May 4, 2021
Town of Guernsey
Platte County, Wyoming
Present: CM Harris, CM Augustyn, CM Kelley, CM Delgado
Excused: Mayor Paustian
Staff: K. Farmer, M. Mindieta, L. Bryant, J. Thomas, Officer Chavez
Guests: Greg Martinez, Christa Bartel, Jasmine Sterner
Via Zoom: Christopher Martinez, Cassie Wells
Pro Tem Mayor Augustyn 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 Harris. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Minutes: CM Delgado moved to approve the regular minutes for April 20, 2021, as written, seconded by CM Kelley. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Consideration of Claims: Pro Tem Mayor Augustyn presented the vouchers for approval. CM Harris moved to approve the Considerations of Claims for $104,099.30 seconded by CM Kelley. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes. Vouchers follow in their entirety: Angel Armor – 868.24, Central Business Forms – 44.00, CenturyLink – 1170.55, Cormier – 39.23, CPS Distributors – 350.58, Crystal Ice Company – 180.00, Faith Fellowship – 46.99, Frank Jones, Attorney at Law – 875.00, Guernsey Petty Cash – 45.85, Howshar Hardware – 914.38, Masek Golf Car Company – 96.00, Mindieta – 57.00, Mobius Communications – 40.00, Mountain States Pipe & Supply – 600.00, Pitney Bowes Global – 231.12, Railroad Management Company – 284.85, Ramkota Hotel – 86.00, Reserve Account – 75.00, Robertson – 55.77, Sarah Mosley Cleaning Services – 265.00, Spic & Span Cleaners – 475.00, Staples Credit Plan – 762.88, Stotz Equipment – 1167.70, TDS Collection – 12824.30, Tri-City Parks & Rec – 24246.66, USPS – 156.61, Van Diest Supply – 7440.00, WAMCAT – 65.00, Wheatland Automotive – 712.35, WRS – 300.00, Wyoming Secretary of State – 30.00, Payroll – 38,363.09, Taxes & Benefits – 11,230.15, Total Vouchers – $104,099.30.
Camp Guernsey Back Brief: CM Delgado asked how the training in the North Range went. Christa Bartel said they had 3 helicopters and 2 with water buckets and it was a good training.
Audit – Abbey Hagerman: Abbey apologized for the delay in getting the audit report to the council, it was not any fault of the staff at the Town of Guernsey. They were very timely in getting all the information to BDO, but they had an issue with staff on their end. She is required to report any errors, irregularities, illegal acts, significant changes in accounting procedures, a lack of cooperation, or scope limitations, she has none of those to report. They were engaged to audit the Town of Guernsey’s financials as of June 30, 2020, the objective of the audit is to provide a reasonable but not absolute assurance that the financial statements are free of financial misstatements. The results provided an unmodified opinion on the financial statements. They reported no material weaknesses, but they did have significant deficiencies. This is due to the Town of Guernsey being small and does not have a highly complex system of controls. Kate Farmer touched on some of the deficiencies that have already been addressed within the department. CM Delgado asked why the Mayor had not signed some of the timesheets for department heads. Kate said that she gives the timesheets to the Mayor to sign and then files them after he is done. She does not go through each one to verify for signatures. A personnel action form was not updated with the correct rate of pay, Kate fixed that problem, but it was outside of the audit dates and we got dinged on that. All the deficiencies have been addressed and employees are trained to not make those errors. Kate spoke to the budget and adjusting employees to be paid out of enterprise funds and the general fund will balance from taxes and miscellaneous revenues.
Ordinance 2021-002 – Sanitation Rates, 1st Reading: Kate let the council know that the town is looking at a 17% increase on average across the board. TDS is proposing a 33% increase on residential dumpsters, which is not acceptable for our fixed-income citizens. She will send out a spreadsheet of the proposed rates from TDS. She will request Kurt Sittner to be present at the next council meeting. CM Delgado said it is not the fault of the Town that TDS did not increase the rates for 5 years and we need to negotiate with Kurt on the prices. CM Delgado moved to approve Ordinance 2021-002 on 1st reading, seconded by CM Kelley. The vote was taken and the motion carried with 4 ayes. The ordinance follows in title only: ORDINANCE NO. 2021-002 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 2018-003 SECTION 1 AND 2, RELATING TO RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL SANITATION RATES. BE IT ORDAINED BY THE TOWN OF GUERNSEY, WYOMING.
