County approves grandstands grant resolution, denies rendezvous street closure request

Uinta County Sheriff Doug Matthews addresses the county commission during a July 2 meeting. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — The first items on the July 2 agenda of the Uinta County Commission meeting were requests for approval by the commissioners, including approval of the appointment of Laura L. Bateman to the Uinta County Library Board. A request for a street closure was moved to last on the agenda.

Amanda Hutchinson, county clerk, asked that the WIC grant agreement be approved. The State provides $14,899 administered through the county to help WIC clients pay for utilities. It doesn’t fund the whole program. The grant agreement was approved.

Hutchinson reminded the commission that they were in the midst of renewal of the county health insurance and asked they approve the rate increase of 4.18 percent for a portion of the stop block program with the current insurance carrier, which is a division of United Health Care. Hutchinson wanted their approval so she could get the percentage rate increase locked in. The commission accepted the renewal with the rate increase.

Hutchinson then moved on to the AML Public Facilities Grant application. She said after the public meeting on the grant was held, she received additions that needed to be included. She asked the commission to redo the previously-approved resolution with the additions regarding all the environmental protections and endangered species act requirements. Also needed was a statement that any costs incurred before the grant was approved would be ineligible for payment. The grant application needed to spell out the different sources that would be contributing to $100,000 in matching funds.  Aluminum bleachers were the commission’s choice for the rodeo arena, and $1,918,260 would be the amount requested in the grant application. The additions to the resolution were approved.

Uinta County Sheriff Doug Matthews asked the commission to approve the renewal of the agreement with the Natrona County Juvenile Detention Center to house juveniles for Uinta County. Matthews said the agreement with Natrona was reached when Sweetwater County had to back off from taking Uinta County juveniles for a while due to lack of space and manpower. 

“Even though Sweetwater County is now able to take our juveniles, we want to keep the agreement with Natrona County as a back-up option,” Matthews said. The renewal was approved. 

Kim Proffit, Director of Public Health, asked for approval of the renewal contract with the Wyoming Department of Public Health to provide for the county health officer. Proffit said the state provides added funds to the $800 per month the county provides to employ the officer. That agreement was approved. 

Clay Baird of Public Works asked for approval of a change order to the Fort Bridger Airport engineering contract. Baird explained that Jacobs Engineering had the primary contract. Lewis and Lewis, a subsidiary of Kilburn Corporation, is doing the work and the current tie-downs are not up to standard. The change order would be for additional tie-downs to comply with FAA requirements. With not much more to complete, there will be a net savings to WYDOT, FAA and the county. Baird recommended the commission accept the change order and it was approved. 

Last was the request from several property owners in Fort Bridger, who had requested the closure of a street during the Fort Bridger Rendezvous. 

Barney Brisko, Uinta County Road and Bridge foreman, was asked for his advice. Brisko questioned the fairness of closing a street and said it was hard enough to control parking during the event without closing an entire street.

Sheriff Matthews said, “It might be OK for two to three hours but for all day and for the three-day event it would create a problem.”

Commissioner Eric South said, “I agree, and we don’t want to set a precedent.”

The request was denied.

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