April 5, 2022
Town of Guernsey
Platte County, Wyoming
Present: Mayor Paustian, CM Augustyn, CM Delgado, CM Harris. Absent: CM Kelley.
Staff: L. Ballard, Chief Smith, Chief Thomas, P. Hebbert and F. Jones, Town Attorney.
Registered Guests: E. Behrmann, R. Martinez, P. Wells and S. Reichert.
Call to Order: 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 Harris motioned to approve the agenda as written. CM Augustyn seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Minutes: CM Augustyn motioned to approve the minutes for March 15, 2022. CM Harris seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Consideration of Claims: Mayor Paustian presented the vouchers for approval. CM Augustyn motioned to approve the Considerations of Claims in the amount of $117,659.65 for the period of 03/16/22 – 04/05/22. CM Harris seconded. The motion carried 4-0. Vouchers follow in their entirety: B.A. Lawrence, $1,135.00; Black Hills Energy, $1,856.46; Capital Business Systems, $176.60; CenturyLink, $1,176.81; Shawn Conner, $800.00; Emerald Sod Farms, $1,998.00; Michael Fronapfel, $78.41; Max Garner, $51.87; Howshar Hardware, $161.30; Mountain States Pipe and Supply, $1800.00; Ron’s Equipment, $935.99; Sarah Mosley, $265.00; TDS Collection Services, $15,594.04; Timber Line Electric & Control, $412.00; Western Research & Development, $30,000.00; Wheatland Automotive, $428.87; Wyoming Conference of Municipal Courts, $150.00; Wyoming First Aid & Safety Supply, $388.30. Total Invoices paid: $57,408.65. Payroll, $27,831.42. Taxes/Benefits Payable, $32,419.58. TOTAL CLAIMS: $117,659.65.
Community/Organization Reports: C. Bartel reported upcoming events and job vacancies for Camp Guernsey. S. Reichert reported that the Chamber is accepting scholarship applications through April 15 and requests award nominations for the Annual Meeting. The Lodging Tax Board published articles in the Coloradoan and The Rapid City Journal.
Department Reports: Mayor Paustian introduced Lester Ballard as the new Golf Course Supervisor starting April 1. Ballard thanked the Council for the opportunity and outlined activity at the course in preparation for an April 15 opening. Police Chief Smith offered an apology to the Cowboy Challenge Academy. A report of runaway activity at a previous meeting was not directed toward the current class. Chief Smith addressed the council with respect to a recent pursuit through town. He regrets that speeds were high but agencies had public safety in mind in their response. The State Patrol and Sheriff’s office also offered apologies to Mayor Paustian for the speed. J. Michaels reported that the WMPA budget will be presented at an April 21 meeting. Volunteer Fire Chief Thomas reported the department’s assistance with the recent pursuit and transformer fire. Preparation is on track for the June fire school. Mayor Paustian provided a report for M. Fronapfel on today’s transformer fire and subsequent power outage. A crew from Wheatland is assisting in the repair. P. Hebbert also reported that the Public Works Department has replaced the library lights and will complete the repair of the automatic door as soon as a part arrives. Hebbert also reported the hire of two part-time office employees. N. Cooley is performing utility clerk duties at the front desk. C. Riley is providing support for accounting functions in the office.
Cemetery – Military Markers: E. Behrmann addressed the Council to provide information about the cemetery project she and R. Green have undertaken. Markers are being placed at gravesites to identify and honor Veterans and Auxiliary members. She emphasized the importance to locating graves by uncovering plot numbers, providing row markers and/or creating a directory, and inquired about the Town and/or community volunteers assisting in coordinating these projects. The topic of a cemetery board was also discussed.
Vistabeam Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Town Attorney Jones reported the MOU looks fine. There is no obligation to the Town. Mayor Paustian will confer again with M. Fronapfel then follow up with Vistabeam to schedule next steps.
Ambulance Contract: Mayor Paustian reported communications with Banner Health personnel. Attorney Jones added that the contract would need to address the ambulance replacement aspect. A meeting with Town and Banner Health officials will be the next step.
Ordinance 2020-005/2021-001: P. Hebbert conveyed that the implementation of sewer and electric rates changes have not been made as outlined in Town Ordinances. Attorney Jones reported that because all funds are public, the Town is bound to collect balances due on customer accounts or refund overpayments. The Council scheduled a workshop on April 11th at 4:30 pm to discuss the matter further. Attorney Jones also reported the findings of his research on customer utility accounts. All information on utility bills is public record. E. Manning offered that Black Hills Energy statements include an option for customers to donate to delinquent accounts. It was proposed that the Town offer a similar option.
Public Comment: P. Wells referenced Attorney Jones previous comment and asked if donations made by the Town is also giving public funds away. Attorney Jones responded that Towns are allowed to donate to groups but not individuals. She also asked if noise shots are being used to address buzzards. Chief Smith said yes. Steve Bruce, a Civil Engineer with Inberg-Miller Engineers, introduced himself and expressed the companies’ interest in submitting proposals to provide services for the Town. R. Martinez requested to see the work order for a recent utility disconnect. She also inquired about notice for workshops and allowed circumstances for Executive Sessions. J. Michaels complimented the Public Works Department for their work on the library lights. E. Harris introduced the Cowboy Challenge Cadet Council in attendance at the evening’s meeting to learn about meeting protocol. Each full class of students has a community service requirement. She encouraged organizations to contact her to coordinate services. The Challenge Camp marked 15 years of operation in Guernsey this year.
Mayor and Council Report: CM Delgado expressed his preference for better communication between the Council and the Mayor, staff and department heads. CM Augustyn presented plans for the dog park. Economic Development is moving forward with purchases of fencing material. He reported Martin Marietta Frederick Quarry donations of rock to the golf course and the parking lots of Larson Park and the dog park. Augustyn thanked the Cowboy Challenge, community members and seasonal employees for their volunteer help at the golf course workday. CM Delgado, CM Harris and Mayor Paustian each expressed kudos to CM Augustyn for his work as Pro Tem Mayor in Mayor Paustian’s absence and thanked him for his responsiveness. Mayor Paustian also thanked CM Augustyn for the time he dedicates to personal work on community projects. J. Thomas added an inquiry about re-establishing flashing lights on Whalen Street when fire trucks are being dispatched. He will check with WYDOT.
Announcements: Mayor Paustian read the announcements. CM Augustyn encouraged resident to make Wyoming Community Gas their Choice Gas selection as it increases the annual contribution from Wyoming Community Gas. P. Wells asked where the current year Wyoming Community Gas money was spent. A portion will fund the installation of an ADA picnic table at the Visitor Center. The balance in unexpended.
Executive Session: At 7:20 pm CM Delgado motioned that the council adjourn to an Executive Session for personnel and employment terms/benefits. CM Harris seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Regular Meeting Resumed: The council convened to regular session at 7:52 pm. CM Augustyn motioned that the Council accept the March 30 resignation of Matt Allred effective April 13. CM Harris seconded. The motion carried 4-0. CM Augustyn motioned that Attorney Jones send a response letter to an inquiry on COVID leave policy received by the Council. CM Delgado seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Adjournment: With no further business, CM Harris motioned that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by CM Delgado. The motion carried 4-0. The meeting adjourned at 7:53 pm.
Nicholas Paustian, Mayor
Pam Hebbert, Clerk/Treasurer
Public Notice No. 1977 published in the Guernsey Gazette on April 19, 2022.