Council pleased with law enforcement contract
February 11, 2021
A month after the Crook County Sheriff’s Office took on the enforcement of law within Sundance, the city council had no concerns or complaints to share with Sheriff Jeff Hodge at last week’s regular meeting.
“The people I’ve talked to think it’s working well,” said Mayor Paul Brooks, commenting that he’s certain he would have heard from citizens if they’d had any complaints.
The people of Sundance appear to be enjoying the presence of the Sheriff’s Office deputies, said Brooks, while Council Member Callie Hilty commented that it appears there is more patrolling now than before the contract began.
“I just think that presence is a really positive thing, and that’s what I’ve heard from the public,” said Brooks.
The contract was initially proposed due to concerns that budget problems at the state level would eventually have an impact at the local level. Council Member Joe Wilson reported that this time appears to have come: at a recent Northeast Wyoming Economic Development Coalition meeting, he was told that it looks as though state distribution to towns and counties will be cut this year by 20%.
That, said Clerk Treasurer Kathy Lenz, will represent a loss of $30,000 for 2021.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the council also heard the results of this year’s audit from Paul Stille of Leo Riley & Associates. No significant issues were raised aside from the usual comments about separation of duties, something that’s difficult to avoid in smaller government agencies with a limited number of staff members.
“We do work really hard on that,” said Lenz, describing measures such as switching duties between the staff members and ensuring different people are responsible for different parts of a transaction. The council moved to approve the audit report.
Karla Greaser of Trihydro provided an update on current projects. Contractors are getting ready to install electrical upgrades for the Sundance West water tank and have submitted the plans for the tank itself to the Department of Environmental Quality for their review, she said.
Greaser presented a change order for a contract extension for Trihydro until the end of September, which was approved by the council. She also reported on the Sundance Kid water tank project, for which Trihydro is addressing comments from the Department of Environmental Quality and a notice has been received from Abandoned Mine Lands to authorize the project to proceed.
The council also heard that the Sundance Main Street organization has donated $2500 from the sale of raffle tickets at Christmas to be used for a movie screen in Sundance Square.
An ordinance clarifying the city’s policy on utilities received its second reading. A clause has been added, having been accidentally omitted during the 2019 amendment of the ordinances, to say that any customer that purchases water from the city must also purchase garbage services.
The city has received just one objection to the ordinance, said the mayor, from an out-of-town customer who was angered by the change. Brooks expressed that he feels out-of-town residents are lucky to have reliable garbage and water services as other communities are not able or willing to provide these things outside city limits.
The next regular meeting of the council is scheduled for March 2.