From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 8 - May 20, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Commission agrees to new building

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Road Superintendent Richard Pearson gave a report of road crew activities to the county commissioners Tuesday. Besides working on upgrading and maintenance work on county roads, Pearson reported that dust abatement work, in the form of mag water applications, began this week on Paradise Road. In addition to the existing list of roads that were slated to receive mag water applications, Pearson reported that the South Piney/Fish Creek Road has been added to the list as well.

Ag Center

Lance Koppenhafer updated the commission on the removal and replacement of sand inside the ag center at the fairgrounds. With the work now complete, the final costs came in with a savings of about $3,000, Koppenhafer reported, for a total cost of about $10,000.

The savings came in the cost of the new sand, he said, since M&N donated the sand and only charged a minimal amount for hauling it to the arena.

Koppenhafer said the sand had lasted in the facility for five years, but the ag center board needs to budget for sand removal and replacement every three years.

New building

Representatives from the Green River Valley Museum Board spoke with the commission about purchasing the old Frontier Pharmacy building located next to the museum.

"We just feel that this is the right time to purchase this building," said GRVM's Carrie Anderson, noting the museum has outgrown its existing space.

Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston responded: "My feeling is let's do it. Let's do it now."

The commissioners were unanimous in this view, agreeing to transfer money to allow the museum to obtain the building for $62,000, with an additional $15,000 for allocated for renovations.


Johnston noted that on behalf of the county, he had quoted Star Valley Disposal the cost of $12.50 per ton for using the Marbleton landfill. This private refuse contractor serves the Town of Afton and will reportedly confer with the Lincoln County Commission about hauling refuse to Sublette County.

Commissioner Betty Fear noted that if all citizens were like Big Piney's Paul Scherbel, the county wouldn't have a garbage problem. Fear said every evening, after putting in a full day's work, Scherbel walks with plastic garbage bags, picking up litter.

"He really does deserve some kind of an award," Fear said.

Job skills

Laurie Latta of Our Families Our Future spoke with the commission about how this organization has expanded its activities to serve young women in Jackson Hole, Afton and now Sublette County. The program helps adolescents, young mothers and female heads of household achieve their full potential but providing extensive job and life skills training in a supportive group environment.

Fear said she had recently heard the startling statistic that 47 percent of all babies born in Wyoming are Medicaid babies. She spoke in support of getting a job training program in place to raise women out of poverty.

Latta spoke of her interest in having the county apply for a $10,000 planning grant available from the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families community partnership initiative program, with the hope of the county eventually seeking a full $80,000 grant to serve TANF people in the county through her organization's program. The commission asked Latta to write the grant application for the county. Latta agreed to do so, contingent upon the agreement that her organization wouldn't be disqualified from vying for the $80,000 grant. The commission agreed, noting that in their view, a conflict does not exist with Latta applying for the planning grant and for the later program grant.


The Sublette County Commission heard and accepted the independent auditor's report presented by John Mortenson of Mortenson, Stevens and Company on Tuesday.

The report involved the audit of the county's financial statements as of June 30, 2003. The report noted there were inadequacies in the accounting records of the county fire board, including having only one signature on checks (instead of the dual signatures required) and transactions conducted without a voucher, or if a voucher was present, the vouchers were not all signed under penalties of perjury.

Setting aside the fire board books, the audit indicated the county's financial statements are a fair representation of the county's financial position.

Mortenson took the commission through his report on compliance and internal controls over the county's finances, listing numerous deficiencies he recommended be corrected: from having departmental budgets with overexpenditures because the controlling board did not formally amend the budget, to other accounting issues like having more segregation of funds in the budgets.

Another problem is the vouchers that should accompany every invoice for the invoice to be paid, the report indicated: The check should not be approved until signed vouchers are presented.

Proving that no one was exempt from the audit findings, Mortenson cited the commission itself for some sloppy procedures. In a few cases, the commission apparently had signed the back of the invoice rather than the voucher itself.

Mortenson also cautioned that when White Out is used on a voucher, the commission should also initial the voucher near the alteration on the document.

The commission agreed to take action to follow up on each of Mortensen's recommendations.

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