From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 44 - January 24, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Commission Gets Update On Bloomfield
Soon-to-be-annexed subdivision could be future site for new fire hall
by Janet Montgomery

Just one reading away from annexation into the Town of Pinedale, representatives of the Bloomfield Subdivision stepped up to the Sublette County Commissioners’ table to offer up information and get ideas for the new development on the east side of Ehman Lane.

“We just wanted to present enough information ... to you to let you know what’s going on,” said Mark Eatinger, representing the subdivision in the meeting.

“I’m glad to see this,” Commission Chair Bill Cramer said. “Tome, this is the best answer to the affordable housing issue.”

Eatinger along with James Rogers and Matt Harber presented a map and talked about some of the 237-acre development that will be before the Town of Pinedale for a third reading of the annexation ordinance later this month. Eatinger noted that, in looking at the plan, a lot of green space has been left.

“(We’re) still trying to make it usable and functional place where people want to be,” Eatinger said.

The mobile home park lays out 116 lots with 11 for storage units, which Harber said would have many restrictions for the residents, including that the land would not change ownership.

Commissioner Joel Bousman suggested they meet with Sublette County Sheriff Bardy Bardin to learn about “crime-free mobile home parks.”

“There’s some concepts out there that could apply,” he said.

The subdivision also includes apartment buildings, with some that could be subsidized, an area left for a school and connections to the bike path through the development as well.

Eatinger said they wanted to provide “ways for to get people to different locations in the development without taking to the streets.”

Bousman also queried about fire flow in the area, and said at some point, the fire station might need to be moved.

Harber offered that the development includes 45 to 60 acres of commercial district, while Eatinger added that the Town of Pinedale allows for fire halls in any zoning.

After much discussion, Commissioner John Linn said he was also pleased with the development.

“I have to admit, I’m happy about this,” he said. “This concept of the Town handling the services on this is really the better way to go.”

In other county business:

•Angie Smith came before the commission to offer an update on the Big Piney-Marbleton Recreation Board’s progress and ask for more support from the county. Smith said that the board has received a small donation of $4,500 from EOG with the towns of Big Piney and Marbleton each looking at $500,000 for the center, and Smith said that the dirt work for the project would also be donated.

Smith told the commissioners that while the Rec Board is grateful for what the county has put into the project so far, at this point, the board felt that it has reached a point that they need a “solid stand point” from the county.

“The next step (is) asking what your bottom line is,” she said. “What (is the county) going to commit next year?”

The county has currently earmarked $5 million for the project as well as purchasing the land and is paying for architect fees. Smith said, “The board (and the community) feel it’s very important that we complete what we set out to do two and a half years ago ... (and are) asking you to commit to fund the entire project.”

Bousman responded, saying, “I think it’s premature to say, ‘Yes, cut a check, we’ll fund 100 percent.’”

The county doesn’t have the money to fund the entire project that is estimated at about $17.8 million, Bousman said, and making that kind of commitment might also deter the ability of the board to get other funding, such as from the SLIB Board funds.

The estimated $17.8 million, which does not include a theater, is also expected to change as the board opted to change firms, hiring Chambers Design-Build for the project, which will produce new figures and drawings.

Bousman said he is committed to going ahead with the project but it would be a mistake to give the perception that the county is going to make out the check for the whole project. He also suggested that the committee find someone to who would commit to operating this type of facility to help with the project.

Linn said, “For my part on this, I’m committed to the project.”

However, Linn also said that he thought Bousman might be right in that a commitment from the county might hinder funding from SLIB.

“It’s something we need to keep ... (make) life better, make things more attractive for people who might want to live there,” he added.

Smith said that the board planed to pursue “whatever we can get” but then asked, “At what point are we going to know we are forsure (with the project)?”

Cramer asked Smith about doubling up on facilities like basketball courts. “ I don’t want to see duplication if there is something else available,” he said. Rather than construction, he said, “If it’s a matter of staff, do up a budget. ...Why should the taxpayers have two facilities?”

In discussion, the commissioners noted that it would take three mills of taxes to fund the entire facility.

Bousman suggested continuing to find out more and finding people to operate the facility as well, but said, “Let’s not out run our headlights.”

Cramer agreed, saying that he would not commit to put an additional $12 million from the county coffers in at this point, but added, “We can have this discussion a little bit later.”

• The full-agenda meeting of the commissioners ended after 5 p.m. last Wednesday but with just a few motions made by the board and a ton of information presented. The commissioners’ first motion of the day was to deny voucher payment for the Veterans’ Services Office as the county is continuing to work with Lincoln and Sweetwater counties with a memorandum of understanding. With the MOU, all three counties would serve veterans in the area together under Sweetwater County with any payments submitted directly to Sweetwater County as well.

• The commissioners also voted to allow Lincoln County to construct a restroom facility in the LaBarge Creek parking lot, which is inside Sublette County but provides access to snowmobiling in the Lincoln County area.

• At the cost of $20,000, the commissioners approved the first phase of Public Land Policy Proposal by Cat Urbigkit. In November, Urbigkit presented a four-phase proposal to prepare the Federal Land Use Plan for Sublette County for the amount of $45,000.

Sublette County Clerk Mary Lankford said the first phase of developing the policy would consist of research and planning with public meetings, a Web site and a written draft submitted for review by experts with an April 1 deadline to address any issues that arise from the review.

• In another motion for a first phase, the commissioners voted to accept the first phase of the Sublette County Socioeconomic Impact Study by the Ecosystem Research Group Report and asked for a short executive summary to accompany the document.

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