Board of County
—February 21, 2017
by Jackie Bubis
The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The Board approved the minutes of the February 7th and 8th meetings. Mrs. Hood requested that her answer to John Johnston’s question that day be reflected in the minutes for the 31st so they will be approved at a later date.
A Wetmore resident expressed her disappointment in the entire board from the meeting on Friday, 2/17. She said that when they ran for office, they expressed that the Wetmore Community Center was a priority for them. She stated that, in the Friday meeting, the three commissioners didn’t know anything and hadn’t done their homework. She was dismayed that the commissioners derided both the architect Tom Duke and former-commissioner Attebery. “Commissioner Attebery allowed us to dream,” she said. She stated that she felt it was easier to blame someone else than for them to own up to not doing their homework.
Kattnig began his defense by saying that at the last meeting that Attebery attended, Kattnig requested an update and Attebery didn’t give him one. He stated that none of the issues that “these two” brought up (meaning the other Commissioners, I suppose) were brought up at that time.
Printz answered her concerns by saying that he did as much homework as he was allowed to do before he was sworn in. “As a private citizen I wasn’t privy to the contracts or any discussions. I wasn’t allowed to go to any of the meetings. I specifically asked to come to the planning meetings,” he said. He commended Attebery. Then went on to say that many of these things just came up. He stated that the contractor came to them and said that if they wanted all the things in the change order, they’d be $100K over budget. They also did not know about the $300/day charge for every day past the deadline. He stated that when he asked Mr. Attebery for information, he didn’t get a lot. He hinted that maybe it was political because Mrs. Attebery ran against him for the commissioner seat.
(Note: the contract was filed with the County Clerk and has been available since it was signed. It did cost $9.25.)
Mrs. Hood responded that, from the very beginning in January, they have been meeting with the contractors. “You need to understand,” she said, “that it was not an easy transition. We didn’t have a transition with Lynn or with Kit. So we were kept in the dark.” She then referenced her papers and itemized some of the delays. “So, yes, we were in shock when we met for the first time.” She stated that she asked what the delays were costing the county and did not get an answer. She insisted that they had been doing their due diligence for Wetmore and stated again that it wasn’t an easy transition for them. “Had we sat down with Lynn and Kit at the same time and gone over the drawings, we’d be in a different spot.”
Kattnig stressed that he didn’t see this as anybody’s fault. Another citizen objected to that statement saying, that there definitely was fault. Kattnig said that once the building was finished, there may be some recompense.
For clarification, I asked if the by-weekly meetings with the builder that have happened since the building was started were open to the public. They answered that the meetings were open to the public. “So anyone who was going to be coming into office in January could have been going to these meetings to get up to speed. Is that correct?
Printz answered that this was not correct. He stated that he was at those meetings but that he was not privy to the contract or the behind-the-scene negotiations. (I am unclear what he meant by behind the scene negotiations – would that not be a violation of sunshine laws?)
Mrs. Hood listed a number of meetings that she had attended including workshops with the IT director, a workshop on a possible marijuana REGULATION, tourism board, a trip to Denver with the other commissioners to speak with the CSU president, and a workshop about the CSU Extension office.
Mr. Kattnig also had attended some of those meetings and workshops and also met with the Cuerno Verde Homeowners Association on Saturday.
Mr. Smith reported that he is still waiting on the ruling to dismiss the county from the Hamilton lawsuit. He expects a ruling within the next few weeks.
When Larry Haines, from Road and Bridge, asked if they should now be working on that road, Mr. Smith reiterated that it was now a county road. Mr. Kattnig told him to hold off until after they heard back from the judge.
The Board recognized the Custer County Corps of Chaplains, approved the Annual Fire Operating Plan, and accepted the School Emergency Facility Use Agreement.
Mrs. Hood requested that she be made the contact point for the County Building Assessment done by CU students last summer. The report from the students has never been produced and will meet with DOLA to move forward on this assessment. Mr. Printz had no objection to her taking the lead but wants to be involved as well.
The meeting moved on to the Wetmore Community Center. Mrs. Hood went into the financials on the building, stating that the “$100,000 over budget” from last Friday’s meeting was, in reality more like $82,000. These were change orders requested by the county. Of that $80K+, they managed on Friday to whittle it down to $58,631.31. They did that by taking off some of the changes altogether and negotiating the rest. This figure contains the $300 per day charge for the project being delayed. The total budget for the project in August was $823,325. It now stands at approximately $880,000. There is no word yet on two grants that are still awaiting approval.
The contract for the building is on file at the Clerk’s office and, contrary to Mr. Printz’s excuse that he couldn’t see it because he was just a citizen, it can be purchased for $9.25. Contract for Wetmore Community Center
Mrs. Hood brought up an email from Jim Bradburn requesting a public hearing on the Dark Skies push to have the valley floor, and possibly the entire county, try for the designation as a Dark Skies Reserve. Both Mr. Printz and Mr. Kattnig expressed that, even if the designation is attained, there will not be a compliance requirement. “It won’t be something people will have to do,” Kattnig stated.
Mrs. Hood also mentioned an email from Charles Bogle of the Custer County Economic Development Corporation regarding the 2017 Community Assessment. The CCEDC will have a public meeting on March 3rd at 1 p.m. at the library to update the community on the broad band project.
Mrs. Hood requested that one board member be selected to respond to the newspapers and volunteered to take on that responsibility. Mr. Printz would like to see anything she sends to the paper when she is speaking for all the Commissioners. Mr. Kattnig reminded the room that personnel matters are confidential.
A Wetmore citizen requested an update on possible flooding in Wetmore due to the Junkins fire. Mr. Kattnig gave a brief update, stressing a neighbor helping neighbor plan in case of emergency and the trash along and in the creek (branches, etc) would need to be cleaned up.
The meeting was recessed until 1 p.m. when it was reconvened and the Board went into executive session for personnel issues. Terre Davis, school board chairman, reminded the commissioners that they were required to say publically who was staying in the room for the executive session. Those were: Terre Davis, Gary Hyde, the Board, the attorney, the Board’s assistant and the Clerk.
When they reconvened, they directed Mr. Smith to write the letter (confidential personnel matter) to the unspecified individual and they announced the date for the Commissioners to interview the three applicants for the assistant supervisor position at Road and Bridge would be on the 28th at 2 p.m. in executive session.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.