Minutes from March 12th, 2018
The Casper Rotary Club
This week's meeting will be held:
Monday, March 19th, 2018
at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center
800 N. Poplar St.
Casper, WY  82601
Garry Mosier
Jesse Helm
Carley Applegate
Senator Drew Perkins - Government Efficiency Initiative
Rotary Club of Casper WY
Meeting Summary
President Richard Schwahn called the meeting to order promptly at 12:28, with the ring of the bell and welcomed everyone to today’s meeting.      
Inspiration, Pledge, 4-Way Test:
Joe Bennick
John Griffith and Lauren Griffith were our greeters today and John introduced the members who brought guests:
  • Frida our exchange student is here today.
  • Visiting Rotarian and ADG Helen Bishop (Jackson Supper Club);
  • Visiting Rotarian Fred Bursch (Rapid City SD);
  • Susie McMurry Introduced Tim Cortez (Parks and Recreation);
  • Joe Bennick introduced Justin Farley (SBDC);
  • Tara Short introduced Kim Summerrall-Wright (Casper Housing Authority);
  • Steven Schell introduced Cheryl Howard (Community Health Center);
  • Brett Osborne introduced Jason Wagner (Fremont Motors);
  • Martha Rakestraw introduced the parents of our student of the month, Donavan and Tara McComb;
Gary Pehrson had Mike McIntosh, since he was dressed for St. Patty’s Day, stand and assist him in leading the singing of “I’m Looking over a four leaf clover”
Michael Brown received his Blue Badge today, Congratulations!
Susan Thomas was awarded her Paul Harris plus one, Congratulations!
Family of Rotary:
  • Pinky Ellis congratulated Bill DeGraeve for passing his exams to become a member of the Ski Patrol, Congratulations Bill!
  • Doug McLaughlin reminded us that this coming week Bill Schilling will be headed to Norway for his Cross Country Ski Marathon. Bill added that it will be 32 miles and go over two mountain passes with 8 pounds on his back, Best of luck Bill!!!!
  • Gene Theriault read a portion of an article from the Rotarian of June 1919, page 313 of Volume XIV number 6. It talked about the Casper Rotary Club having their very first meeting on March 12, 1919 exactly 99 years ago. We were Chartered on May 1, 1919 but held meetings prior to the actual Chartering of the Club.
  • Lisa Scroggins bragged about her 12 year old daughter, Allie Joe, who did a great service to the snow plow drivers, she made cookies and passed out 40 treat bags to the City workers to thank them for their service, definitely a Future Rotarian!
Rotarians of the Week:
  • Martha Rakestraw nominated Lynn Lockhart for running 2 miles this past weekend.
  • Eric Easton nominated Bill Degraeve and explained how intense the training and test for the Ski Patrol really is, outstanding job Bill.
  • Denise Prugh nominated our State Legislators who are back with us today, Jim Anderson and Joe MacGuire.
Student of the Month:
Martha Rakestraw introduced our SOM Caige McComb from KWHS, what an outstanding young man with a great future ahead of him.
  • President Schwahn let us know that we are looking for members to serve on the board of directors so if you are interested in being nominated please let Jim Ruble know as he is spearheading that effort this year.
  • Richard also let us know that the RLI class will be held here in Casper Friday and Saturday 04/20 & 04/21. There are handouts on the table so please grab one if you are interested in attending. He then asked for 2-3 people to help work on the Rotary Scholarships over the next few weeks, he got volunteers right away. Our District assembly is April 7th at the Little America Hotel so please attend if possible.
  • Phillip Rael spoke about the Duck Derby and let us know they are looking for more sponsors, he immediately had several club members volunteer. If you would like to be a sponsor or can get your employer to be one please contact someone on the committee.
Program (City of Casper State of the City Address):
President Elect Dick Jay introduced our speaker today, Carter Napier our new City of Casper Manager. Carter had some great information for us about Casper and Wyoming. He has very much enjoyed being back in Casper and really enjoys it here. He thanked Lisa for her daughter’s great service she provided to the city workers. He showed us a slide presentation about the City and we see that the revenue is down and there are quite a few vacant properties but things are starting to improve. For building activity, an indicator of stability, single family home construction is starting to increase a little as well. It was interesting to see the past couple of decade’s numbers as they change with the booms and busts we see here. We definitely need to see higher numbers in able to say that we are recovering. He is hoping that over the next two years we will see an increase that will show we are in recovery. He showed that the real estate absorption rate is right at 4 months which is not bad, it does not indicate an economy that is in trouble but it is higher than what it has been in the past when we were booming. We are in a doldrum cycle with the numbers, we just had a spike of sales tax revenue due to the Holiday season just finishing. There is about a two month lag in these numbers but it looks like the trend is almost flat rather than dropping but it would be nice to see it spiking up which he is confident will occur over the next couple of years if oil prices stabilize at a higher price. Retail Sales without restaurants are actually still doing well as they usually do in Natrona County. He is generally pleased with the numbers but would love to see an increase to show more stability in our economy. They are actually balancing the budget that they had to amend rather than going into a deficit situation which is a good thing. However if we were to take out the one time annual revenue appropriation from the State we would be in trouble with the budget. He would love to be able to balance the budget without that one time revenue annually to be more stable, but that number is almost $4 million. He then opened up for questions and stated that he would love to come back in the future and speak about the one cent sales tax. Jim Anderson stated that the one time revenue from the State is because of the removal of sales tax from Groceries and he would be interested to know if putting tax back on groceries would be more beneficial. Carter was not sure about which would be better and will put together the numbers for a recommendation for the legislature. Bill Schilling volunteered to be Carter’s sponsor for him to become a Rotarian. Brian Deurloo posed a question about the storm water going into the river and what the plan is to increase the budget to take care of the issues of the waste going into the river. Carter explained that this is an issue that they are working on but there are a lot of intricacies of laws etc. that effect what they can and can’t do but they are working on it. The question was asked about the convention center that has been in the news the past few years. Carter said that there is support to create another convention center but they would like it to be in the heart of downtown so they are looking for a better place to build the center as the location they originally wanted was not ideal for building. They are gathering data and trying to put together a plan right now. He told us that the State Office building is under way and should be started this construction season, Jim Anderson said that once the State House passes the rest of the funding it will get started. This building will consolidate all of the State offices into one building and will save the State quite a bit of money annually.
President Richard Schwahn concluded the meeting at 1:28 letting us know that next week we will be back at the Ramkota.
Rotary Reveal Q&A
Q&A unanswered this week
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.