You win some you lose some

Encampment Town Council faced tough decisions

South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Service (SCWEMS) Representative Penny Layman updated Encampment Town Council on the use of funding they had received from the Wyoming Hospital Association. The funds were specifically earmarked to enhance recruitment and sign-on bonuses. The requirements were that the money be used before December 31 and given to front line workers and as bonuses. The amount SCWEMS received was $154,000.00. The board decided to use only $112,000.00 due to the amount of payroll taxes that they would have to pay on it. Bonuses were given based on a weighted award system including participation, call time and training to decide equitably.

Duane Allen of Allen Logging attended the meeting to answer any questions the council may have concerning their business plan for the sawmill. Councilman Gary Stull asked for confirmation that Allen Logging had purchased a timber sale. Allen confirmed the they did own one sale near Kremmling, Colorado and that he had been in talks with Wyoming about sales that had not been bid on, as well as private sales. Allen reiterated his has experience in finding timber.

Thomas James of TNT Forest Products was also present to update the council on progress at the sawmill. James said he had completed 600 pallets and there were 700 left to build, with more orders in the works. He told the council that he was still working on electrical problems. He advised the council he has three temporary employees. James was asked by Councilman Stas Banach if he had saw logs. James said Gary Ervin of Saratoga Forest Products would be providing the small logs.

Jon Nelson of North Fork Engineering spoke to the council about the sewer lagoon improvement project. Nelson said he had spoken with Maintenance/Operator Bill Acord and there would be one change to the project which involves adding a pipe between cell one and the outlet. He said once the workshop on December 15 was held, he would be able to make any changes needed and hoped to have permission to send it out to bid in January. He would then hold a pre-bid meeting, have a bid opening February 28 and be ready to award the contract at the March meeting. Notice to proceed would be issued in April with the construction window between May and October. Council did ask about potential bidders and Nelson said that he advised those that had bid previously it would be out for bid again. Nelson said he has 13 potential bidders.

Acord gave a drawing to the council showing on of the possibilities for fixing the drainage and gutter issues at town hall. This would involve trenching, grading and a sump pump. The concrete would have to be torn up, replacement cost of $40,000.00. No official bid was prepared until council decides what to do. Councilman Bill Craig said other options may be less expensive.

Acord told the council the concrete is showing frost heave damage and the water runs back toward the door. Council agreed the project would not be feasible until spring so they will look into more and speak with WYDOT.

The second reading of Title 5.08 tobacco sales was next. Encampment Town Clerk Doreen Harvey advised the council there were no changes to the amendment. The second reading was approved by council. A public hearing has been set for January 12, 2023 during the council meeting.

Next on the agenda was the Mill site lease at the Grand Encampment Business Park. Discussion ensued concerning the lease requirements and responsibilities for the site and equipment. Councilwoman and mayor-elect Shannon Fagan pointed out that Allen Logging hasn’t even reviewed the lease. Harvey asked the council if they wanted the attorney to review the lease. Councilman-elect Steve Reichert spoke up and said that he thought the council should make a decision now instead of dragging it out for another month.

Craig said although he appreciated James’ efforts he felt James’ had thrown the pallet project together to get the council to allow him to maintain the lease. James said he has been working for a year and a half on electrical issues getting the mill ready. The council agreed the power had been on long enough for him to accomplish something. Banach agreed with Reichert that it was time to make a decision.

Council agreed that they didn’t have any issues with the existing terms of the lease for this first year, the tenant will be responsible for water, electricity, maintenance and liability insurance naming the Town as an additional insured for $1.5 million. Craig made a motion to give Allen a chance and turn the lease over to them. Council approved the motion. Harvey told the council a vacate date should be set for TNT Forest Products. James asked to have until January 31, 2023 to vacate. Craig amended his motion to include January 31, 2023 as the vacate date. Harvey said she will have the attorney review the lease and get the new tenant a draft.

Encampment Chief of Police Kevin Shue submitted a written report to council.

Doreen Harvey, Encampment Fire Department secretary, told the council the fire department wanted to thank them for their annual dinner meeting.

Harvey reported Alxy Munson has been working on the winter carnival. Resolutions for street closures will be on the next agenda.

Fagan said she had attended the last Carbon County Council of Governments (CCCOG) meeting and they set the new schedule and will be having some turnover with the new councils. She said CCCOG had asked if Encampment would be host to the CCCOG meeting in May at the Opera House. The hosting community provides the dinner. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. and the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Councilmember Gary Stull asked about numbers of attendees. Fagan said there have been about 15. No action taken.

Encampment Volunteer Fire Department asked to purchase two pagers from Impact Funding in the amount of $1,011.00. Harvey said the fire department is trying to replace two pagers each year. The council approved the purchase of two pagers from Comm Tech.

Harvey told council there will be a Winter Carnival Button Contest and the prize money is $100. She said they want to award the prize money before Christmas if possible. Council approved $100 for prize money.

Harvey told the council since Mayor Greg Salisbury is leaving office, Fagan will need to be established as a bank and investment account signer. Fagan will be added as of January 3, 2023. Council approved.

Harvey reported it is time for the 19th Annual Lighting Contest. She said in the past there were prizes for first place of $100, second place of $75, and third place of $50. Council approved the prizes.

Craig said he would be in favor of awarding additional compensation for the town employees. A motion was made to approve additional compensation in the amount of $350 for town employees and $75 for the judge. The Council approved.

The next Encampment Town Council regular meeting will be January 13th at 7 pm. at the Encampment town hall.


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