BY KYNLI SMITH
Learning new tricks of the trade is what Big Horn County School District No. 4 Food Services Director Linda Osmond did recently.
She was one of two food services directors chosen by the Wyoming Department of Education to attend a national conference held at the Child Nutrition Institute at the University of Mississippi.
Osmond has been with the district working in food services for 13 years.
“I started working here when my son was in kindergarten and he is getting ready to graduate now in a few weeks,” she said.
The Department of Education fully funded Osmond to attend the two-day conference and take classes on food safety and how to train trainers.
“It was a really great experience,” said Osmond. “I got to spend a lot of time with professors and really learn a lot. Food directors, chefs, and state food officials from all 50 states attended the conference. It was great to hear all these different perspectives on how food servicing programs are run across the country.”
Osmond’s first class on food safety focused on the newest technologies, microbiology and on how germs are changing.
“Wyoming is doing a far better job when it comes to food safety compared to other states,” said Osmond. “Every district in the state is up to par on the federal level while some other states are barely starting the process to get on board at the federal level.”
The next class focused on how food trainers can train other trainers.
“There are lots of opportunities to change up the training in food services and make it more interesting,” Osmond said. “We learned a lot on how to get people more engaged and involved and plan on teaching this to other food services directors in the state.”
Osmond and the other food service director from Jackson plan on teaching a class at the Food Services Training Conference for the state in June. Osmond says every food director in the state attends the three-day conference.
Like teachers, Osmond says food services workers are federally mandated to undergo professional development. She hopes to help other people in the state get their mandatory federal train-ing.
“It was such a great experience to be asked to attend this training,” Osmond said. “I’m really excited for the opportunity to teach others in the state what I have learned.”
BY BARBARA ANNE GREENE
Vangie Hackney has resigned her position as Big Horn County Fair manager, effective April 25. She attended the April 19 meeting of the county commissioners to give them an update on what she has done to assist in the transition to a new manager.
Also in attendance at the April 19 meeting were Sheila Paumer (who was later appointed to fill Hackney’s position) and county maintenance and fair board member Jess Haley. At that meeting, Hackney told the commissioners that at the last fair meeting she had discussed with the fair board the county’s desire to see the new building marketed. “My board is not ready to do any type of marketing. They don’t feel that the building is prepared and ready to start marketing to bring in venues.” She then gave a list of items that the board felt needed to be completed. Those items included securing railings and panels.
She also said that she has taken the fair book to the printer, updated the Showorks system and has the judges’ contracts ready to mail out. Commissioner Jerry Ewen said he had been told that Hackney had offered to help the new person and thanked her for volunteering to do so. He then asked if there were any of the office staff from last year that could temporarily fill in and do the Showorks program. Hackney explained that those individuals had been trained on just the basics and didn’t know how to do the more complicated things. She did train Paumer on how to do the report for the building usage.
Paumer gave a maintenance report that included water leaks in the raw water line at the same place as last year, the garage doors are functioning now but stated that the company that installed them said until there was heat in the building the doors would continue to have problems when there is cold weather. She also talked about the condensation on the pipes inside the building. Both Paumer and Hackney expressed concerns that the problems with the building have been the same since it was built and they had concern about the items not being fixed prior to the warranty running out. Ewen said it goes back to the general contractor.
When asked if the fair board had moved forward in finding a replacement, Haley said that the fair board hadn’t done anything as members weren’t sure if the commissioners wanted to do the hiring or if the fair board was going to handle it.
The commissioners went into an executive session to discuss the matter.
In a separate interview, Hackney cited job security as her reason for leaving the position. She had been told there would be changes to the job, including it becoming a part-time, seasonal position. At the April fair board meeting, it was confirmed to her that the county would be taking over that job in August and that it would become part-time.
Hackney has taken a job at the Park County Fair. She said she had to take a pay cut, but at least knew she would have a job. “My kids were offered the opportunity to show at that fair but they won’t be. They will be at the Big Horn County fair this year.”
After a special meeting on April 25, the commissioners sent the following statement to the fair board: “At a special meeting held Monday April 25, 2016, the Big Horn County commissioners appointed Sheila Paumer as the fair grounds and facilities manager. Shelia will be supervised by the commission and will be at the fairgrounds, full time year round.
