From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 13 - June 27, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Holgate succeeds McGinnis

by Cat Urbigkit

Minutes after calling their regular business meeting to order Monday morning, Sublette County Commissioners adjourned into executive session to discuss an undisclosed personnel issue with County Road Superintendent Mike McGinnis. The commissioners held two such sessions with McGinnis Monday, and before the day was out, the commission released a statement declaring that effective June 27, Dan Holgate will be the new county road supervisor.

McGinnis' status with the department isn't clear. He declined an interview, noting that the commission "had dropped a bombshell" on him, although the commissioners noted that McGinnis hadn't been fired.

When the commission reconvened to open session, McGinnis reported that work on the Forty Rod Road project "is going amazingly well" and barring any problems, should be completed by about July 15.

Work on Paradise Road is more problematic, McGinnis said, noting that locating a gravel source nearby is a problem. McGinnis said he would also like to resolve some alignment problems. He said the county may put the base down on the road and come in with crushed material and complete the project at a later date.

Bob Dew and Doug Sterck met with the commission to discuss progress on negotiating for a new county road to the Pinedale Industrial Site.

Sterck reported that his discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been fruitful and that a permit to cross some wetlands with the new road is forthcoming. Dew reported that if Sterck has the roadway surveyed and the permit is granted, "I feel he should be entitled to the money."

Dew is referring to the $97,500 he gifted to the county to see that a new road was built. The road will cross Sterck's land and it is Dew's intention that Sterck be paid by the county and not have to wait until the road is officially constructed before he receives the money. The written agreement for Dew's gift to the county stated that the road had to be established by Sept. 1, 2003, or the money would revert back to Dew. Dew said if the county pays Sterck in the near future for the roadway, he's willing to accept the risk that the road will be completed.

Commissioner Betty Fear said she wants approval for the wetlands permit in writing. Meanwhile, Sterck will have the roadway surveyed.

Pinedale District Ranger Craig Trulock and Boulder Lake resident Lewis Gage reported that the federal government is in the process of approving an agreement allowing the county to maintain the Boulder Lake Road within the Bridger-Teton National Forest twice a year.

Susan Kramer of Sublette Citizens for Recycling (SCR) discussed the need to expand the recycling center in Pinedale, although no firm plans for the expansion were proposed. The commission agreed to keep the request in mind.

The commission agreed to front $10,000 to have the county participate in a state infrared digital photo project in cooperation with the state. Commissioner Betty Fear noted that if the county acts now, Sublette County would be the first area processed and would have the data within two months. The commission was unanimous in its support of the project, noting the mapping would include information on wetlands, agricultural production, wildlife-migration areas, and would assist in fire-management activities.

Steve Pitchford, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, spoke with the commission about the county's plans for the existing Hi-Country Senior Citizen's building, which neighbors the church. Pitchford said the church may be interested in purchasing the property, should the county move the senior center to a new location. In an alternative, the 3,600-square-foot church could be sold to the county, allowing the church to move to an area with more expansion options. The commission agreed to consider both options as it continues its planning and said the issue will be broached with Brad Waters, the architect being used by the commission.

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