WYFairDebt

Ryder Senior walks his sheep through the barns during the Livestock Sale at the Albany County Fairgrounds in Laramie, Wyo., on the last day of the 2018 fair.

Albany County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to pay the $46,383 that the county’s fair board owes to the Wyoming Retirement System.

Under a memorandum of understanding, the fair board “in good faith, will lower its budgeted expenditure items and reduce spending” for the rest of the fiscal year, paying “any remaining funds over to the county to offset a portion of the additional appropriation of monies to the fair board’s budget.”

Fair board chair Lindy Johnson told the Laramie Boomerang in February that the fair will keep an open position unfilled to help reduce spending. The fair board will also consider relying on more volunteers this year for the fair, set to run July 23-Aug. 3.

The agreement comes after fair staff failed to contribute nearly eight-years worth of retirement payments for an employee hired in 2010.

The fair board had hired the employee to perform two part-time positions. The employee, however, was not enrolled in the Wyoming Retirement System, as required, until the beginning of 2019.

The delinquency in making the payments meant $20,910 worth of interest has accrued.

Under a deal reached with the Wyoming Retirement System, the employee will not need to make member contributions, but the effective state date for earned retirement benefits will be 2013, not 2010.

After the fair board’s mistake, Albany County Treasurer Tracy Fletcher will audit the fair board’s revenue and expenses for legal compliance.

Under Tuesday’s MOU, the fair board “agrees to report monthly to county commissioners as to the status of the human resources and financial audit and compliance with recommendations.”

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent told commissioners that the audit is already on-going and the “fair board and employees have been very cooperative.”

“They’re very appreciative of the arrangement,” Trent said, noting that the added oversight of the fair board is leading to a “really positive direction with that board, moving them in-line with county policies and the oversight that is needed.”

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