From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 22 - August 23, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Commissioners to develop ‘State of County’

by Tiffany Turner

With an off-the-agenda visit from a Pinedale author and “pen for hire,” Sublette County Commissioners brought to light their plan to develop, print and distribute a booklet containing the important facets and developments put into place and managed by the county commissioners.

Cat Urbigkit, who has authored many books and articles, spoke to county commissioners during their Aug. 21 meeting at the Marbleton Town Hall about an idea suggested by County Clerk Mary Lankford.

Commissioners said they feel the public does not have a cohesive grasp on the inner workings and budgetary decisions they make. “In the past, I don’t think we have done as good of a job as we should have informing the public about the budget,” said Commissioner Joel Bousman.

Bousman said he felt that many times decisions the county officials made upset the town because they did not understand why they were done or where money is allotted throughout the county. He mentioned that many times, the budgetis ignored for more pressing and “exciting” information and action.

“We’re trying to exhibit some kind of fiscal responsibility,” Bousman added. “We’re trying to provide some factual information.” Urbigkit expressed hersupport of such documentation.

“I really like the idea of a ‘State of the County,’” she said. “I think that to do it justice you are going to have to go through some of the major offices.”

“They want to know what the county government is doing and what they are doing in Sublette County,” Bousman said. “(This way) they can take 30 minutes and got hrough it.” Bousman stated that he hopes toshow the public that the Sublette County Commissioners are trying to be proactive and plan for the socioeconomic impacts that the area already has and will continue to receive.

Urbigkit said it would be a commissioned piece, as it would become government property when completed, and after discussing the timeline and Lankford’s availability, October/November was decided as the completion goal date. “As far as I am concerned it’s a done deal,” Chairman Bill Cramer said.

The board unanimously passed a motion authorizing Urbigkit to begin work on the “State of the County” piecet hat will later be distributed to the public.

Other county commissioner meeting news:

•The Class II Roads Committee met with commissioners concerning applications and feasibility studies of different roads that have applied for the Class II road status.

Two sections of Meadowlark Lane and Monte Vista, two applications that had been preapproved at the last meeting, were unanimously granted the status of ClassII roads and given the go-ahead to apply for grants to finish construction that would bring the roads up to the requirements that status brings.

Three new road segments in Big Piney – 1st North, 2n dNorth and 1st West – were at the first part of the stage that requires they be given the go ahead to find out the feasibility of being granted the title of Class II road. The commission gave these roads a unanimous go-ahead to do the study and move forward in the application process.

“Class II road status is not going to bemet by the roads that need the work,” Commissioner John Linn said of the condition of the roads and work that would need to be done to grant them the Class II road status.

“It’s a work in progress,” Cramer agreed. “We’re inventing the wheel and we’ll learn as we go.” The committee and commissioners also agreed that Iroquois Trail was an important road to look at for improvement and the committee informed the commission that the application was submitted and it will be on the agenda for the next meeting.

•The Marbleton/BigPiney Airport Board met with the commissioners to discuss the need for a large storage tank to contain enough water and pressure to sustain the fire suppression needed when the new hangar is added.

The Town of Marbleton and the Airport Board agreed to meet further on the possibility of it becoming a joint project.

“Regardless, if we build that hangar, which we are committed to doing, we need that fire suppression,” Cramer said. Linn suggested that an engineer be brought in to study the problem at hand and report to the commissioners with the options available. “Let’s work with the town and the county and get it done,” Cramer said. No motion was made.

• The commissioners agreed that the Rural Health Care District(RCHD)was responsible for its own claims from this past year and for the running of its own insurance for the next year; the RHCD will still receive insurance with the county, but they will be billed and responsible for everything themselves.

“I don’t think the county ever planned on it costing them anything to provide (this service),” Lankford said of the RHCD’s need to reimburse the county for the previous year’s employee claims. The board also determined that there would be a 10-percent increase in charges for retirees and a 20-percent increase to COBRA recipients to help offset the claims made against the policy throughout the year.

• Angie Smith represented the Recreational Center planned for the south side of the county. With pictures and drawings in hand, she described to commissioners the services planned and estimated costs. The board motioned to move forward on the plan with the knowledge that Marbleton and BigPiney had agreed to allocate funds for the project and many large businesses had also promised help. A meeting of the different funding partners and powers in the communities is planned for the near future to sort out the details of services, building and funding.

Julie Land introduced herself and her plansfor the Happy Ending Animal Shelter(HEAR)to the commissioners. “I think it’s a great idea – but I think that it should be something for the three towns because they all have animal control problems,” Cramer said. No motion was made at this time as plans are still in the works as to what services HEAR will provide and where it will belocated.

• Frank James brought to the attention of the commissioners that the current trash pick-up service for the fairgrounds refused to remove waste over the weekend during the fair, resulting in strained muscles and tired workers. James recommended a switch to a local start- up company about which he will soon receive more information. The new company, James stated, does not have the capital to purchase all of the dumpsters the fair would need so some costs would fall on the county. “Well, whatever makes your job easier, Frank,” Cramer said. “As far as I’m concerned – that’s your peak time.” James agreed to look further into prices and the service.

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