Five things: City council meeting

The Kemmerer City Council met on Monday, Aug. 24. There were three items on the agenda for discussion. Here are five things you should know from the meeting.

1. J.C. Penney store update

City Administrator Brian Muir was able to make contact with J.C. Penney corporate offices. They said that there is a potential buyer for the overall J.C. Penney properties. Muir said that is that happens, he was told it could be another couple of months before we know anything more.

2. Outdoor Pool

Two contractors have looked at the outdoor pool. The council has received one bid for a maximum cost of $50,936 for both leak detection and repairs. The council approved a motion for the leak detection work which will be followed by more discussion of the full repair at a later meeting. The leak detection by itself will cost around $3,000 to complete.

3. CARES grant funding

The state of Wyoming was given funding to distribute to local governments. Muir said that the CARES funding applied to expenses that the city has incurred in order to follow guidelines for COVID-19. Muir said the city can apply for $37,005.95 for the period up through June 30. The city can apply for more funds later. The council approved the resolution to send the paperwork for the funds.

4. Triangle sidewalk replacement

The council had previously discussed the replacement of sidewalks in and around the outside of the Triangle. The council has received two bids. Councilperson John Sawaya was against the motion stating there isn’t a budget for it, there was no community request for it and there was no plan for the preservation of the trees.

“Let’s not damage the tree while trying to fix the sidewalk,” Sawaya said.

Councilperson Bill Price disagreed with Sawaya stating that people have come to him about the sidewalks.

“This is something that is needed,” Price said.

The council approved the motion to repair the sidewalks pending more information from both bidders. Sawaya opposed the motion.

5. Public Works

Chad Nielsen spoke at the council meeting about how he has received many complaints and had his job threatened since the last council meeting. This was because of the garbage truck repair being sent to Utah. Nielsen went through the entire process of decision making that happened in order to fix the truck. When he found out the mechanics here could not fix the issue, Nielsen said he contacted Muir.

“I follow policy up to $2,000,” Nielsen said. When the price exceeds $2,000 Nielsen calls Muir for approval, which Nielsen and Muir both said he did.

“I can’t see where I went wrong with going local,” Nielsen said. “I need some direction from this council.”

A couple councilmembers spoke up about how he was doing a great job and to just ignore the complaints coming in.