From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 31 - October 28, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Water sale to go to public vote

by Cat Urbigkit

The Pinedale Town Council met Monday night with a full house, many of who attended to hear the council’s decision on whether to sell 4,800-acre feet of storage rights in Fremont Lake to the Wyoming Water Development Commission to establish an instream flow.

The proposed water deal would be for a 30-year term with a sales price of $10.

At its last meeting in which the water deal was discussed and public comment was accepted, only one motion was made by a council member, but no second was given, so the motion died. That motion, made by Council Member Gary Hueck, would have the council decline to sell the water right. Since the council couldn’t come to an agreement, the matter was tabled until Monday night’s session.

When the council came to the water sale agenda item early into its Monday meeting, Hueck said he’d thought about the issue a great deal since the last meeting when his motion failed to gain a second.

Hueck said he’d concluded that “probably the fairest way to do this” would be to place this issue on the next general election ballot, which would be in May 2006.”

Town Attorney Ed Wood said: “It would be a non-binding referendum ... I don’t know of any statute that prohibits that.”

Council Member Nylla Kunard seconded Hueck’s motion and all council members voted in favor, thus Pinedale voters can expect to decide the issue in 2006.

In other council business, the council accepted Walker’s Agri-Service bid of $25,209 for upgrades to Boyd Skinner Memorial Park. This local company was by far the low bidder.

The council also granted the Pinedale Cemetery District a water system connection, upon approval of rates by both the council and the district.

The Glen Van Patten request for a variance to construct two duplex units on property on Cole Avenue was granted. A variance was needed because the lot size is about 140 feet short of meeting the minimum requirement, according to Mayor’s Assistant Ward Wise, who added that this was a pre-existing condition.

The council’s proposed ordinance on cul de sacs was discussed again, and left in tabled status since the council felt that it needed rewording. The ordinance is tabled until it is amended for the third reading.

Wise asked the council about participating in the county’s build-out analysis process, advising the council that the county has decided to pay for the study and the town could benefit from the information. He said the analysis could give the town a picture of its infrastructure needs within its one-mile buffer around the town.

Hueck asked who had been commissioned to do the study and when told that it was the Sonoran Institute, his response to participating was a flat “no.”

None of the council members were keen on the idea of working with the county on the project.

Mayor Rose Skinner said: “I don’t think we want to give them the credence ... It will be a study that goes on the shelf.”

Kunard agreed, stating that in her time working in the courthouse, she saw a lot of money spent on studies that only sat on a shelf.

“I’m not real crazy about studies,” Kunard said.

The council took no action on Wise’s request.

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