From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 17 - July 24, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

County adopts $33.6 million budget

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Commissioners Gordon Johnston and Betty Fear met in regular session Tuesday and officially adopted the new fiscal year budget totaling $33,605,182, funded through taxing the full 12 mills, the maximum the county can tax.

Commissioner Bill Cramer was absent from the meeting.

To summarize, Fiscal Year 2004 appropriations include:

General fund $29,578,207

Fair $436,125

Airport $445,089

Library $772,178

Museum $268,965

Recreation $410,410

Fire $1,694,208

The budget includes about $13 million in reserves, ranging from a cash reserve, to an equipment reserve and capital facilities reserves.

Carla Sullivan spoke with commissioners about the county purchase of development rights program and the paid coordinator position for the program. Sullivan proposed that she be hired for the position as a part-time, salaried county employee to work out of her home coordinating the program. The commission agreed to her proposal.

Sullivan's budget provides that the county will pay her a salary based on $20 per hour, as well as purchase a computer and accessories and a telephone. Sullivan's budget calls for $30,988 in annual costs (mostly in salary costs), with an additional start-up cost of $2,418.

"I never did see it as a full-time job," Fear said, adding that she didn't want the county to set up another office somewhere, so working from Sullivan's home was appropriate.

Fear said everyone needs to keep in mind that the PDR program is a pilot program that may not endure. Sullivan said she foresees her position lasting about a year and a half for the pilot program to be completed.

"All right, this looks good," Johnston said after reviewing the proposal.

"Good luck, Carla," Fear said.

The newly appointed PDR review committee will be working with a $500,000 budget for the pilot program designed to purchase conservation easements.

Pinedale Mayor Rose Skinner notified the county commission that the town council has declined to sell Mill Street adjacent to the courthouse to the county. She noted that there is some doubt as to the legality of such an action.

Skinner also once again requested the county contribute funding toward reconstructing Tyler Street. The $1.5 million project would provide for sidewalks and paving the length of the street. Skinner suggested the county kick in $600,000, which is the amount the town has agreed to provide for the project as well.

Although Johnston had earlier proposed a "horse trade" in which the county would receive title to the Mill Street section at issue in exchange for funding for the Tyler Street project, the horse trade apparently won't be happening.

In regular county road business, John Linn's fencing company was awarded the bid for fencing along the new Pinedale Industrial Site Road. Linn was awarded the job for his $7,000 bid.

Jeannie Slack spoke with the commission about golf committee appointments. She reported that with two members' terms expiring, she applied for appointment to the board, and the incumbent members did not, yet no appointments were made. County Clerk Mary Lankford said both incumbent board members have now indicated their interest in continuing to serve.

Slack suggested maybe there should be term limits for the committee, and suggested there should be more women on committee as well.

"I'm really interested," Slack said.

Johnston spoke of his interest in seeing the green fees increased as a way to recoup money from tourists using the area, but Slack spoke against such an increase.

The commission agreed to reappoint Kerry Duncan to the golf committee and to appoint Jeannie Slack to the committee as well. Incumbent committeeman Larry Beran didn't submit a letter of interest to continue serving on the board and was not reappointed.

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