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By Karla Pomeroy

Mayor addresses community: 'brighter days ahead'


April 9, 2020

WORLAND — Worland Mayor Jim Gill addressed the community at the start of the regular city council meeting Tuesday night via Zoom video conferencing.

He said, “The City of Worland has been working diligently to help in the war effort to contain the spread of this virus within our community. We have been working in conjunction with Washakie County, and the COVID-19 task force to help deal with the challenges from the disease (novel coronavirus 2019). While we are in it together, the task force is resolute in asking all citizens not to gather but to remain safe at home when possible to avoid coming into contact with the virus that is among us. We are winning the war folks, but it is not over yet.

“First and foremost, the council members and I extend a great big hug to all of our medical professionals and providers, along with first responders who are standing on the front lines of defeating this enemy. You are simply the best, folks.”

He said the rock stars of the task force are Dr. Ed Zimmerman, county health officer; Washakie County Public Health Nurse Manager Amanda Heinemeyer; Washakie County Emergency Management/Homeland Security Director Kami Neighbors; Worland Police Chief Gabe Elliott; Washakie County Sheriff Steve Rakness; the Washakie County commissioners; Worland Clerk/Treasurer Tracy Glanz; Washakie County Fire Warden Chris Kocher, Ten Sleep Mayor Jack Haggerty and Washakie County Emergency Medical Services Director Luke Sypherd and others.

Gill added, “In addition, the City of Worland continues to deliver an abundant water source to the community, along with sewer and sanitation services, building permits and so much more, at these challenging times.

“I can tell you without reservation that the elected officials realize there is a fine line between economic ruins and the impacts of the disease itself. Folks there will be days ahead that will be much brighter and sunnier, but we are still in the thick of it. We encourage you to hang in there and continue to do what is best for all of us.”

In other COVID-19 news, Public Works Superintendent Brian Burky said the restrooms, playground areas and picnic areas are closed in all city parks to ensure citizens adhere to the state orders regarding no gatherings of over 10 people and social distancing of six feet or more. He said the only exception is the restrooms at Pioneer Square remain open.

—Airport Manager Lynn Murdoch reported that under the Federal Aviation Administration’s portion of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES) Act, the city’s 2020 taxilane expansion project will be fully funded by the federal government, which means a savings to the city of $19,705.

—The council approved a request from Sovereign Grace Bible Church to have a drive-in church service on Easter Sunday, this Sunday.

According to the proposal presented by Pastor Paul Thomas, the service will be between 10:45 a.m. and noon, April 12. The service will be conducted on the lawn and broadcast over the radio so people can come to church while maintaining social distancing guidelines that are in place due to COVID-19.

He said in order for the service to work he requested the street in front of the church be blocked off from 10 to noon to allow parking at an angle in front of the building.

—Goose’s Liquor had their request to serve alcoholic slushies and mixed drinks in sealed bottles approved. Alissa Blood of Goose’s said the they would also be putting the bottles in sealed bags when they are purchased.

Under state order, bars are closed except through curbside delivery and only if drinks are sealed.

—Donnie Bjorhus of Sagebrush Sports, LLC, provided his monthly report on Green Hills Golf Course to the council. He said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cowboy Joe Golf Scramble has been rescheduled from Saturday, May 9 to Friday, May 29. At this time, that is the only reschedule that has taken place.

He said to ensure the safety of the golfers and help stop the spread of the virus, the following rules are in place.

—There is an object in the cups on each green that will prevent the golfer’s golf ball from going to the bottom of the cup. This will allow golfers to take their ball out of the cup without the need to touch and remove the flagstick. Golfers are asked to leave the flagstick in the cup at all times.

—He said they will not be putting rakes at the bunkers at the start of the season. They are asking golfers after they hit their shot out of the bunker, to please smooth the area with their foot as best as possible.  

Course-owned golf carts, will be cleaned like normal, but they will also be wiping off the steering wheel, dash area and seats with disinfecting wipes.


In other business, Mayor Gill proclaimed April 7 as National Service Recognition Day.

—The council awarded the Culbertson infrastructure project to Wilson Brothers Inc. of Cowley for $1,626,503.55. It was the only bid received and it was under the engineering estimates.

About 15 minutes into the meeting, the meeting had to be delayed after it got hacked with a participant posting crude photos and making rude comments.

The original Zoom conference was canceled. The council meeting resumed after another Zoom conference invite went out to the participants who were on the agenda.


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