haunted house.
Guernsey Chief of Police David Smith rose to give his report. He stated that he understands the police department is tasked with the weed issue. The Cowboy Challenge youth had planned to help with weeds this summer, but many were sick and the activity was cancelled. The department is seeing increased activity in the town related to methamphetamines, heroin and fentanyl. These concerns, as well as thefts and motor vehicle incidents, are needing to take precedence for department time. The department took 120 calls which include issues of theft, property damage and vandalism. CM Delgado inquired about outside assistance with drug concerns. Chief Smith indicated that the incidents for the town are mostly with drug-related use and DCI works more with cases involving the sale of drugs. Ms Wells added that weeds are part of the nuisance ordinance which has been addressed on other departments previously and maybe could be again.
Judge Conner reported he had 14 carryover cases and 15 new citations. Sixteen cases were disposed: 13 forfeitures, 1 failure to appear, and 2 guilty pleas. Total revenue for the month through fines, forfeitures and court costs was $2418. He thanked the council for allowing he and Dana Bell, Utility Clerk for the Town of Guernsey, to attend the Wyoming Conference of Municipal Courts, as the information was useful. The conference was moved to a virtual format at last minute.
Joe Michaels reported on WMPA. There was no WMPA meeting last month. WMPA is currently purchasing power from Basin and continues to function as the wholesale electric agent for Town of Guernsey. WMPA is available to assist with pricing and charging-out considerations and can offer money-saving ideas to the town regarding water use during peak times.
Mayor and Council Report: CM Harris inquired about progress in determining the ownership of the land between the lot at the intersection of River Road and Sybille, and Heimbuck Park. Nothing yet has been determined.
CM Delgado asked Attorney Jones about the ambulance contract with Banner Health. Discussion ensued about the difference between the outcome at the public meeting and the current contract. The importance of getting a contract in place was expressed. Attorney Jones and Mayor Paustian will follow back up with Banner.
CM Augustyn engaged a discussion of streamlining community improvement efforts such as spring clean-up with approaches to weed concerns. Funding options of grants and contributions were discussed.
Mayor Paustian reported that he had received communication thanking the golf course personnel for their work during the Frederick Memorial Golf Tournament and that the event had been a great success. He reported the town is addressing blight concerns on the golf course using chemicals out of town inventory. He reminded residents that it is the responsibility of the owner of a pet of any kind to clean up after the animal. The town recently received complaints of animal waste on the street. The Mayor informed the public that LGLP (Local Government Liability Pool) will be in attendance at the next council meeting on September 21 to report on the outcome of recent court proceedings involving the town.
Executive Session: A motion was made by CM Kelley to move to Executive Session at 7:36 pm, seconded by CM Harris. The motion carried with 5 ayes.
Regular Meeting Resumed: At 8:29 pm, council moved back into public session. No residents were present when the regular meeting resumed. CM Kelley made a motion to accept an offer by Eldon Garver for a property on Chugwater Street owned by the Town of Guernsey. The motion was seconded by CM Augustyn. A vote was taken and the motion carried with 5 ayes.
Adjournment: With no further business, Mayor Paustian called for a motion to adjourn. CM Augustyn moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:34 pm, seconded by CM Kelley. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 5 ayes.
Nicholas Paustian, Mayor
Pamela Hebbert, Clerk/Treasurer
Public Notice No. 1947 published in the Guernsey Gazette on September 14, 2021.