From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 25 - September 13, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Pinedale Council Briefed on Impact Study

by Tiffany Turner

Carson Bise, vice president of Tischlerbise, the company hired by Pinedale to do an Impact Study on the town and its current growth patterns, met with the town council to present the results of the preliminary study during Monday’s town council meeting.

Bise, who has completed these studies for several Wyoming areas, including Teton County, Casper, Gillette and Laramie, met up with Town Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Administrator Meghan Jacquet at a convention in Star Valley while studying other communities.

“What we did in the first place was a feasibility study,” Bise said, of the companies work in Pinedale.

The feasibility study determines different actions that would make sense for Pinedale’s growing community. Bise explained that many times a town will know the different changes it would like to make, and a feasibility study shows them which items on their list make sense to undertake at the current time with the current growth patterns and impacts.

Impact fees, when instituted, would aid the community in ensuring that new growth would pay its fair share in the growth of the town, but “are not used to create general revenue,” Bise said.

He informed the council that a town must show growth and need in order to impose the fees and then show substantial benefit if the fees are implemented. The fees, he explained, are to help the town “maintain existing levels of service.”

As many throughout the town have noticed, as the population of Pinedale increases the services provided by the town have suffered.

Bise explained that impact fees could be used by the town to pay themselves back for oversized facilities, to aid with incremental expansion of current growth and for plan-based growth of the town, which Bise said, would give the town “a little more bang for your buck.”

The feasibility study indicated that Pinedale, at a minimum, should at least continue growing at its current rate and Bise saw a possibility for even more future growth at a faster rate.

Aspects that the study indicated needed improvement included raising water and sewer rates to cover 100 percent of operating fees, an increase in Fire and Rescue, growth in the general municipal government and parks and recreation. Bise did recommend against impact fees for road improvements as he saw no future plans to expand roads that would qualify.

“We strongly recommend the town undertake a fiscal impact analysis,” Bise said. A fiscal analysis would study the town’s full cash flow, new growth, surpluses or deficiencies, possible future scenarios and financial strategies. Bise also recommended reevaluating the town’s growth and plans every three to five years.

“It depends on how fast you growand how much your plans are changing over time,” he said.

Jacquet informed the council that she would get the council additional information toward the possibility of continuing on into Phase II of the study, the fiscal impact analysis.

In other town council news:

• Brian Gray of WLC Engineering representing the Recreation (Rec) Board, spoke to the council about the board’s plans to create an additional bike path running from Rendezvous Pointe to Willow Lake Road. The Rec Board needed permission to put the path within the town’s easement at one point along the path.

“I think it’s a good idea and it will benefit the town,” Mayor Steve Smith said.

Town Attorney EdWood advised the council not to make a motion until all paperwork had been submitted but a table full of nods counted as a consensus and informed Gray he had permission to continue planning.

• Terrie Swift, director of the Chamber of Commerce, requested that fees for a temporary sign be waived since they will pay the fee next year when their new sign comes in. Swift stated that the temporary sign would only be there until they received grant money from an outside source that they were currently waiting to hear back from.

The town waived the $500 fee for the temporary sign under the understanding that the sign met all ordinances and fees would be paid in full for the permanent sign.

• Town Council elected Susan Cramer to the empty position on the Recycling Board and John M. Fogerty to the P&Z Board for the unfulfilled portion of ex-chair of the P&Z Board Robert Brito’s term. Both decisions were unanimous.

• Town Council received information to review about the possibility of annexing the KOA campground into the town.

• The first reading of two ordinance changes were accepted at the end of the meeting. One new ordinance will require all animals to be leash controlled within the town limits and the other will create an escalating fine for nuisance dogs as opposed to the past flat fee.

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