Town Council Approves Nominees
Encampment council approves nominees for Valley Chamber awards
The Encampment Town Council met at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 to approve financials, nominate individuals and businesses for Saratoga Platte Valley Chamber Awards and listen to Jeb Steward, Chair for South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Services, (SCWEMS).
Steward was at the council to discuss the results of the recent assessment of the service.
He said there is a gap between knowledge and expectations for the service. Steward said the service has always been and will always need to be subsidized. He said issues that limit revenue are uncollected funds from calls and the high cost of readiness. Steward said the volunteer model of management was inefficient, unsustainable and it does not meet the needs of the members. He said volunteers in all areas are on the decline and staffing stations cannot cover a 24/7 schedule. Steward said sometimes this leaves an area not able to respond to calls leaving a community without coverage. Steward pointed out recruitment and retention was also an issue. He said an EMT class will begin Jan. 2 and SCWEMS has been making an effort to educate the public on the critical need for EMT’s. Steward said, if staff cannot be recruited and financial issues resolved, the service may need to change to a fully paid regional response model by scaling down to two stations, one in Saratoga and one in Hanna. Steward summarized some of the recent staffing challenges and painted a grim future for the service if financial and staffing issues are not able to be resolved.
Mayor Greg Salisbury said in his opinion the cost of using the service is so high for those who do not have insurance, they cannot pay for service, so they don’t even try. Salisbury suggested dropping the cost of a run might generate more revenue in the long run. Steward said Medicare pays an average 30 cents on the dollar to defer some of the cost. The discussion ended with acknowledgement to get the word out about the local need for EMT’s.
Salisbury said he had been in contact with Steve Gale from the Wyoming Game and Fish and there may be as much as $40,000.00 in funding available through the Wyoming Habitat Trust Fund for the project. He said design and cost estimates are needed as quickly as possible so the application can be completed before the end of December. Craig Kopasz from Engineer Associates, presented a drawing of the design and pointed out the features on the drawing stating that the archery range would be left in place. There will be riprap and rock on the inlet to oxygenate the water. The dam height, simple outlet specifications will go to the natural drain course as well as a pipe and manhole on the far side of the dam. Top soil will be stockpiled to use for terraces. A narrative summary of the design will be included to submit to Wyoming Game and Fish as well as a line by line bid form cost estimate on excavation, shaping, manholes. Kopasz said he would be willing to answer any questions Wyoming Game and Fish might have on the Community Fishing Pond Project.
Salisbury thanked the town employees for an outstanding job this past year.
“The employees are very self motivated and a lot has been accomplished” Salisbury said. “They do not get enough pats on the back and at-a-boys for all that they do. It was a good year and he expects that the next year will be a busy one as well.”
Cindy Hamilton, town council member, moved to approve additional compensation in the amount of $565 for full time employees, $275 for the part time employee. Kimberly Loftice, town council memeber, seconded and the motion.
Doreern Harvey, town clerk, suggested to the town council consider nominating Rick Martin as volunteer of the year for all that he has done for the community for Saratoga Platte Valley Chamber Awards. She suggested Mother Mountain Anglers for Organization of the year, The Divide be nominated for new business of the year if they have joined the chamber and Good Things for business of the year.The council approved the nominations.
The next scheduled Encampment Town Council will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 11 at the town hall.