From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 3 - April 15, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Only incumbents vie for four Pinedale council seats
Antelope migration bottleneck the main topic of discussion.
by Rhonda Swain

At the conclusion of the Pinedale Town Council meeting Monday night, Pinedale Town Clerk Patty Racich said that four people, all incumbents, had filed for positions in the upcoming Pinedale election set for May 4. Gary Heuck, who was elected to a two-year council seat in May of 2002, has filed to fill a four-year term, as did Nylla Kunard, who filled the vacant seat left by Ann Holman when she moved in October 2002. Kunard took her oath of office in November of 2002. Also running for a two-year council seat is Barbara Boyce, who has served on the council since May of 1994. Current Mayor Rose Skinner, who has been on the council since she was appointed in April 1990 and has served as mayor since May of 1996, also signed up to fill another two-year term as the leader of the Pinedale council.

The filing deadline was Monday, April 12, with the election to be held Tuesday, May 4. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the town hall located at 210 West Pine Street. The 2002 municipal election brought out only 51 voters.

With neither Skinner nor Boyce at the meeting Monday, the three other council members conducted a full slate of business, including some controversial planning and zoning issues.

After Maintenance Department Head Ron Brown informed the council that one of the flow meters at the Fremont Lake dam was not working, the council approved Brown ordering two flow meters, totaling not more than $3,000. Brown also advised the council that although the contractors had called for more measurements, no work was being completed at the new town shop. He said the contractors needed the measurements to pass on to the engineer for the controversial trusses.

Animal Control Officer Julie Early said she has trapped four raccoons and sent their heads to the state lab for rabies testing, with negative results. She has not trapped any skunks or bats so far.

At the recommendation of Mayor's Assistant Ward Wise and Brown, the council approved waiving the fee and deposit for the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce's use of the American Legion Park on May 15. The chamber is planning a clean-up day and barbecue, and the council approved Wise researching contractors' prices for dumpsters for residents to use free of charge that day. Council Member Miriam Carlson had previously said she had heard several complaints about "how dirty the town is."

Susan Kramer, representing Sublette Citizens for Recycling, reminded the council to let people know that they should not throw hazardous waste in the dumpsters on the clean-up day, and that the recycling committee is planning a hazardous-waste day later.

After considerable discussion, the council approved an application by Tim McKinney for a zoning district boundary change from A-1 to RR and RR-5, for a subdivision within the one-mile radius of the town. An antelope migration bottleneck was brought up in discussion of the subdivision.

The next subdivision matter, for the Favazzo West Subdivision preliminary plat west of Pinedale, brought more migration discussion. The subdivision received preliminary annexation approval from the council on April 7, 2003 The ordinance regarding annexation passed in May. Because of the antelope migration bottleneck close to the town, Bernie Holz of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department was on hand to discuss both the McKinney and Favazzo proposals. Holz said the Favazzo preliminary approval was "unfortunate ... it flew under the radar when it was annexed ... ," referring to WG&F's theory that the development will shut down the migration corridor.

Holz said he felt it is unfortunate that the antelope are on the losing side, with nowhere left on the west end of Pinedale for them to go. (See map)

Paul Rock, a member of the Pinedale Planning and Zoning Committee, stated to the council that the P&Z, without a quorum at the previous meeting, had made no recommendation in regard to the Favazzo or McKinney applications.

Rock commented about future generations wondering what had happened to the 300 to 1,000 head of antelope that use the corridor, wondering if this generation had just figured there was nothing we could do about it, because of growth and development in the area.

Concerned citizen Judi Adler stated: "There's no such thing as nothing we can do. There's always something we can do."

Mark Eatinger commented that he felt any effort made now to preserve the corridor was "too little, too late."

Heuck was reluctant to overturn the council's previous approval, saying he didn't want to butt heads with WG&F, but the agency "had a chance to come up with a solution to let those antelope get through," when the council approved the plat the first time.

Carlson said she was "gravely concerned" about the antelope situation and wondered what the town could do about it.

"I had no idea of the problem when we went through this the first time," she said.

Ideas were tossed around about approaching oil and gas companies, as part of their mitigation efforts, or the Green River Valley Land Trust, about purchasing the property to preserve the corridor, to the tune of $1 million, and a suggestion from Kramer of clustering housing and leaving big yards for antelope movement. In the end, the council tabled the issue until the May 12 council meeting. The planning and zoning committee will have met again by that time, and will, hopefully, have had a chance to come up with a viable recommendation for the council.

Briefs

The council approved allowing First National Bank of Pinedale to put up a 4-foot-by-8-foot sign that has been approved by the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

A request from Bucky's Outdoors for a 30-foot lighted sign was tabled so Council Member Barbara Boyce, who lives in the same area, is allowed to voice her opinion. Eatinger advised the council to contact the company that builds the sign to see how illumination from the sign compares to light from streetlights. "If it's not more ... it doesn't matter," Eatinger said, referring to a need for a basis for making a decision on the sign.

Sublette County Undersheriff Henry Schmidt advised the council that in preparing for the next budget, the town could expect a worst-case scenario of a $242,329 metro budget for the upcoming year.

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