From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 4 - April 24, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Commission talks snow removal, sheriff's budget

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Commissioners met for a full day of business in Marbleton Thursday, and started the day with road business.

Road Superintendent Dan Holgate presented the commission with the snow removal report for last winter, a relatively low snow year. The report examined the cost of snow removal for each road throughout the winter. With about 450 miles of road, the average cost per mile was $287.23, Holgate said. High cost per mile included roads in the Horse Creek area, with the five-road cluster there costing just over $1,000 per mile.

Holgate said his department is moving ahead with the new road into the Pinedale Industrial Site, with the bridge now complete and county trucks hauling material in to build up the road.

Holgate said he planned to begin the second half of Paradise Road project last Monday. He also said he plans to begin looking for two or three people to serve as temporary help for the summer season to driver rollers and water trucks.

County surveyor Paul Scherbel suggested the county provide leadership and organization to residents in the Big Country Ranches area of Bargerville for getting a road or roads in the subdivision up to standard to become county roads.

The commissioners discussed the fact that the residents need to organize themselves and that they have been told to have a road become a county road, it must be brought up to county standards.

"I just don't think it should be handled any differently," Commissioner Betty Fear said, than what the county has done with other roads that came into the county system.

Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston said, "I could look with favor of the county doing something to save kids lives" by providing a school bus turn-around to keep kids off the highway..

Sublette County Undersheriff Henry Schmidt noted that there is a frontage road that parallels Highway 191 that could be upgraded for bus use.

Schmidt and Sheriff Hank Ruland also spoke with the commission about the new law-enforcement budget. Schmidt repeatedly emphasized that these are only preliminary figures. The possible cost increase to the county's three incorporated towns would be about 15 percent, according to Ruland.

Schmidt noted that his figures included a five-percent wage increase, but the commission hasn't decided what, if any, wage increase would be provided. Last year, the commission approved a two-percent increase.

Schmidt presented the draft budget to the commission at this early date so he could be prepared to provide the figures to the town councils as a "worst-case scenario." He said the bottom line would be an estimated $9,000 increase for Big Piney, $14,000 for Marbleton and $23,000 for Pinedale.

Aaron Seehafer of Rio Verde Engineering presented the bids for the water and sewer work for the new Hi-Country Senior Citizens Center. High Desert Construction of Rock Springs and Teletractors Construction of Pinedale submitted bids, with only $500 difference between the two, with High Desert having the low bid.

Seehafer recommended the commission award the contract to the low bidder, but Commissioner Bill Cramer asked about the commission giving a preference to a local contractor since the bids were so close.

Fear cautioned, "I think that's a can of worms," but Cramer responded, "I would rather give preference to the local guy," with Johnston agreeing.

Cramer made the motion to award the job to Teletractors with its bid of $55,169. Fear seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimously in favor of the local contractor getting the job.

Scott Scherbel, representing Tri-Town Recycling, told the commission that the recycling board found a piece of property with a 4,000-square foot building it is interested in the county purchasing, with a current asking price of $115,000.

The commission agreed to make an offer to purchase the building (at the asking price) subject to zoning approval and clear title and the transfer of funds at the commission's next meeting.

Susan Kramer of Sublette Citizens for Recycling spoke with the commission about additional costs for the household hazardous waste collection days, now scheduled for the county June 13 and 14. While it will cost about $10,000 for the waste-handling specialists to come to the county for a two-day session to collect the waste, Kramer said it would probably cost up to another $5,000 for the waste to be disposed of. The commission agreed to the added cost.

Frank Grimes of Nelson Engineering and County Waste Manager Mike McGinnis presented an analysis of three different baling systems for consideration at the county landfill near Marbleton. The commission agreed to have the county pay for the cost of bringing a round baler system to the county for a four-week pilot program. The cost will be $33,500, but Grimes and McGinnis estimated the county would also save about $17, 920 by not having to use topcoat or conduct daily cover work and other savings

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