Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

Town, county officials working together


After a meeting Tuesday morning with the Hot Springs County Commissioners, the county’s IT professional Dean Peranteaux, Sheriff Jerimie Kraushaar, County Attorney Jill Logan, Town Attorney Mike Messenger and Assistant to the Mayor Fred Crosby will be having work session to decide which entity is going to pay for what when it comes to the Joint Law Enforcement Center.

At this time, the equipment is purchased and maintained by the county while the dispatchers are provided by the town.

Both sides would like to see some changes in the agreement between the two entities, so a work session breaking down who will be responsible for how things are run and who pays is in order.

Hopefully, the group can have an agreement completed that is suitable for both parties by the time the commissioners have their second meeting in March so both parties can sign.

Barb Rice, Director of Youth Alternatives for Hot Springs County explained some issues she’s been having with the Volunteers of America (VOA) regarding promised funding.

According to Rice, paperwork the VOA has requested in the past is not being processed in a timely manner and they are two to three years behind in their promised payments to the county for the Youth Alternatives Program.

In addition, paperwork she has sent in already has now changed and the organization is asking her to re-issue new paperwork based on the new regulations rather than the original regulations from 2014.

Rice indicated she feels this is ridiculous, four years later, and takes up a lot of her time.

Commission chair Tom Ryan agreed and told Rice to send a letter to VOA saying she had been instructed by the commissioners not to re-send the paperwork.

When Youth Alternatives first signed on with VOA, the monies to be received were over $20,000 annually, however, over the years the funding has been cut drastically, amounting to about $7,000 annually.

Since the money has never been received from VOA the county has been covering the expenses and Ryan said it was time for Rice to spend her time working with the kids and forget about all the paperwork.

“I would rather see you spending that extra time with the kids,” Ryan said. “We’ve been covering the funding this long and it hasn’t been a problem, so I think its time to cut our ties.”

All of the plumbing work has been completed at the courthouse and now its time to start working on replacing the terrazzo floors.

At a previous meeting, the commissioners agreed to do an epoxy coated cement floor rather than trying to match the original terrazzo. The cost of the cement floor would be hundreds of dollars rather than the $2,000 per square foot of matching the original floor.

Maintenance supervisor Anthony Fruciano and his crew have done all of the grinding work in preparation to pour the cement, which should happen within the next week to 10 days.

The commissioners received an initial contract from Centennial Works out of Laramie, a company that contracts to put up snow fence, free of charge.

There were a couple of small items the commissioners were not comfortable with in the contract, so the county attorney will be making those changes and returning the contract to Centennial Works for their approval.

The company puts up the snow fence for free, then in five to seven years, they return and replace it. They make their money off selling the weathered wood all over the world rather than the actual installation, so it is a winning situation for counties to get snowfence for free.


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