From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 47 - February 19, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Ice rink, airport discussed by commissioners

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Commissioners met Tuesday for its regular business meeting in Pinedale.

"Everything at road and bridge is going good," reported Travis Sour, interim county road superintendent. Sour said his department was working to open the road into the Bench Corral elk feedground on Tuesday so that more hay could be delivered.

There are more elk on the feedground than anticipated, Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston said, adding that the elk arrived on the feedground earlier than expected as well. Johnston said the commission gave its blessing for the county to open the road on this one occasion, when asked for assistance by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

At County Surveyor Paul Scherbel's prompting, the commission passed a resolution requesting the U.S. Geological Survey change the name of Thompson Lakes to Thomson Lakes, to correct a misspelling of the family name.

Lil Penton and Jim McLellan of the Pinedale Airport Board spoke with the commission about airport equipment that needs more professional maintenance.

"We'd like to pursue having the county do routine maintenance on the equipment," McLellan said. Right now it's three pieces of equipment, but may be expanded to include a few more pieces.

"Right now everything is in good working order and we'd like to keep it that way," McLellan said.

Penton pointed out that the equipment is expensive, so should be taken care of properly.

Commissioner Betty Fear questioned, "Do we have similar situations with various boards ... that we're going to open up this idea?"

Cramer suggested that the proposal sounded acceptable "as long as we have the people to do it" and that county roads would remain top priority.

After conferring with Sour about the issue, it was agreed that the road department would take on the job, but the airport board will cover the costs for supplies for doing the maintenance work.

The board then talked about ongoing work to expand the airport facilities. The airport board is undertaking a $1-million project involving buying out neighboring residential property for the expansion. The board asked the county to help by providing more money toward the 20-percent match required to take advantage of a $850,000 grant being offered by the state.

Penton said the board is starting environmental assessment for expansion of the runway. The timeline for the expansion has been shortened with a 2007 timeframe now, she said. If the board could get the money, it would be able to conduct all the land purchases it needs to in the next two years (two parcels have already been purchased).

The commission agreed to consider the request at budget time, and the airport board will approach the towns for funding as well.

The commission held a telephone conference call with Lincoln County Commissioner Kathy Davison. Davison told the commission that Lincoln County was preparing to enter into a contract with a private consultant to represent the county in revising the local Bureau of Land Management land use plan. Davison said she would like to see each county contribute $10,000 to hiring the same consultant to represent a coalition consisting of Lincoln, Sublette, Uinta, Carbon and Sweetwater counties. The consultant would represent the counties as the BLM revises each land use plan, Davison said, and could hopefully represent the same coalition of counties as the U.S. Forest Service revises its management plans as well.

Mark Kroeger, Dave Friend and Keith Raney spoke with the commission about hockey and archery events in the new indoor rink facility in Pinedale. Raney said the building project is now about $40,000-50,000 over budget and the estimate to finish it is another $50,000 to have it suitable for hockey downstairs and archery upstairs.

"We're here to find out how far you guys are going to go before you cut us off," Raney said.

"Why are you talking to us and not the rec board?" Johnston said. Kroeger said the rec board suggested the commission be approached first.

"I think we need to get this building finished to the point it is usable," Fear said. "I think we should do what we can."

The commission was unanimous in allowing the group to spend more money to finish the building.

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