By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Pine Bluffs council dispatches verbal commitment

 

Charlene Smith

Laramie County Combined Communications director Glen Crumpton spoke at the Pine Bluffs council Monday evening about the possible Memorandum of Understanding between Pine Bluffs and the center to cover dispatch for the town.

“The center receives $900,000 each year from the 911 charge on everyone’s telephone bill,” explained Crumpton. “The center’s budget is estimated at $2.2 million if we are fully staffed and the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County each pay half of that.”

The council had concerns with Pine Bluffs paying a percentage of the budget for the center due to their smaller call volume.

“I know we will pay more per call but we are reluctant to go in without some protection or reassurance that we will still be able to afford the service in five years since all our equipment will be gone,” said mayor Bill Shain.

Crumpton explained most of his budget is staffing and for the past three years they have been at minimum staff.

“Cheyenne and the county pay $325,000 right now instead of $600,000,” said Crumpton. “But costs only go up and I hope to hire more dispatchers to keep my staff sane. But I understand Pine Bluffs doesn’t want to pay $325,000.”

Town attorney Alex Davison realized things “are not going to get less expensive.” But he added Pine Bluffs was looking at this option to save money.

Shain asked Crumpton if the contract could have some clause for a review or cost projection at the end of the fourth year so the sitting council could determine how to proceed with a new contract or other options. Crumpton and Davison agreed to work on that wording.


Shain also said he received some concerns about how the Emergency Medical Service pages are being handled now.

“I understand if a call comes in, your dispatch calls a designated person here and they get the personnel needed for the call,” Shain said. “Many of the volunteers aren’t comfortable with that and would like to know how we can change it.”

Crumpton said if he had a verbal commitment from the council, he would begin placing the equipment needed for paging EMS from dispatch and that could be completed in 12 days.

Councilman Mark Fornstrom felt the council could give a verbal approval and they were getting closer to agreeing on the contract.

The council approved a verbal commitment with Laramie County Combined Communications Center for a five-year contract at $75,000 per year with the understanding that Davison and Crumpton will work on a clause for contract review at the end of four years. The council also concurred that Shain could give his approval for the council so the work could begin on the system for EMS calls.


Laramie County Fire Department chief Derek Walls thanked the council for their verbal commitment to help the EMS calls improve. While he had the floor, Walls thanked the council for attending the City Park event Sunday and it went “really well,” adding the fire department and the recreation center plan to do something similar every year.

The council moved on to review the single bid received for Reher Park. Engineer Scott Larson explained the bid came in well over the budgeted amount for the project. He explained there may be a few items they could eliminate but he was concerned the project would not come close to the $350,000 budgeted. The bid the council received was over $540,000. The council rejected the Reher Park bid and agreed to review what was needed and put it out for bid in the winter again.

Larson reviewed the four bids received for the Black Boulevard and Butler Avenue. He explained the council saved some money by doing both streets at the same time and going out for bid now. Larson also said by using concrete for Black Boulevard and asphalt for Butler, the council will save even more money.

“There are no utilities under Black but you may need access under Butler at some point,” Larson said. He added the work will begin immediately and Black Boulevard should be completed by Dec. 20. and work would continue “until the weather completely shuts them down.”

Larson recommended the council accept the bid from S&S Builders in the amount of $993,051.85. In other business, the council approved invoices for work done on the north lift station and sewer lagoon project as well as the water distribution project. The council also approved an amendment to the budget to accept a grant from Laramie County Recreation Board for $3,412.80 for work done to the heaters at the pool. The council checked the language on the use of money in one of their line items in the budget and approved the use of the money for the removal of 161 meters from the meter removal project and the due diligence and property acquisition.

Councilman Alan Curtis said he attended the tour of the Texas Trail Museum and “they seem to have a good thing going and hats off to them.” Curtis said the visitor center is directing traffic to the museum and attendance is up. He added with everything, their success is contingent on funding.

The council adjourned to executive session where they discussed personnel matters. The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 7:30 p.m.

Charlene Smith

 

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