Christmas lighting winners announced by council

LINGLE – The Lingle Town Council convened for their first meeting of 2023 on Jan. 4. This was the first meeting since Dec. 7, after the Dec. 16 meeting was cancelled due to weather. Mayor Al Unverzagt was present with council members A.J. Lambert, Kathy Wilhelm, Brandie Cook and Micah Foster.

The council announced the winners of the Town of Lingle’s 2022 Christmas lighting contest. Rick Combs and George Siglin were announced as the first-place winners and Matt Berry was announced as the second-place finisher. Being as there was a tie for first place, Combs and Siglin will each receive $87.50 off their January electric bill, while Berry will receive $50 off his bill. 

Lambert presented the bills. The previous month’s expenses totaled $102,233.46 and revenues totaled $96,340.07, leaving a deficit of $5,893.39 for the month. Lambert inquired about an annual support check noted for $600 to Peak Wellness. He recommended the bill not be paid as Peak Wellness no longer exists. 

Wilhelm questioned a bill for the landline at the swimming pool amounting to $42.99.

“There is a regular landline,” Cook explained.

“I was just told recently they had to use their cellphones because there was no phone in there,” Wilhelm clarified. 

Town Supervisor Larry Haeffelin affirmed there is a landline telephone at the pool used to receive phone calls pertaining to the pool’s business. 

The council approved the bills with the deduction of $600 to Peak Wellness. 

Fire Chief Kasey Bangerter reported the fire department had responded to four ambulance calls and no fire calls. He said the department is seeking to replace electric heaters in the fire station after discovering several of the existing electric heaters were not working. 

Bangerter proposed asking Black Hills Energy about the cost of running a line to the fire station as currently, there is not a gas line to the fire station.

Due to the inability to find replacement parts for the existing system and the cost of purchasing new electric heaters, Bangerter recommended the installation of a forced-air heating system for the station. 

Unverzagt agreed to inquire about the proposal and suggested looking into radiant gas heaters. Bangerter will be looking into the matter and reporting back to the council with his findings.

Tabitha Lambert, a member of the Lingle Volunteer Fire Department, reported on the success of the 2022 Giving Tree program hosted by the Lingle Volunteer Fire Department, Lingle Police Department, Fort Laramie Volunteer Fire Department and Fort Laramie Police Department.

“We were able to raise $5,500 for all of our families,” Lambert said. “We helped out 11 families and 31 kids. Each kid got something they wanted, something they needed and something to read. Then, each family received a gift card to the grocery store.”

Lambert recounted how the Lingle and Fort Laramie police and fire departments paraded throughout both Lingle and Fort Laramie before delivering the gifts to the families.

Cook expressed her appreciation for the departments’ having done the program and said she had been told townspeople were appreciative and delighted by the departments’ having done both the parades and program.

“We had a lot of supporters from the businesses and personal donations,” Lambert said.

 Unverzagt asked where the department was with their personal protective equipment needs and other departmental needs.

Bangerter said the department was in need of quite a bit of equipment as much of the equipment currently in use by the department is outdated, but the department is working to prioritize needs and tackle the needs in order of urgency.

Haeffelin announced he will be retiring June 30. He asked the council to be considering when they will advertise for a new person as he would like to have someone work with him for a couple of months before he retires. He also expressed the importance of acknowledgement of a Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality requirement to have two licensed water and wastewater operators on staff at all times. He said he could help the town after his retirement to fulfill this obligation but would only be able to do so until the expiration of his existing licenses. 

The council agreed to begin advertising as soon as possible to find suitable applicants. 

The council reappointed Brandie Cook as the town’s board representative to Goshen Economic Development. Currently, the Town of Lingle is a Platinum sponsor of Goshen Economic Development, meaning they contribute $4,000 annually to the organization.

Additionally, a resolution was approved by the board to appoint Jeremy Ochsner as the town’s representative to the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency board of directors for the 2023-2026 term. 

Councilman Lambert also noted the importance of beginning the advertising for the hiring process of the town’s pool manager. The council plans to establish a detailed job description for the position and will soon be seeking qualified applicants for the position. 

The council adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel. 

The next meeting of the Lingle Town Council is slated for Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Lingle Community Center. 

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