Chicken ordinance passes first reading with very little little squawk

Barbara Anne Greene

The first reading of the ordinance that will allow chickens in town passed at the April 8 Basin Town Council meeting. Council member Brent Godfrey expressed his displeasure of the ordinance, casting the only dissenting vote.

At the last council meeting it was suggested by a town resident that distance between coops and neighbor’s homes be moved to 45 feet. The council said then they would take that under advisement. They chose to leave it at 25 feet. The second reading of the ordinance will be April 22 at the town council meeting.

Town Clerk Deaun Tigner gave the administration report. She reported that the vault had been cleaned and old files were removed. She also said the open burn permit was scheduled for April 17-25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Three plots were sold and two burials occurred in March at Mount View Cemetery. She provided the delinquent/aging reports, the municipal court report and update on delinquent notices to the council. Tigner noted that the aging report had gone down.

Chief of Police Kyle McClure’s report included the number of calls and traffic stops the department had in March. They responded to 210 calls for service, eight cases and had 39 traffic stops. There were no house watches or arrests.

McClure informed the council that the problem the department had been having with server was a power cord. He also noted that the server is from 2003. It is functional but is at end of life, so McClure recommends a new one with the next year. The cost estimate is $11,000 or they could get one now at 50% off. That would total $5886.07, plus the cost to install. Also discussed were the new body cams. They will be up and running by April 14. The department camera system is working again but will need a new DVR system for continued operation. The cost quote is $300 plus installation. He recommended to the council that the server can wait but the DVR needs to be done.

Other items discussed were the cleaning and organizing the office. He feels that a lot of the equipment in the vehicles is old and outdated, including the radios and radar units. The department will be looking at updating equipment with the next vehicle purchase. McClure would like to get rid of the oldest vehicle in the fleet and unmark another one of the vehicles so it can be used as a training vehicle.

McClure noted that the Tasers and handheld portable radios are at end of life., that the replacement of the four radios at a cost of $19,185.96 be split up in different years but needs to happen. The cost for new Tasers is $850 each.

There is around $4,000 left in the police equipment budget. He is trying to get a grant to help pay for new radios. His priorities are to the radios and Tasers. Mayor CJ Duncan directed McClure to get two new Tasers coming.

The police department and town office have a contract with an IT company from Powell for $400 a month. This gives them unlimited online support as well as one in-service day a month. According to McClure the company already has gotten over 50% of the police department items that were not functioning up and running.

Basin First Baptist pastor Aaron Gesch and administrator Brett Suiter approached the town about a triangular piece of property west of the church. The land is owned by the town and is vacant.

The church would like to explore options with the town regarding the property. Those options include rent, purchase, gifting, etc. The church would like to beautify the area, expand its parking lot, etc.

Town Attorney Kent Richins discussed some of the different ways the town could handle the transaction. The council directed Richins to look further into the options and bring his recommendation back to the town.

Duncan updated the council on the mayor’s meeting the town hosted the previous week. He said that he talked to the county commissioners about the vendors at the fair being covered by a single permit that the county would purchase from the town. To do that an ordinance would have to be changed. The council voted to table the discussion until the council can review the current ordinance more closely.

He also discussed the idea for the county to become a Second Amendment sanctuary. Duncan reported that the commissioners had discussed the possibility. “At this point to date, they have not done anything with it. Their major concern was that funding may be withheld. They took a hard stance on it. I frankly think that if that’s the case, they are not protecting our freedoms because they are afraid they’re going to lose funding. I understand that correlation. But my personal opinion is that our freedoms are worth more than that. I’m willing to give up a few things for our commissioners to protect our Second Amendment rights,” said Duncan.

He referred to Wyoming House Bill 11-State Sovereignty impacted by federal actions. He encouraged the council to review the bill. He added that the commissioners did say that if there were enough public support they would review and possibly move forward on a resolution. Duncan said there is a lot of support for such a resolution from those in Basin and in the area.

In other business:

• Duncan proclaimed April to be Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

• A permit for kitchen remodel and small addition on Crescent Drive was approved.

• A variance request was approved for a property on Holdrege.

• An executive session was requested to discuss personnel.

• Mike Dellos gave the water report.

• The council reviewed the written department reports from public works and electrical.

• Amanda Otto was hired as the summer recreation pool operator/activity director for the Rec District.

• The town clean-up event is April 24, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

• The mayor asked the council about helping sponsor an event with the Big Horn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative and Basin Area Chamber on the Big Horn River July 17. There is no anticipated cost to the town.