Fort Laramie well grant pushed to January

Council considers moving meetings to Zoom

FORT LARAMIE – The Fort Laramie Town Council convened for their regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Despite the absences of Councilmen Cody Flayler and Joe Brown, a quorum was attained with Councilwomen Kelly Loveland and Laura Curtsinger present. Also in attendance were Mayor Joyce Evans and Secretary Kim Craft.

Craft told the council the town’s well grant request to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) had been delayed, again.

“They took it off of the emergency list, and it’s going to their regular meeting agenda,” Craft said. “They deemed it not necessarily emergent.”

“So, not having water is apparently not a problem, and we should be okay,” Evans said caustically.

Despite having not been heard by SLIB for the past five months, Craft said they were on the agenda for January and would be heard.

Loveland said she was concerned a more significant problem would develop if the problem persists. Loveland asked the council if the town had considered a “Plan B,” should SLIB did not approve their grant for the well.

Craft said “Plan B” would involve the town asking Goshen Economic Development for $20,000 to put towards the project. She said this would permit them to address the one well with the most damage but likely would not cover the costs for the second well.

The council decided to approach Goshen Economic Development to see what could be done with their present situation.

Fort Laramie resident Jaime Potter asked the board whether an ordinance existed to deal with nuisance animals, specifically barking dogs. Potter said there have been dogs incessantly barking in the town and would like to have the matter addressed.

Evans told Potter she was aware of the barking dogs, as she had heard them as well. She said she had also seen where the dogs had been loose on different occasions.

Evans said the town had recently appointed town code enforcers and would be referring the matter to them.

Evans said she would like the council to consider conducting business through Zoom.

Councilman Brown has been unable to attend past meetings due to his workplace’s policies regarding COVID-19. Conducting Zoom meetings would allow Brown to participate in the meetings while still complying with his employer’s requirements.

Evans said she would like to pursue the idea but wished to confer with the Wyoming Association of Municipalities and ensure Zoom meetings would not violate any state laws, specifically the Open Meetings Act.

Loveland asked Evans if the town possessed the capability of holding a meeting on Zoom. Evans said they did but were also considering upgrading some equipment to provide a better experience for those attending the meetings.

Curtsinger brought up the concern of councilmembers being incapable of attending meetings due to COVID-19 isolation and quarantine orders. She expressed how the meetings could be canceled if multiple members of the council were unable to attend.

In other business, Fort Laramie Fire Chief Pete Howes told the council the Fort Laramie Fire Department would not be doing their Santa program. The department also decided not to do the feed or hayride.

Howes said the department had not been having their business or training meetings for some time and he didn’t expect them to convene for any meetings for December, either.

The council adjourned into executive session.

The Fort Laramie Town Council’s next regular meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, at 7 p.m. in the Fort Laramie Community Center.