County purchases both Kennedy Ace buildings
November 7, 2019
WORLAND – The Washakie County Commissioners closed the sale during their meeting on Tuesday for the purchase of the Kennedy Ace Hardware Building at 801 Big Horn Ave and agreed to also purchase the Kennedy Ace Rental building at 124 North Eighth Street.
The morning began with a discussion with public and officials alike regarding the additional building being purchased on Eighth Street.
This brought about concerns with the building regarding the difficulty of traffic flow on Eighth Street regarding an ambulance leaving the facility, along with a potential concern about the sewer line coming out of the building connecting to the main line which had work done on it around seven years ago.
The positives that were brought about included the opportunity it gives for the Washakie County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Worland. Ambulance Director Luke Sypherd added the fact that this would allow his staff to do more training at the facility, rather than having to haul equipment to a different location to practice for a day.
This new building would give EMS a significant upgrade over the building they are currently housed in, and would allow them to have people pick up more shifts from over the region because it would give them a potential place to sleep while on call and not have to disturb family members if they receive a call in the middle of the night.
Another bonus included with the new building purchase is the inclusion of parking in between the two buildings as well as north of 124 North Eighth Street for staff as well as for community members that would be going to the library in the future once it is completed.
The commissioners decided to purchase the building for $125,000 in order to create a new space for the EMS of Washakie County. The sale of the building was closed today along with the purchase of the Kennedy Ace Hardware main building for $525,000 with the intent to remodel the main building to become the new Washakie County Library.
In another discussion from the commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Washakie County Emergency Management Director Kami Neighbors reported that the United States Army Corps of Engineers had not yet contacted her with numbers regarding what it would cost the county to do a study to solve the sediment problem in the Big Horn River that led to the ice jam in 2017.
The anticipated number is not expected to fall much lower than $1 million, which the county would be responsible for half of, and County Commissioners Aaron Anderson and County Chairman Fred Frandson would rather see action taken on the river with the potential $500,000 that would be used on the study.
Tom Schmeltzer of building maintenance reported that the pipes in the courthouse above dispatch and the kitchen in the jail had been replaced with PVC pipe, and dispatch had the ceiling replaced along with newer carpets and freshly painted walls. Schmeltzer also added that the sewer was also backed up at the Lighthouse with paper towels, and has been called out two times to address the problem.
Keith Bower of Road and Bridge told the commissioners that mowing is all done that he knows needs to be done for the winter.
The commissioners also explored different ways to back up information from the servers at the county courthouse to a remote off-site location, and maintain the licenses that come with the programs the county pays for, along with the server backup not being too expensive monthly for the county.
The commissioners also had a discussion with other elected officials to add another step regarding vacation days for employees. This amended rule would allow employees that have worked for the county 15 years or longer to receive an additional week of vacation days.
There were no executive sessions during the meeting.