From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 8, Number 25 - September 11, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Council Abandons Business License Ordinance

by Trey Wilkinson

After an ordinance to establish business licenses in Pinedale passed on its first reading last month, a number of phone calls and letters made their way to the desk of Pinedale Mayor Steve Smith opposing the ordinance. In response to a planned workshop set for Monday, the regularly planned Town Council meeting brought angry business owners and Pinedale citizens to Town Hall but the group only had to stick around for a few minutes as the council approved a motion to abandon the second reading and further discussion of the ordinance.

“I’ve received quite a few letters and phone calls,” Smith said. “I just don’t think the community is ready for ( the ordinance).”

Ordinance 440, first introduced to the public at the Aug.28 town council meeting, was a proposed ordinance of the Town of Pinedale relating to the requirement of business licenses, including a fee of $15 for each person applying for a business license, a delinquency penalty of $75 and other definitions and regulations.

According to Smith, the ordinancewas proposed in the first place to protect local business owners from unlicensed transient business owners.

At the Aug.25 town council meeting, discussion of the ordinance was tabled and a workshop planned for Monday’s meeting; however, the mayor and council felt a workshop was unnecessary due to the number of voices opposing the ordinance.

“The amount of people in opposition spoke for itself,” Smith said. “The writing was on the wall.”

While the ordinance was abandoned, Smith did admit there are advantages to having business licenses. “Business licenses would give us a better idea of what’s going on in town and we’d have a better idea of what businesses are doing,” he said.

Councilman Dave Smith said the council is appointed to make the best decisions for the town and to try to keep the citizens happy. “This is a good example of the citizens speaking up and the council listening,” he said.

As for the discussion down the road of business licenses, Mayor Smith said he thought it would rear its head again.

“Business licenses are something most municipalities have,” he said. “As Pinedale continues to grow it’s something we may have to consider down the road.”

In other town news:

• Pinedale High School senior MarQuessa Brown addressed the council requesting permission to hold the school’s senior class fundraiser at Boyd Skinner Park with a “haunted woods” theme set for Friday, Oct. 31.

Brown said necessary safety precautions would be met, including having 10 parent supervisors, caution tape and barriers, luminaries marking the pathway, minimal group sizes and other precautions.

Brown gave admission prices to the council of $3 for 12 years and older, $1 for 6 to 12 years of age and free to those 5 and under. She also stated her intent to advertise for the event in the local newspapers, KPIN and throughout the school and community with posters and flyers.

Brown offered a dry-run rehearsal to the council on the Thursday prior to the event.

Councilman Dave Hohl asked if school insurance was applicable and suggested talking to the police about safety tips. Councilman Smith also asked Brown if she had been in touch with the fire department.

Brown said she didn’t want to compete with the fire department but would love to team up with them for this event.

The council agreed it was a good idea and asked Brown to come back to the Sept. 22 town council meeting after speaking with the sheriff’s office, fire department and school district.

“I think anything to bring the community together is a great idea,” Mayor Smith said.

• Jim Engstrom, potential developer for Pinedale Centerpoint, sat in front of the council requesting a commercial building permit for lots 1-17 block 1 triangle addition on the northeast corner of Highway 191 and Fremont Lake Road.

Mayor Smith said he liked the design but wanted different options for the following Canal, Haystack and Pine streets, as the roads need improvements.

Engstrom said this project was started in 2005 and continues to be hung up.

“Now you’ve held us up again, again and again,” he said.

Mayor Smith voiced his concerns with the project.

“Your development and the street improvements need to take place at or near the same time,” he said. “We have very serious concerns about the drainage. What happens if damage is done to your property and our streets (due to no road improvements)? Are you prepared to take on the cost of that?”

After further discussion between Engstrom and the council a motion was made to issue the permit including the site plan presented at the Aug. 28 council meeting, with Canal and Haystack improved with chip-seal and drainage installed with a 50/50 split cost between the town and Pinedale Centerpoint.

The council approved the motion with Dave Smith objecting.

• Scott Grove, owner of Rocky Mountain Home Center (RMHC), spoke to the council about speeding up the process of rebuilding his business following the fire that completely destroyed RMHC in June.

“It’s not a new development; we’re just trying to rebuild,” Grove said.

“We’re willing to do what we can to help expedite, but we need to get your site plan,” Mayor Smith said. “Let’s get it built back up. I had to go buy my mattresses in Rock Springs.”

Grove agreed to get a site plan to town engineer Eugene Ninnie as soon as possible.

• Ninnie requested 24-hour operation of Phase I and III of the town sewer/water project on Pine Street for the next two weeks to get the project done as quickly as possible to avoid weather concerns and awkward traffic situations.

“Local businesses would like to see the project done as soon as possible,” Smith said. A motion was made to waive the town noise ordinance for this project for a period of 14 days starting Monday.

“We hope the noise doesn’t bother anyone too much but the sooner this is done the happier everyone will be,” Mayor Smith said.

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