Volume 8, Number 23 - August 28, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Council Tables Business License Ordinance
When an ordinance to instate business licenses in Pinedale passed on its first reading before the Pinedale Town Council two weeks ago without prior public notice, citizens began to take a deeper look into the proposed ordinance and what it could mean in the future. Many of these residents were at Monday night’s council meeting where the ordinance was slated on the agenda for its second reading. The residents were ready to voice their opinions, question the ordinance’s legitimacy and ask what would happen as the business licenses progressed.
Before these individuals had much chance to speak their minds, Forest Wakefield, representing the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce, came forward to request the council table the ordinance for the evening.
According to Wakefield, the Chamber had sent out a mass mailing asking its members what they thought of the ordinance. Of the 340 letters sent, the Chamber received less than 30 responses.
“It does not seemlike enough feedback for us to make a recommendation,” Wakefield said.
“I agree with you completely,” Pinedale Mayor Steve Smith said.
According to the council members, most received phone calls and emails about the ordinance, with many expressing confusion over what the ordinance would actually accomplish and what it could become in the future.
“I think we should just strike it and start over,” council member Dave Smith said.
According to Dave Smith, and the mayor the original reason for the ordinance was to have business licenses for traveling vendors and, they said, if that was instated there should be something for local business owners as well.
“We are one of the few (municipalities) that do not regulate,” council woman Nylla Kunard said.
With the council room full, Smith asked who was in attendance to speak about the ordinances and was met with nearly 15 raised hands.
Since so many people had questions about the ordinance, council decided to table the ordinance and will host a workshop on Sept. 8 before the regular meeting.
Several people in the audience, relieved to learn there would be a session to discuss the ordinance prior to it taking affect, still chose to voice their opinions ranging from anger over its proposal to simple confusion over what the ordinance could turn into.
“These are all good questions and that is why I think we need a workshop and talk about this later,” Mayor Smith said.
“I find it very difficult to believe this council or any other council will enforce this fairly,” one audience member said.
“It’s just wrong,” said another.
“All you guys are going to do is push people out of the city limits,” another person said.
“That is why you are here,” Kunard said. “That is why we are here – to listen. That is why he’s (Mayor Smith) tabling it.”
In other Pinedale news:
• After lengthy discussion, a call for 4,800 acre-feet of water from the town’s water rights to raise the level in Pine Creek for the spawning of different trout species was approved, 3-1 (Smith opposed).
One beneficial use for the town’s water rights is Fish Propagation and Recreation.
• Centerpoint, LLC’s request for a building permit on land connected to Canal and Haystack Streets died with no second to the original motion.
Centerpoint arrived with engineering drawing showing the repair to the two roads to be at the town’s cost of just over $300,000. The town was not willing to pay this amount at this time and could not agree as to whether a building permit should be issued with possible liability falling to them if flooding or property damage took place due to the town not fixing those roads.
Town Attorney Ed Wood was instructed to create a document leaving the Town of Pinedale harmless should anything happen due to the streets not being fixed. Mayor Smith informed Centerpoint that they could apply again and changes would be discussed once the document was drafted.
• Council discussed the possibility of instating ordinances to require large corporations moving into the area to work with the town to keep the ambiance similar to that of years past as well as possible voluntary regulations to keep the look of the downtown consistent in the future.
“I think this is a really big issue and we’re just hitting on a few pieces,” said councilman Dave Hohl.
Planning and Zoning Chairman John Fogerty spoke up from the audience advising the town seek consultation in how to move forward.
“It is the fastest growing community in Wyoming and I think it is time we get something on the books,” he said.
Council agreed to further look into options.
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