Volume 4, Number 9 - May 27, 2004
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Council approves Barber Creek annexation
At their regular meeting Monday, May 24, Pinedale Town Council members approved the annexation request of Barber Creek Developments LLC despite opposition from citizens concerned about the antelope migration corridor in the area.
Council Member Barbara Boyce commented that in addition to hearing several complaints at the last meeting, she had received several phone calls about the annexation.
Bill Kellen, representing Barber Creek Development LLC, informed the council that he had met with Bernie Holz and Scott Smith of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. He said both agreed that, in all probability, the development would not have an affect on antelope migration. With the Favazzo Subdivision annexation and the Wyoming Department of Transportation's bridge and guardrails, Kellen said WG&F don't know what route the antelope will use to migrate in the future.
"They don't think our property would be used, they will probably go further west to the school property of further west than that even," he said. "I know it's a dilemma, but I think it should be decided on facts and not emotion."
Smith, in attendance at the meeting, commented that although WG&F at this point cannot offer enough mitigation to maintain the corridor, it would like to meet with the council to discuss growth of the town.
Linda Baker, who attended the council's May 10 meeting to protest both the Favazzo and Barber Creek annexations, told the council that in areas of northeast Wyoming, 75 percent of the wildlife migration corridors have been lost.
"Human stress causes antelope to abandon corridors," she said, and urged the council to take time to consider the proposal.
The discussion continued for quite some time, with Mayor Rose Skinner admonishing those who opposed the development to deal with private property owners rather than the town council.
"The town has no right to tell private property owners what they can do," she said. "If the town refuses to permit annexation, it would be considered takings and we would be sued immediately." She went on to explain that the town would not be acting responsibly if it did not allow annexation.
Council Member Gary Heuck said he thought it was "pretty appalling" that those that oppose development "try to circumvent the land owners and go to planning and zoning and the council. ... It isn't fair to the landowner at all," he said.
Skinner said she felt that what should have been done was that the 300-acre Bill Bloom Ranch, where most of Redstone Subdivision is located, should have been purchased in the 1970s.
"It's a little late to blame the town council for this annexation," she said.
Kellen, who advised the council that the Barber Creek development would not be fenced, also stated that the parcel was offered to the Green River Valley Land Trust, but the trust declined, saying the property was too small.
Kellen advised that the council and county commission consider developing a plan that would be amended every five to 10 years. The plan, he said, should include migration corridors, bike pathways, as well as other matters pertaining to growth. He also advised WG&F to become more proactive, saying they have known about and been tracking the migration corridors for more than 20 years.
Although there was more discussion, in the end the council approved first reading of Ordinance 363 concerning annexation of Barber Creek into the Town of Pinedale. The proposal must pass two more readings, and publication, of the ordinance prior to its adoption by the council.
After spending 35 minutes in executive session with Town Attorney Ed Wood, the council returned to regular session to discuss the town shop. Heuck moved to authorize Wood to set a meeting, either June 15, 22 or 23, with the bonding company and town shop contractor KM Construction. Heuck also moved to authorize Wood structuring the mediation process regarding the disputed change orders on the town shop. The council approved both authorizations.
In other matters, the council discussed re-bidding the Tyler Street sidewalk project with the town as the owner. School District No. 1, which agreed to fund the sidewalk in the amount of $50,000, cannot put the project up for bid because Tyler Street belongs to the town. Council members approved advertising for bids for the project.
Skinner informed the council about several letters she had received, including ones concerning heavy truck traffic on Tyler Street and another regarding encroachment of garbage from Bottoms Up's dumpsters on neighboring property.
The council approved the transfer of McGregor's Pub's restaurant liquor license to David Erbe and Nancy McKenzie.
Two WYDOT sign installation requests were also approved: one for the Sublette County Visitors' Center at the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce hut and another indicating the road to White Pine. Every other ski area in the state has signage.
Sublette County Sexual Assault and Family Violence Task Force's Robin Clover updated the council prior to requesting an increase of $200 from her 2003 request, $1,300 this year.
A Wednesday, June 2, budget workshop was scheduled for 5 p.m. and first reading of Ordinance 364, the 2005 budget ordinance, was approved.
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