PINEDALE – An attempt to use the 4-H livestock barn during slow months to house industrial arts classes, was blocked by the deed giving the barn to Sublette County.
Sublette County BOCES No. 1 Director John Anderson and Sublette County 4-H Director Robin Schamber, who also serves on the BOCES board, appeared before Sublette County Commissioners May 1.
Anderson said there is a need for industrial arts classes for adults, such as welding and woodworking, in the community. The barn, located south of Pinedale on Highway 191, is used by 4-H youth from March through September, but is seldom used in the other months.
Anderson said the two entities would like to form a partnership and utilize the existing facility to benefit the community. “We would start small with welding and see what the community needs,” Anderson said.
He said BOCES is willing to invest some money in equipment for the added classes.
Commission chairman Andy Nelson said the building, which was given to the county as a donation from QEP, has deed restrictions. The deed limits the use of the building to agriculture and livestock. While the deed is now held by Pinedale Energy Partners, which purchased QEP, Neslon said they could “yank the deed” and give it to any nonprofit organization, if the company feels the building is not being used for its intended purpose.
He added the county has invested time and money on improvements for the facility and commissioners are unwilling to risk losing the barn.
Anderson questioned if they could label the class as “Welding for Ranchers” to get around the deed restriction.
Nelson said he was concerned using the facility, especially for welding, could be considered competition with an industry partner. “It is not wise to put that money in and lose it,” Nelson said.
Commissioner Mack Rawhouser encouraged BOCES to use the facility built for training in Big Piney. He said there was already a willing instructor and maybe some type of bus services could be worked out. He added Big Piney could use added revenue from the classes.
Nelson agreed, saying he drives to Big Piney for bowling or see a movie and people will probably drive for classes.
Later in the meeting, Todd Hurd, the county’s building advisor, said the 4-H barn could not be used for welding because it did not have proper fire suppression or ventilation.