Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Cynthia Shroyer
Edititor of Pine Bluffs Post 

Bus safety stressed at Burns council meeting


No public comment or agenda requests were made to start out the Burns Town Council meeting Monday night. The meeting started and ended with reports from Laramie County Sheriff’s Office representative Bill Thomas reporting on law enforcement activity in Burns.

“Efforts have shifted to Albin lately, Burns has been quiet,” Thomas said at the outset of the meeting.

Thomas had no further report until the end of the meeting when he asked for a moment to remind drivers about bus safety.

“We’ve had a rash of people running around school buses,” Thomas said. “We will cite them.

Thomas reminded everyone that bus drivers are very good at identifying vehicles and license plates.

“They also have video with good evidence,” he said.

Those videos show precisely when a vehicle passes a bus. The video shows what warning lights on the bus are engaged at the time a vehicle passes it.

“We had one in front of high school in Burns that passed two buses and they were cited for both,” Thomas said.

That citation is worth about $800 in fines.

“I don’t know why we’ve had a rash of those, but it’s not something anyone can tolerate, we have to keep our kids safe,” Thomas said, punctuating his statement by adding he has been on calls where the children hit by cars passing buses have died.

When mayor Judy Johnstone took the floor to address council, she told them TerraCon had been to Burns to test the flooring in the old town hall for asbestos. No results have been returned to the town yet.

Johnstone also said new contracts regarding the use of the Burns-Plex were created by town attorney Monique Ojeda and were sent to council. Johnstones asked if council wanted to discuss the new document or just approve it to begin use. One portion she pointed out was that the town will want to have anyone who rents the facility or has a key or gets a key to sign a waiver relieving responsibility of town in case of injury on the property. It is inferred this means tenants as well. Council approved the new contract by consensus.

In council reports the only item brought to the table was further discussion concerning truck route signs on 2nd Street. Councilman Ralph Bartels had not yet seen the sign that has been posted and other council members thought additional signs may be needed. Councilman Phil Oakes suggested printing off a letter informing truck drivers of the new truch route and disseminating it at Panhandle Co-op.

Fire marshal Charlie Vosler gave a warning about tumbleweeds.

“There are making their annual attendance,” Vosler said. “ We need to pay attention in regard to doorways, they are very flammable and can block doors.”

Vosler added the recent winds caused tumbleweeds to climb up and block his chimney.

“They won’t burn long, but they will catch fire,” he said adding residents need to do checks to make sure chimneys are cleared.

“If you are burning tumbleweeds you need to notify someone that you are burning in a controlled burn,” Vosler said. “Let people around you know and the local fire department. We have been under a fire watch due to wind so you need to be careful.”

Johnstone added people don’t want to drive through tumbleweeds with a car as the car can catch tumbleweeds on fire.

In old business, council approved by unanimous roll call the third reading of Ordinance 16E.01(b) concerning property line distances in construction projects. The ordinance was changed to clarify the distance needed between a building and the road.

In new business, council held the first reading of Ordinance 1B.01(e) which changes the frequency of council meetings. The ordinance specifies meetings will be held the second Monday of each month, and that there will be one meeting a month. If there is a holiday on the day of a scheduled meeting, the meeting must be held within seven days before or after scheduled meeting day.

“We fully understand there are times we will need special meetings,” Johnstone said. “The requirement for notice is eight hours, but we can tell media by phone and step into the meeting immediately after.”

The council agreed to gather a list of people who need to be notified of a special meeting and where notice of the meeting will be posted.

Council also discussed the fire department lease as it is time to renew the lease for rooms they use in the north building of the Burns-Plex. Johnstone gave council a letter of agreement to look over that extends the lease as it currently reads for an additional year.

Fire department board member Riley McNamar told council the department would like to renew the lease. He added a new board takes over in January and they will approve what the town presents for the lease. Council approved the renewal.

Town clerk Toni McNamar told council the planning grant money used for the Burns-Plex has been spent and the grant finalized. Paperwork must be maintained for five years.

She also announced dog registration begins Dec. 3, and all dogs must be registered.

Toni offered a WAMCAT conference report to council. One item in particular that was discussed was the town budget.

“We have to do public hearing prior to third reading for citizens to make comment,” she said. “We need to plan carefully for this with going to one meeting a month.”

She also gave a reminder about the craft sale to be held Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit Burns Day.

Oakes gave the ambulance report and said policies and procedures have been updated to reflect there is no longer a board. They also put in that if the town leaves the joint powers medical board, it will need to immediately appoint a medical director as it is state law.

“We have an ordinance that states the town has to have an ambulance board,” Oake said. “We either need to appoint a new board or eliminate that ordinance.”

Council indicated it wants to remove the ordinance.

“We haven’t had any issues not having a board,” councilwoman Jan Gray noted.

Johnstone took as direction from council to remove that from ordinances and will have the changes ready for approval at the next council meeting.

A formal motion to approve the new policies and procedures was made and approved with Oakes abstaining.

Oakes announced he has a sample of reflective house number sign, posted at his residence at 202 Abilene Loop. Anyone who wants to see one can drive by and have a look. To order one, residents are urged to call 649-2400 and order them.

“You will need to get your own post, but you can have a sign made by the Carpenter fire department,” Oakes said.

The signs sell for $10, and the fire department retains $2 of the price.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Johnstone requested an executive session to discuss personnel. After coming out of executive session, council made a payroll offer to the town clerk which will be discussed further at the next council meeting.

The town council will have one meeting in December due to the holidays. That meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Burns-Plex.


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