From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 105, Number 43 - October 23, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

County gets Lucky (again)

by Jonathan Van Dyke

After meeting with a county-retained attorney, the Sublette County Commission came out of executive session to affirm its vote for the new county attorney.

“We are holding this public meeting today to address the process of selecting the county attorney,” Chairman William Cramer said in a prepared statement. “We went through the process of selecting the county attorney on July 17, 2008, and believe that meeting and result was proper.”

During that process the commission voted by secret ballot to appoint Lucketta “Lucky” McMahon as the new county attorney. Fellow candidate Michael Crosson took issue with the way the vote was conducted, arguing that it should be a public vote following specific procedure.

“Even though we believe we would prevail in court regarding whether the selection was proper, in an abundance of caution, we are affirming the selection we made on July 17, 2008 by announcing what the vote was at the July 17, 2008 meeting,” Cramer continued.

After the statement, Commissioner Joel Bousman voted for McMahon, Commissioner John Linn voted for Crosson and Cramer voted for McMahon. Marilyn Filkins was the other possible candidate. The affirmation did not include a motion or second.

In other commission news:

— The commission attempted to mediate an ongoing concern with the water system for the new Marbleton Airport Hangar.

“We have a $3 million building we can’t occupy,” said Tagg Guio, airport board member.

The commission had given the OK to move forward on a sewer and water project for the large plot of land, but a breakdown in the timeline occurred because the water tank has not arrived.

“I know, in my mind, I thought it would be at least be done by October,” said Tony Chambers, contractor for Chambers Design-Build, Inc.

According to Todd Hurd of Forsgren Associates Inc., the tank was ordered in early July, but now the company responsible was estimating a delivery of Jan. 5.

All parties present displayed a desire for the project to get a concrete timeline so that any prior work or interim water system could be put into place before the water tank arrived.

The tank will cost the county $58,000. A temporary tank system could cost somewhere near $45 a day per tank.

Board members argued that the holdup might be costing the airport money, and that temporary tanks might be the best way to get things up and running smoothly.

If the timeline were to be decided on, the pipe and well house might be able to go out for bid before the well tank arrival.

“We have to get this thing done,” Linn said.

— Laurie Latta, community development coordinator for the Sublette County Partnership, met with the commission regarding a recent meeting she attended by Rocky Mountain Power (RMP).

“They are really looking to get away from coal plants in the future,” Latta said.

Wyoming is its fastest growing customer base. Its full customer base has asked for more renewable energy, according to a survey conducted by the company.

Also, it is still up in the air whether the county will take the brunt of costs due to more of the energy industry moving onto the power grid, Latta said. Late last year, RMP had begun a fight to shift the new power costs to those who supplied it most, but required the Public Service Commission’s approval.

“It is not final,” Latta said. “That has huge implications for this county.”

The commission agreed to keep an eye on the situation, and lobby when appropriate on behalf of smaller consumers.

— The commission spoke with Michael Coburn, socioeconomic analyst for the Sublette Community Partnership about various projects.

“I would like to know where do we need to be going there with senior housing in both the north and south parts of the county,” Cramer said.

The commission also asked Coburn to look into where the money went from the joint powers boards of Pinedale, Big Piney and Marbleton. In addition, the commission requested that he find out more of the needs of those boards.

Coburn will also be looking into ongoing energy developments to help with understanding future impacts with the Economic Research Group Report Phase II.

— The Quality of Life Survey, conducted by Coburn and former socioeconomic analyst Jeffrey Jacquet, is nearing completion. For the project, 43 longtime residents were surveyed at a median age of 61. Early results indicated that 93 percent of respondents felt extremely or somewhat at home in Sublette County. The survey found the most important issue facing the county to be growth management. Respondents said that the largest negative of the growth was a perceived lack of friendliness of newcomers.

— Representatives of the Sublette County Library addition stopped by to give an update. “It’s going well,” John Fixter said. “We’re actually enclosed and dried in.”

The project is scheduled for completion sometime near April of next year.

The commission will next meet on Nov. 7.

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