Commissioners asked to intervene in closure of county’s satellite office in Riverton
(Lander, Wyo.) – The Controversy over the closure of the Fremont County Governments satellite office in Riverton reared it’s head at the opening of Tuesday’s Fremont County Commissioners meeting at the courthouse in Lander.
Kevin Harrington, from Mark’s Auto Sales on South Federal Boulevard in Riverton, said the closure of the office was an inconvenience not only for his business, but for others as well. He asked if there was anything the commission could do to restore that office.
County Treasurer Scott Harnsberger announced in a letter to County Clerk Julie Freese recently that he would no longer accept monies from the Riverton office that the clerk had been collecting for him. Those fees were for license plate renewals, vehicle titles, marriage licenses, real estate recording fees and such.
Harnsberger said residents of Eastern Fremont County could mail in their license plate renewals and do not need to go to a Riverton office.
Harrington, however, said many people in and around Riverton would go to the office on their lunch hour to get their county business done, including elderly folks who now must drive to Lander.
“It’s unfortunate that he has taken it out on you and your business,” Becker said.
“For the public record, this was not a budget decision made by the commission. The County Treasurer has never paid for that office. It’s always been paid by the County Clerk,” Chairman Travis Becker said. “We’ve had that office open for 28 years serving the St. Stephens, Arapahoe, Shoshoni, Lysite, Riverton and rural locations. That office has done over $1-million in business there. There are some hard feelings between certain offices and the county commissioners and it is unfortunate those services are being eliminated.”
Freese, who is the clerk of the board, said Harnsberger had been invited to discuss that decision at today’s meeting, but he allegedly declined to attend.
“By state statute he is not required (to have a satellite office), but I would strongly encourage the Treasurer to continue that service that he has never paid for,” Becker said. “I hope the citizens impacted by this decision will call him and let him know what their thoughts are. His number is 332-1102. I wish I could give you (Harrington) an answer, it will inconvenience more than half of the population of Fremont County.”
Harnsberger had threatened to resign his office after the commissioners cut out nearly $20,000 in bonuses contained in the treasurer’s budget for 2017-18. He did not resign, but a week later announced he would no longer with the clerk in handling money at the satellite office.
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