JWPerks, Corp: May 15th – Open Container, June 19th – Catering Permit, July 3rd – Open Container Permit: CM Harris moved to approve the 2 open container permits and 1 catering permit for JWPerks, Corp, seconded by CM Delgado. The vote was taken and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Public Comment: Greg Martinez just paid his membership fee at the Trail Ruts Golf Course. He doesn’t mind paying but he has talked to some out there and they don’t know if they are going to pay because of the greens. They have a tournament on the 15th and they want to make it a good tournament that is annual with a scholarship program for a student at the Guernsey-Sunrise school. There is good entry participation and some who don’t want to sign up because of the shape of the greens. Greg and his son Sean drove out on the course and saw that every green has dry spots on it. He doesn’t know what they will do with green 5. We put a lot of money into those greens a few years ago and he does not know what is going on. He has been to other courses and they have good green greens. CM Augustyn said that a lot of the council members have been approached by citizens on the status of the course. Mike Mindieta will give his report tonight and might be able to answer some of Greg’s questions. A lot of golfers have been talking about it and they are saying they would rather hit out of the rough rather than the fairway because they are so hard. A few years ago, they had talked about getting a turf builder fertilizer out there, what happened? There are a lot of irate people and the golf course should be an enjoyable place. This golf course needs to start coming back.
Department Reports: Mike Mindieta said it isn’t all his fault, there is winter kill. There isn’t a dry spot on the course. He has verti-cut, top dress, applied fungicide, and fertilized two weeks ago. He is going to do the same thing next week. People need to be patient it will come back. If it does not, he will over seed greens 2, 5, and 7. The other greens are going to come back, they are in rough shape, but they aren’t dead. The greens should be back by the end of June. CM Delgado asked if we had the snow fence up to cut down on the wind damage. Mike said they did have snow fence up. He also said they have used green covers in the past that got taken off too early and then the greens froze. Mayor Pro Tem Augustyn said he had a citizen take a sample of the green today and the soil has dead roots and it won’t come back. These things are happening because of your neglect. Mike doesn’t believe that it is because of his neglect. Augustyn said in the past we have had temporary pins but none this year and had people walking all over them. Greg Martinez said you figure the end of June the greens will be ready to go, that is 2 months into the season. Why should we have to wait 2 months to get onto the course? Mike said that each year is different and the course looked great last year. Greg asked if there are any seminars that he can go to that will teach him how to use the green covers and if not how to maintain them over the winter. Mike has been to a lot of seminars and goes to one in Casper every winter. He said that he knows what he is doing but it isn’t all him. CM Delgado asked if we could have someone come in to give the council a second opinion. Mike has 3 people he can call right now and he will get someone in here to back him. CM Delgado said he’s not calling him out on his course because he doesn’t know much about golf courses but he thinks Mike needs to get a second opinion on the golf course. Mike will call them and get it set up and let the council know so they can go through the course with Mike and someone with another turf professional. As far as putting on the greens for Rudy’s tournament, they will putt nice, but look poor. Hopefully, by next week with warmer weather, the grass will start coming back. Mayor Pro Tem said that even if there is frost you can get the cattails taken care of along the slough. Mike has a pesticide for the cattails. If we are sending people home, citizens are taking note of that. Are there other things that can be fixed? Number 6 has a fence that needs to be fixed even if there is frost. CM Delgado said we cannot have fair weather workers; we have rain gear. Mike said they scrapped the shelters and got them painted and fixed the rope on the ballads along the entrance. Greg asked about getting a temporary fence to designate the out-of-bounds better on number 2. Mayor Pro Tem said he will discuss that with the Mayor when he gets back. Fire Chief Thomas said it has been a fairly quiet month. They have had one ambulance call, one motor vehicle accident, and a gas call. They also rescued a cat from a tree. He thanked the Wyoming Military Department for allowing them to participate in the bucket drop. The Cody Fire School went very well. They will be doing a training tomorrow about the wildland structure interface for the rest of the department. He will burn the branches at the rodeo grounds once the large stumps are removed from the pile, so it does not smolder for an extended period. Kate Farmer presented the council with the letter from Wyoming Community Gas and a check in the amount of $5,167.44. This is from residents signing up for the Choice Gas Program that gives money back to the town to be used on beautification such as the fences at Gordon Davis Park and Heimbuck Park, and the fence for the dog park.
Mayor and Council Report: CM Harris said that Memorial Day is coming up and would like to see the cemetery in pristine condition. CM Delgado said that the flags all need to be checked and changed if needed. CM Harris asked about trees, cars, and yards. Officer Chavez said they have towed vehicles and letters have been sent to nuisance residences. CM Delgado said that we have a policy manual and ordinances for the town that need to be followed. It is against policy to smoke in Town properties, vehicles, and buildings. Town vehicles are for personal use, not for dropping off your children at school, or getting groceries. There was an officer that was chasing down a kid and the ordinance is 5 mph over the speed limit. If we don’t want to follow the policy and ordinances you might as well throw them out. Mayor Paustian needs to talk with them about those issues.
5/5 - Guernsey Volunteer Fire Meeting @ 6 pm, 5/15 - Mobile Food Pantry @ Town Hall Parking Lot, 5/18 – Town Council Meeting, 6/1 – Town Council Meeting
Adjournment: With no further business to come before the Council, Mayor Pro Tem Augustyn called for a motion to adjourn. CM Harris moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:51 pm, seconded by CM Kelley. A vote was taken, and the motion carried with 4 ayes.
Nicholas Paustian, Mayor
Jasmine Sterner, Clerk/Treasurer
Public Notice No. 1920 published in the Guernsey Gazette on May 11, 2021.