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Commission OKs dental increase, fee waivers

Posted: Friday, Aug 5th, 2011

Uinta County Commissioners approved an increase to county employees’ dental plans, along with fee and permit waivers for nonprofits planning to host booths at the upcoming Fort Bridger and Bear River Rendezvous events.

Dan Hoffman, with local agency Hoffman Insurance, told the board that after sending out bid requests for dental coverage for its employees, the county opted to renew its agreement with Delta Dental of Wyoming. Employees will see a two percent increase in the coming plan year, however, which begins Aug. 1.

Commissioners granted a temporary malt beverage permit and a small amount of county-owned space to the Mountain View Lions Club, which will offer food and beverages at the upcoming Fort Bridger Rendezvous Sept. 3-6 to raise funds for their charitable projects.

“Unfortunately, we’re the only Lions Club left in the county,” club representative Farrell Alleman told the panel. “The rest of the Lions Clubs have folded, and we’re very appreciative of the support we get from the county and the public. This is our main fundraiser.”

Alleman said the club typically brings in between $4,500 and $7,000 during the event, which goes toward the Lions’ work with visual- and aural-related charitable efforts, as well as Lions Club dues and high school scholarships.

“With our ranks being fewer and fewer,” Alleman noted, “our fundraisers are becoming more and more important to us.”

Commissioners also granted a fee waiver for use of equipment at the fairgrounds and the courthouse to the Uinta County Museum Foundation, which is hosting a special meeting of the Wyoming State Historical Society Sept. 8-11.

“They will be meeting here on Saturday the 9th,” Marian McLean told commissioners, “and we would like your help in the use of the equipment and the maintenance.”

Other commission business:

• The panel approved an “equitable sharing agreement” between the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office and state and federal enforcement agencies to share funds seized in drug-related and other cases.

“A portion of that comes back to the county,” Sheriff Lou Napoli told the board, “as it does to the cities and the state. They require some accountability and accounting for that.”

Napoli said the agreement has been renewed on an annual basis.

“Most of the time there is no money in that account,” he noted, “but the agreement still needs the chairman’s signature. …The very last part of last year, we received through the state $11,795.30. Those funds are to be utilized for training and for equipment at the sheriff’s office. They’re there in a special account at the office and will be expended probably this year.”

• The commission received an update from Sam Hatch, with the county’s maintenance department, about proposed improvements to the Fort Bridger airport, which will include the installation of an electric gate at the cattle guard to improve security at the jet fuel dispensing location, as well as improvements to the snow removal equipment building.

The changes are a part of the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s capital improvement plan for the airport, which Hatch said is completely funded and also includes resealing the runway, is targeted for completion by 2015.

• Hatch told the board contractor Jack Gold, with Maintenance and More, has replaced 100 planks in the bleachers at the county fairgrounds, despite being interrupted by fair events.

“In the process, we’ve identified 50 more planks that we would like to replace,” Hatch said, “and he’s agreed to that at the same rate.”

Hatch said the additional cost to the contract — which was approved by the board — would be about $3,750.

• Commissioners approved an $11,978 professional services agreement with Cook, Sanders and Associates to build a pedestrian path along the Bear River Drive extension at the Bear River State Park Visitor Center.

According to Dale Atkinson, with Uinta County Professional Development, the agreement would include a topographic survey, a storm water pollution prevention plan, a site plan, a grading plan with accompanying profile sheets, project specifications, public bid and contract documents, construction staking and closing documents.

Commissioner Leonard Hysell indicated he was less than supportive of the project, though he acknowledged the county is obligated to follow through with it.

After being quizzed by Hysell, Atkinson said the project would likely cost $35,000 to $45,000, in addition to the engineering costs through Cook, Sanders and Associates. Atkinson noted a portion of the expense was due to the added cost of engineering the walkway to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, as well as other technical difficulties.

“This is one of those projects I understand was promised the county would take care of in the process of negotiating the land,” Hysell said. “I’m not in favor of this project, but the county’s word is the county’s word.”

• Uinta County Emergency Management Coordinator Kim West discussed with the commission the county’s status following President Barack Obama’s federal disaster declaration that came on the heels of widespread flooding across the region earlier in the year.

He said Federal Emergency Management Agency officials toured damaged areas in the county — primarily at Bear River State Park and Fort Bridger State Park — at the end of June, and estimated damage to the county of about $95,000, West said.

He said FEMA representatives plan to be at the county courthouse Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 9 a.m. to meet with municipal or county officials, or any other parties, responsible for infrastructure damaged as a result of the flooding.

West noted eligible items, such as sandbags, equipment and overtime man hours expended in combating the flooding, are covered for up to 75 percent through FEMA.

The Uinta County Commission will next meet Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the courthouse.

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