Public Health discusses need for additional nurse

BY BARBARA ANNE GREENE

Public Health Nurse Bobbie Jenks discussed some options with the Big Horn County Commission for an additional nurse on April 19. She presented several options and the financial impact of each one.

One option would be hiring a county grant nurse. This position would be paid for out of two grants and would be for two to three days a week.

The other option is a state nurse. The state has offered the county another nurse which Jenks said rarely happens. This position would be paid for with a 65/35 split between the state and county and would be five days a week.

Jenks said the funding for public health has taken a large hit. Both general funding from the state and the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) grant has been cut. The general funding was cut by 6 percent. The TANIF funding was cut an additional amount on top of the 6 percent. Those additional cuts were based on population and demographics.

The commissioners at first didn’t feel that they could support an additional nurse. They indicated they would not increase public health’s budget. However, after further discussion, they did indicate that if Jenks could pay the 35 percent split without increasing her budget they would support the hiring of the state nurse. Jenks said she would go back and look at her budget to see if they could make that happen. She said she would really like to see an additional full-time nurse to provide additional services in both Lovell and Greybull especially for the maternal child health programs.

Jenks also provided a month report for March 2016 which showed the number of vaccines, immunizations, flu shots, exams, etc., that had been done by her department. There were a total of 156, which included both offices. She was given praise by the commissioners for increasing the numbers and all that she was doing.

Additional discussion items were: upcoming outreach flu clinics, the cancelation of the Dining with Diabetics class due to low numbers and, upcoming HIV and anti child abuse trainings.

 

ROAD/BRIDGE/ENGINEERING

Willie Bridges discussed a permit for a circular drive on Lane 12. His concern was that the driveway as requested would put it too close to the intersection of Image Drive and Lane 12, thus creating a safety issue. When asked if there were any alternatives, Bridges said he would go back and discuss the possibility of moving the drive to another part of the lot.

Commissioner Felix Carizales expressed concerns about a collection of cars on Road 13 as he has received numerous complaints. He counted 28 cars and parts in the right of way. Commissioner John Hyde said, “They are working on it. The sheriff has been out there and gone through the cars to help this guy (with titles). He is a struggling businessman and they are trying to help him out. I believe for right now it is being taken care of.” Commissioner Jerry Ewen said it was going to take some patience in the matter, to which Hyde stated that the county has patience for a lot of people in the county and the patience should be extended to him as well. “He’s not a rich and powerful guy. They are trying to get it done. There is only one guy going past his place anyway, complaining about it.”

Carizales said he disagrees. “The consensus of the people that use that road and the people that live down there is that it is a safety hazard.” He also said that some of the vehicles had been crashed, were junk and there would be no way to get titles on them. Hyde agreed but said that special titles are available through the sheriff’s office.

 

LAND PLANNING

Joy Hill gave an update on a possible new subdivision and the grant for cabin addressing.

She also indicated that she and county engineer Willie Bridges would be doing some additional research on the flood plain development west of the Scharen Subdivision. She said their plan is to contact the state to make sure the county has an understanding of the state’s side. They will then contact the Corps of Engineers to find out what permitting requirements they would have. After this, she and Bridges will formulate the county’s requirements.

Hill also discussed the wetland developments in the area and said that she is requesting the plans and permits. Then it can be decided if the county will retroactively permit the developments. Because they are located in a flood plain, the county is going to have to address the issue somehow.

She plans to attend the upcoming Big Horn County mayors meeting in Greybull.

 

AIRPORT

Carl Meyer’s report to the commissioners included an update on the application to the FAA about possible drag racing at the airport during Day’s of 49. He also responded to some questions from tenants at the airport regarding the event.

Another discussion item was the Greybull apron construction pre-bid meeting the week prior. Over forty companies— “from surrounding states and several companies within the state” —requested a bid package. Four were received.

The commissioners are expected to consider awarding the bid at their May meeting.

In other airport news,

  • The repair on the fuel tank has been completed and a report was submitted to the DEQ.
  • The City of Torrington has agreed to transfer $75,000 of their FAA entitlement funds to the county so that the Cowley apron project can be completed. Torrington requested to have a verification that the county will return the funds. The agreement is not typical but the “borrowing” of entitlement funds is. No actual money exchanges hands.
  • The request for reimbursement #3 NAVAID maintenance for both the Cowley and Greybull airports was approved.

 

In other business:

  • The commissioners met in executive session to discuss personnel.
  • County Attorney Kim Adams presented a resolution for Branden Vilos to act as a special prosecuting attorney on behalf of the county. Vilos is the deputy county and prosecuting attorney from Park County. His services will be free.
  • The LDA Penrose property is still being researched.
  • Liquor license renewals were approved.
  • Fire District One cancelled their request to meet with commissioners.