From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 37 - December 8, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

County, town agree on Mill Street vacation

by Bill Boender

The Sublette County Commissioners began the afternoon session Tuesday, Dec. 6, with a planning and zoning application for an added 155 acres at the Sand Draw Industrial Site. The commissioners approved the application, removing lighting conditions and modifying monitoring well conditions that had been recommended by the Sublette County Planning and Zoning Board.

Representative Monte Olsen attended and discussed the upcoming legislative budget session with the commissioners. Olsen was asked to continue his efforts to pass legislation for property tax relief on a county option basis so that counties could provide homestead tax reductions without changing mill levies. As this is a budget session, a two-thirds vote is needed to introduce such legislation and Olsen advised it would be better to wait.

Jeff Jacquet presented the commissioners with data concerning crime rates in the county that he had gathered as a member of the Pinedale Anticline Working Group Socio-Economic Task Force. Data shows that the numbers of incidents and arrests have increased by some 270 percent since 1996. The figures seem to correlate with the rig count in the area but could also be affected by the increased number of officers on patrol and the higher number of young, aggressive officers. This data will be incorporated into the working group's final report, which includes many other fields of study in addition to crime rates.

John Carney of Carney Architects in Jackson, along with several members of the Sublette County Library Board, presented preliminary drawings and budget figures for the proposed library addition. The addition will add 8,000 square feet to the library, increasing meeting room space and expanding areas for children and computers. Cost of the project is anticipated to approach $3 million. The commissioners urged the library board to continue with design work. A possible parking garage between the courthouse and the library will require coordination of projects.

Pinedale Mayor Rose Skinner and several Pinedale Town Council members met with the commissioners to discuss terms for vacating Mill Street in order to provide parking space in the downtown area. The town is short of funding for new water and sewer lines, paving South Tyler Avenue and expansion of the sewer lagoon. After a brief discussion, the parties agreed that the county will assist in those projects in the amount of $3.6 million when the town abandons that portion of Mill Street. The Pinedale Town Council will vote on the issue at its Monday meeting and town and county attorneys will draw up a memorandum of understanding to complete the arrangement.

Commissioner John Linn noted that this agreement should settle the perception of a rift between the town and county. Commissioner Bill Cramer noted that this agreement will allow the county to share costs with the town on projects that will benefit both. Skinner noted that this agreement will free up some $2 million in funds which will allow the town to proceed with other needed projects in the area of sewer and water expansion to the west andn orth of town.

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