“With the recent resignation of V. Hackney, Shelia has agreed to take on the work of the fair manager for this year. Sheila will be bringing in a number of temporary positions to help with the office and grounds work to prepare for fair. Sheila is looking forward to working with the Fair Board to ensure a successful 2016 Big Horn County Fair. Your expertise and assistance is greatly appreciated and will be a critical element for this successful transition.”
Paumer said she is looking forward to the job and is thankful that Hackney has offered to assist in any way she can including during the week of fair.
BY BARBARA ANNE GREENE
Tom Farran, owners representative from WEMBER, shared some good news with the Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees during its April 12 meeting.
“ On April 4 we received word from the state’s parks office that the National Park Service had approved the exchange process with the town. The town now can sell the property to the school district.”
Also on April 11 came word from the School Facility Department (SFD) that the purchase agreement was reviewed and approved. The town and school district will be signing the agreement later this week.
On April 7, the design team which includes the architects and civil engineers met with representatives from the canal district, town, fire department and school district. They went over the site to make sure everything that needed to be known about the site was discussed. “We walked the site and then later that afternoon we meet with the design committee to talk about different options with the site.” He added that MOA Architecture took the ideas from that meeting and will put together some options. MOA plans to have the design and bidding process done in January or February of 2017. Construction would start that spring with a target completion date in August 2018.
School Board Chairman Greg Gloy asked Farran, “When we initially started the project we had looked at this site. This was two directors ago so we are on our third SFD director. We had said all along that we would bury that canal.” He asked if given the change in directors that was still even a possibility.
Farren countered with when they were looking at a different site that was west of the canal. “That was looked at as an option. We compared prices and looked at that. At this point with where the budget is sitting and with our discussions with the canal company. Their recommendation is that they don’t want us touching the canal at all.”
If the district wants it buried, the cost would have to come out of the school budget. “Anything we spend on additional site work would come out of the buildings. Unfortunately the SFD with the way the state’s budget is forecasted for the next couple of years there is not a lot of extra money in their coffers to help with anything additional above and beyond the program of the school project.”
Farran added that it doesn’t mean the district can’t look at it further but that he is afraid that the cost will make it difficult. The property line on the land the town is selling approximately on the canal right of way. The plan is that there will be a fence between the schools and the canal.
Gloy said, “To me it’s not necessarily extra funding it was funding what they said they would do in the first place. The first two directors said, ‘Of course we will cover the canal.’ When we were first looking at property, they said, ‘Yeah we will cover the canal.’ Then we went through 2 ½ years looking for another site. So we went back to that same property and that director said ‘Yeah we will cover the canal.’ And now I’m hearing we’re not sure we can now, when they are the ones that pretty much said we could.”
Interim Supt. Tony Anson said he asked that question. “What we were told was that we could ask them but that the chances are because of the financial situation that the state is in right now they are not going to give us any additional money. So if we want to cover the canal it is going to come out of the money that is already allotted to us. They are not going to stop us spending a million dollars on the canal but then that is a million dollars we can’t use on something else.”
member Nathan Lind asked if soil testing had been done when the canal is full. Farran said no but there are a number of test wells on site. Once the layout of the buildings is done they will come in and do some additional geo-tech work. He didn’t think there would be an issue as the water table is around 25 feet. There is no anticipation of pilings for the foundations.
The last issue Farran addressed was about a secondary access off of Wyoming Highway 30. He said he went back and checked his notes. “When we were talking about secondary access it was when we were looking at a piece of property that was the west side of the canal versus the east side.
“At this point again it is like covering the canal. Anything additional off the site is going to have to be paid for by the district or the town. But we are looking at two accesses to the site at A and B dtreets. As far as any major road improvement that goes up to the highway that would have to be discussed with the town and paid for again out of requested monies and such.”
The signing of the contract between the district and the town occurred on April 13 at 1 p.m.
BARBARA ANNE GREENE Basin Mayor Dennis Peters signs the land agreement with Big Horn County School District Four. Watching are councilman Bill Stoelk and District Business Manager Andy DeGraw.