Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Marcus Huff
Staff Writer 

County awards Firewise bid to Casper firm

WORLAND – Washakie County Commissioners awarded a contract to Technical Forestery Services of Casper on Tuesday for the county Firewise contract, as outlined by a grant obtained by the county earlier this year.

 

December 20, 2017



WORLAND – Washakie County Commissioners awarded a contract to Technical Forestery Services of Casper on Tuesday for the county Firewise contract, as outlined by a grant obtained by the county earlier this year.

A federal program to aid county fire wardens with wildland fire mitigation, the grant also provides educational resources for homeowners in other than urban areas, easily threatened by wildland fires.

Technical Forestry (the vendor for the previous Firewise grant) has served Washakie County, by providing community education, fuels treatment (removal of fire hazards) and preparing mitigation plans for the county.

The Technical Forestry bid included a budget of $124,330 for fuels reduction and labor, $21,633 for travel, $15,999 for supplies and $130,250 for cost-sharing to landowners to clear fire hazards.

According to Firewise.org, the governing agency, the program is designed to implement the National Fire Plan and assist communities at risk from catastrophic wildland fires. The program provides grants, technical assistance, and training for community programs that develop local capability, including assessment and planning, mitigation activities, and community and homeowner education and action; hazardous fuels reduction activities, including the training, monitoring or maintenance associated with such hazardous fuels reduction activities, on federal land, or on adjacent nonfederal land for activities that mitigate the threat of catastrophic fire to communities and natural resources in high risk areas.

SECURITY FOR ASSESSOR

Also during the Tuesday commission meeting, the county maintenance department reported that the expected cost for upgraded security to the assessor’s office (a customer counter and electronic pass-thru gate) would cost an estimated $2,370, with all construction done by the county.

As reported by County Assessor Kathy Treanor, the Assessor’s Office has had several instances of being approached by “aggressive” taxpayers and customers, to the point that the office staff have reported feeling threatened.

After consulting with Sheriff Steven Rakness, Treanor was advised to request upgraded security for the office. Currently, the office has an open floor plan, and anyone can approach the desks of the employees.

While Treanor and staff believe a glass wall or partition would hinder the feeling of customer service, they would like to see a barrier to keep customers from directly approaching their work area.

WDA

In other business, LeAnn Baker with the Washakie Development Association had previously requested to move the WDA offices to their previous location at the Cloverfield Building at the Lighthouse complex. The WDA is currently occupying offices at the Washakie Development building, but future plans could include selling the building.

Tom Schmeltzer with county maintenance reported Tuesday that the WDA could move into the new offices by Jan. 1, and that Varney Clean Care will be cleaning the space on Dec. 27.

LIGHTHOUSE

Schmeltzer also reported that the Lighthouse facility is totally completed with the exception of turning on the building heat.

The five-bed Lighthouse center run by Cloud Peak Counseling housed almost 70 patients in 2016, from Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park, Fremont and Washakie counties. The latest expansion brings the facility to a 7-room center, with a social detox area, at a projected cost of $97,000.

TRAVELERS AND GPS

The county Road and Bridge department heard concerns over travelers following GPS routes down Dry Farm Road and toward Big Trails, increasing the chance of becoming lost or stuck in inclement weather and snow.

The county is considering a variety of signs to install, warning drivers of road conditions and hazards in the area south of Ten Sleep.

 
 

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