Bear sightings in Lingle and Fort Laramie

Logan Dailey/Lingle Guide Mayor Al Unverzagt opens the first Lingle Town Council meeting of August Wednesday evening.

Business as usual for town council

LINGLE – The Lingle Town Council convened for their first meeting of August on Wednesday. During the meeting, Police Chief Endra Andrews reported there had been sightings of bears in both Lingle and Fort Laramie over the past week.

“It has come to my attention there have been multiple bear sightings outside of Lingle,” Andrews explained. “Nobody called dispatch; please call dispatch.”

Andrews urged residents to contact the Torrington Dispatch Center anytime there is an animal which may pose a danger to the public, especially when it is in town. The Torrington Dispatch Center can be reached by calling 307-532-7001. If there is an emergency, dial 911.

Andrews offered tips to protect citizens in the event of an encounter with a bear: stay calm, keep trash lids affixed and closed, don’t approach the animals, don’t try to pet the animals, don’t feed the animals, pick up small children, don’t make sudden movements, do not run from them and contact your local law enforcement agency so they can allocate resources to effectively intervene with the animals.

Andrews said everything was going well with the police department, but citizens can expect an uptick in motorcycle traffic due to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally taking place in South Dakota, beginning Aug. 5 and running through Aug. 12.

In addition to her regular duties, Andrews will be joining the Torrington Police Department Aug. 11 for an active threat training in Torrington.

Councilmember A.J. Lambert provided the council with an update from the Lingle Volunteer Fire Department as Fire Chief Kasey Bangerter was absent.

The fire department responded to four fires and 11 ambulance calls in the last month. They are currently working with one truck down due to a failure in the pump. Lambert reported the pump was leaking and they are in the process of purchasing a new pump for the truck. Lambert expressed the importance of replacing the pump and valve after the department fought a fire the Friday previous north of Lingle and the truck was out of water when it arrived at the scene.

“We really need it for that truck,” Lambert explained. “The truck showed up and it was empty. We have been buying time on it and now it’s time.”

Lambert said the replacement parts for the truck would cost between $5,100-$7,200.

Town attorney Anna Barnes reported Melette Maypark had contacted the town after learning there was a new mayor to have the council reconsider the purchase of her property located north of the post office on Main Street.

“It’s an empty lot. Larry Haeffelin has been maintaining the weeds on it for a long period of time,” she explained. “The town paid to have the building taken down in the 90s.”

Maypark offered the property to the town for $10,000. However, the town currently holds a lien against the property for the cost of the demolition of the building demolished in the 1990s. The cost of the lien was around $10,000.

Barnes explained it would be too costly for the town to pursue the owed lien through a civil proceeding on the property due to the fact Maypark is currently residing out of state.

The council unanimously approved a rebuttal offer which would require Maypark to sign a quick claim deed in return for the owed lien. The town would acquire the property in return for the termination of the lien.

Pool manager Brandi Hill reported the pool had been seeing less people within the week due to the Goshen County Fair, adding the pool would be closed Thursday, Aug. 4 in observance of Fair Day. The movie in the park event displayed by the pool would be moving to Friday this week as Irene Reece and 307 Realty had sponsored a free swim. The movie will be “Spider-Man, No Way Home.” The movie starts at 9 p.m. and concessions will be available in the pool house.

The council unanimously approved to allow the Lingle-Fort Laramie schools to use the pool for their physical education classes the second week of the school year. They will be establishing a charge for the school based on an estimation of the cost to pay their lifeguards and maintain the facility during this time.

“The reason we are doing it benefits more than the cost,” Councilmember Kathy Wilhelm said.

“The school counts on it and they appreciated,” Councilmember Brandie Cook added.

The pool will cease operations Sep. 11. It will then be winterized.

Town clerk/treasurer Ritch Reyes reported there had been an influx of new residents to Lingle, keeping the office busier than usual. In addition, Reyes has been working with Bob Cress on his de-annexation request. Cress will now need to get a public notice in the newspaper before continuing with the process.

Reyes submitted a proposal to the council for the acquisition of a new copier. The lease of the copier would cost $118 for 60 months and $58 a month for a service contract. Reyes reported issues with the existing copier and noted the machine had been used by the town for around 12 years.

Councilmember Lambert proposed the purchase of the new copier as opposed to leasing it. He explained the cost to purchase the copier would be significantly less expensive than to lease the copier. The purchase of the copier would be $5,800 total and the town would continue to pay their service contract fee of $58 a month. The savings amounted to around $1,280 over the five-year period.

The council unanimously approved the purchase of the new copier and later agreed to give their current copier to the fire department to use as their copier had been in disrepair for some time.

The council approved two malt beverage permits: one for Terry Korell on Sep. 17 at the community center from 11 a.m. to noon and the other for Jenny Hill in Whipple Park on Aug. 13 from 4-8 p.m.

Bob Cress also submitted an application for a malt beverage permit, but the council tossed the application upon learning the location the application stated for the party would be on private property, not subject to the provisions of the malt beverage permit requirements.

The council later approved the acceptance of an engagement letter presented by Lenhart, Mason and Associates, LLC out of Casper to conduct the annual F66 financial survey of the town. The only stipulation being Reye’s nephew would not be allowed to engage in the F66 process due to the conflict of interest.

During councilmember items, Councilmember Wilhelm said the pool donation request letters had not been mailed out with the quarterly newsletter. After brief discussion, it was decided the town would cover the cost of mailing out the request due to the error.

Lastly, Councilmember Cook said the Lingle-Fort Laramie Lions Club would be hosting their annual Community in the Park even Aug. 10. She said she had contacted Goshen Economic Development about the matter, and they expressed interest in providing assistance for the event, with the stipulation they would like to advertise the importance of the 1/4 cent sales tax for Goshen Economic Development and its involvement in community programs.

Cook said she would be reaching out to Goshen Economic Development to discuss the assistance provided to the town for the event.

The next meeting of the Lingle Town Council will be Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Lingle Community Center on Main Street. To view upcoming agendas, stop by town hall on Main Street or visit https://townoflingle.com/index.php/town-council.

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