By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Discussions of new clinic and dispatch busy council

 

Charlene Smith

Director and CEO of the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Foundation, Steve Stone, spoke to the Pine Bluffs Town Council Wednesday evening at their meeting. Stone reviewed the progress made thus far on the grant and plans for the new clinic in Pine Bluffs.

“Thank you for helping us with the new facility,” Stone said. “The new layout will be approximately 4,400 square feet, compared with 2,700 at the current building.”

Stone said he would need the council to help with the building permits, organizing the demolition of the old clinic, calculating a value of the land for an in-kind asset, and assisting with water and sewer lines to the new building.

“The new facility will cost $1.25 million, and the foundation has guaranteed $250,000 for the project,” explained Stone. “The grant, if approved, will be for $1 million, and we would like as much in-kind as we can get to make the grant proposal stronger.”

Mayor Bill Shain said the council was very excited about the clinic and, although he couldn’t speak for the others, he assumed the council would approve supplying the new water and sewer lines. He added the fire department would complete the demolition of the site for an additional in-kind donation.


Stone cautioned that the work was contingent on the grant approval which wouldn’t be announced until January 2014.

“So, make sure we don’t let the firemen burn down the old clinic until we hear about the grant,” joked Shain.

Stone encouraged the council to attend the Laramie County Commissioners meeting Aug. 6 when the grant would be submitted for the commissioners approval. He noted the grant was due Sept. 1, and all information from the council would need to be in prior to that date. Stone reiterated grant recipients would be announced January 2014, ground breaking would begin in March 2014, and construction time would be between 90 and 120 days.

After hearing from other involved parties in the clinic project, the council discussed the Memorandum of Understanding with Cheyenne Dispatch to handle Pine Bluffs calls.

“The bottom line is price,” Shain said. “I want to know exactly how much this will cost us, and have it in writing before we move forward.”

Town attorney Alex Davison said he would be willing to talk directly to Cheyenne instead of having police chief Robin Clark forward messages to him.

“It would make the conversations quicker and more efficient,” Davison explained. Clark agreed the direct conversations would work better.

As the MOU reads now, Pine Bluffs would sign a five-year contract for services. Cheyenne dispatch is covering Pine Bluffs calls on Monday and Thursday at this point.

Pine Bluffs dispatcher Olivia Lundy expressed some discontent on how the situation was handled.

“Someone from the council talked with another dispatcher and said ‘get another job, we’re closing dispatch,’” Lundy said. “It would have been nice if we would have heard it directly from the council instead of on the street. I am concerned about how this will affect the community and the people working at dispatch. Often, we have people knock on the police department door for help. If dispatch isn’t there, no one will be there to help them.”


Shain apologized for the mismanagement of the process to Lundy, but said the dispatch closing wasn’t a new concept.

“For the past 13 or 14 years of my involvement with the council we have been discussing our options,” Shain said. “But it all comes down to money, again. If this contract works out, dispatch will move to Cheyenne. But nothing is certain yet.”

Lundy thanked Shain for his explanation. The council asked Davison to complete the MOU and Clark to get them a report of all the costs involved with Cheyenne dispatching for Pine Bluffs compared to the costs now, and get back to them with the information.

Moving on to other business, the council heard from three engineers on proposals for due diligence on the property the town is considering purchasing. The property has three wells on it, currently used for agriculture purposes, and the town would use the wells for public water use.

All three presenters were commended by Shain and the council. Councilman Mike Ragsdale said, “put the names in a hat and draw one,” to show his confidence in all three.

Shain apologized for an unconscious favoritism to one firm.

“We needed some information on the possible problems with using the wells for water and called an engineer we had worked with on another water issue,” Shain explained. “So, they had a huge head start, but it’s nothing against the other two.”

The council agreed to hire Lidstone and Associates to perform due diligence on the north Main Street property being considered to purchase.

The council agreed to a 24 hour malt beverage permit for Pal’s Pub for Friday and Saturday of Trail Days. The council also agreed to allow Pal’s Pub to open early Sunday, August 4 at 10 a.m.

Town administrator Caryn Miller reminded the council they were invited to tour the Texas Trail Museum. The council decided to take the tour before their Aug. 19, meeting.

Miller also informed the council 13 new pedestals will be installed at the RV park, and the Reher park bid should go out next week.

Shain said City Park might be ready to mow, and councilman Mark Fornstrom noted the water might need to be “backed off a bit.”

“When the grass starts turning yellow, it’s time to turn the sprinklers down,” Fornstrom said.

The council discussed the sprinkler nozzles being turned at the park to spray in the street, and encouraged the police department to patrol the park more often to catch the culprits.

The council adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters. The next council meeting will be Monday, Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Charlene Smith

 

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