FORT LARAMIE – The Fort Laramie Town Council discussed the 2023 fiscal year budget on second reading during the regular meeting on Wednesday, June 8.
Councilwoman Laura Curtsinger was absent from the meeting and Councilman Mike Doan attended via Zoom.
No changes were made during the meeting, but one change which was made after the first reading was to take the fire department’s cell phones off the budget at the request of the fire department.
After approving the budget on second reading, the council agreed to hold a special meeting on Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. for a third reading before the July 1 deadline.
In other action items, the council approved a street closure in front of the Fort Laramie Bar and Grill for the re-launch event on Saturday, June 11. The council agreed to close the road up to the highway from 4 p.m. to the next morning around 6:30 a.m. An open container permit was also approved for people to carry their drinks outside in the blocked off area.
There was also discussion on whether or not to add a town building inspector position. While the international business code which was adopted into the town’s code requires a department of building safety, the council has expressed interest in removing the section of the code to avoid liability on the town.
Councilman Ryon Brown said the liability should instead be on the homeowner and the responsibility of making sure their homes are up to code. The council also discussed a need to enforce the code if there is no building inspector.
Town Attorney Colby Sturgeon said he will work on writing up an ordinance to amend the code for the next meeting.
The council also approved two open container permits for a wedding and a family reunion.
During discussion items, Clerk/Treasurer Kim Craft gave an update on the recent State Land and Investment Board Meeting. Craft said several items which were recommended to be approved were rejected and the Town of Fort Laramie was initially rejected for its request for more money in regard to the sewer and water project but after another item was not taken by another town SLIB awarded $250,000 to Fort Laramie. The request from the town for the project was originally $500,000. Craft also said the two other requests by the town, which were pre-approved by the recommendation committee, were denied.
Mayor Joyce Evans said the contractor will be able to complete most of the project with current funds available.
Craft said everyone applied because this was the last go-around for SLIB money.
In other discussion, Fire Chief Pete Howes said the fire department is continuing to prepare for the upcoming Fourth of July fireworks event.
The next regular meeting is July 13 at 7 p.m.