Volume 105, Number 22 - May 29, 2008
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Council appoints Bellis
The Pinedale Town Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Tuesday to appoint local Janet Bellis to the town Planning and Zoning Commission, a decision that had to be made urgently after commission member Roz Leslie resigned earlier this month for personal reasons.
“It’s a busy time of the year (for planning and zoning), and we wanted to get that seat filled,” said council member Chris House of the fact that summer provides the best conditions for large construction projects.
Bellis, who lost in the Town Council election earlier this month, had applied for an open seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission in late 2007.
Although the seat was eventually given to Pinedale resident John Fogerty, the Town Council admired Bellis for her experience with multiple planning boards in Boulder, Colo., where she saw the population double in 10 years.
“(Boulder) went through a lot of the same growing pains we’re going through now,” House said. “Janet knows what’s been tried and what worked and what didn’t work, and she can bring that experience to the council. It will help run a more balanced meeting.” Bellis said she had applied for the commission for the same reasons that she ran for town council.
“I just wanted to be a part of helping Pinedale develop in the right way,” Bellis said, adding that she hopes to help create a cohesion between the new BloomField subdivision and downtown Pinedale. “There are so many people with so many great ideas in this town, and it would be nice to get all of those out. But as members of the Planning and Zoning Board, our basic job is to make sure whatever comes in is tied to the master plan.”
The Town Council members had agreed two weeks ago to fill the open commission seat before the commission’s next meeting on June 2. When no one submitted new applications in response to advertising, the council reverted to the old applications it still had on file, Bellis’ included.
Bellis, a geologist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has only lived in Pinedale for about a year and a half, but council member Nylla Kunard said the appointee would bring a fresh voice to the commission.
“You want newcomers and you want oldtimers,” Kunard said of the composition of the commission, which acts as an advisory board to the Town Council. “We older ones who have been here so long get set in our ways. We need to look at the future and we need to look at the past. We don’t want to overbuild, and when you have a full board, you have more opinions and you have a better handle on it.”
— Municipal Court Judge Ruth Neely reported that the Sheriff’s Department has only turned over six speeding tickets to her, significantly less than the 17 the department had issued this same time last year.
“I personally can’t think traffic has slowed down that much,” Neely said. Mayor Smith agreed, and said the council would ask the department about the decrease.
— Municipal Officer Jennifer Gocke reported that she issued 15 citations this month, the majority concerning parking in alleyways.
— Pinedale resident Jim Washam predicted that he and members of the town Park and Tree Board would need another week to determine how to set up the veterans memorial in the American Legion Park, but they planned to organize lighting, signage and access by the completion ceremony on July 26.
The town and the county are funding the memorial, and council member Dave Hohl asked Washam to keep everyone updated on progress with the project.
“I’d like to see agreement between all the parties involved before any dirt is turned,” Hohl said.
— Mayor’s Assistant Lauren McKeever reported that she recently attended a mitigation workshop with the county commissioners and state and local socioeconomic planners to discuss local socioeconomic issues that have yet to be addressed.
“I would hope that something concrete will come out of that meeting that will provide solutions to some things that aren’t being addressed,” McKeever said.
— McKeever said she has been contacting contractors to spray for pine beetles. John Fogerty, Pinedale resident and member of the town Planning and Zoning Commission, pointed out that trees infested with pine beetles wouldn’t spread the infestation to surrounding trees until late June, which he said locals should be aware of so they don’t cut down healthy trees.
The council members said they would discuss sending Gocke to tell property owners directly about which trees to destroy.
— Margaret Noble, member of the Park and Tree Board, read a letter from board member Kurt Feltner announcing his resignation. Noble said she would provide the council with a list of possible replacements.
— The council approved hiring GDA Engineering for a five-year contract to provide planning services to the Pinedale Airport Board.
The council approved resolution 2008-05 authorizing acceptance of a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to update the Pinedale Airport master plan. The council approved a five-year ground lease agreement for airport lot 26 between IS Incorporated and the Pinedale Airport Board. The council approved a ground lease agreement for lot 27 between DK Services and the Pinedale Airport Board.
— Town Engineer Eugene Ninnie reported that Phase 1 of the town sewer and water rehabilitation project began last week, with more than 2,500 feet of sewer line already installed. Phase 3 will begin next week, but progress will likely be slower because of its location in a residential area, Ninnie said.
He would like to see the designs for phases 4 and 5 completed by early next year. Ninnie further reported that the consulting company Stantec began a road and traffic study last week.
The Water Development Master Study that the town is compiling with Rio Verde Engineering for the Wyoming Water Development Commission should be completed by July 1.
The council approved Ninnie’s proposal for McKinstry Engineering to create a water billing database.
— Spokespeople for the town Public Works promised to replace the damaged sign by Harmony Bridge.
— The council approved waiving excavation fees and building permit fees for the Sublette County Maintenance Shop.
— The council approved to participate in funding 80 feet of valley pan for the north side of Hoback Street at a cost not to exceed $2,250.
— The council approved the third reading of Ordinance 439 for the town’s annual appropriation. The next Town Council meeting will be on June 9.
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