Big Piney hears some 2023-’24 budget requests
GRVM begins remodel of old log Texaco station
SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Big Piney Town Council had a lengthy agenda for its May 16 meeting, with high-school summer-job applicants, upcoming events and next year’s budget requests.
Six students introduced themselves to councilmembers Sherri Redden, Tawnya Miller, Stafford Polk IV and Sierra Banks, to work with town staff. The council went into executive session at the end of the meeting to determine which they will hire.
For events, town staff marked its Arbor Day on May 17 by planting four lanceleaf cottonwoods and one Canadian cherry, said rec center manager Eddy Delgado and parks-streets supervisor Kara Losik.
The schedule for Chuckwagon Days, over the July 4 weekend, is planned with the Little Buckaroo Rodeo on July 3 and a full slate on July 4, starting with the return of Big Piney’s 5K fun run at 7:30 a.m., pancake breakfast, the parade, free community barbecue, a pickleball tournament, 6 p.m. street dance and fireworks. Warren Sorensen, this year’s grand marshal, will be conveyed on a float.
Green River Valley Museum director Clarica Johnson, with Karen Taylor, addressed the council with a 2023-2024 budget request for $2,000 for newsletters.
Johnson said mailing out 3,710 newsletters last year resulted in almost $11,000 in donations. The previous fiscal year, the Wyoming Community Foundation offered a grant with the museum needing $11,500 and the revival of the Hard Hats & Stetsons fundraiser brought in $13,500. The event was last held in 2016.
That WCF grant kicked off remodeling Big Piney’s old Texaco gas station across the highway from the museum, donated by a new property owner.
“We’ve started working on the Texaco building, cleaning it up,” Johnson said. Next, they’ll work with the town for replacement and construction of beams, ceilings, the leaky roof and a new cement floor.
“We hope to have the Visitor Center in there by July,” referring to the Sublette County Visitor Center’s plan to increase summer tourism in south county. Until then, visitor materials will be available in the museum itself.
Taylor told the council an original Texaco gas pump is being restored and painted red will arrive in Big Piney to set outside the museum’s newest building.
Keith Hughes, president of the Big Piney-Marbleton Airport Board, said they are requesting $10,800 – the same amount as last year but increased for inflation, he said.
The airport board is a joint powers board with Big Piney, Marbleton and Sublette County. The hangar is full and jets and local plane pilots have boosted “24/7” aviation fuel sales, he added.
The annual Big Piney-Marbleton Fly-In, with a community breakfast and car show, is set for July 15 and the Green River Valley Museum will have a kiosk showing the history of the region’s air travel. People will be able to camp along the runway around the fly-in.
Linda Morton thanked the council for its continuing support of Mosquito Abatement District #2, adding it is difficult to predict when the first malathion spraying will take place. She guaranteed two sprayings and requested $11,039 from the town with another $5,519 for a third spraying if needed.
The price of malathion has gone up but the district is not raising its rates. Malathion continues to be the best pesticide, she said. Marbleton will be asked to put more toward spraying for mosquitos because the town covers a lot more acreage than Big Piney.
In other Big Piney news
- Sheriff KC Lehr reported quiet in Big Piney but recent vandalism in Marbleton included graffiti and shot-out windows and doors at Flicks ‘N Pins. “I hope we can resolve this before somebody gets hurt or something more serious happens.”
- The council discussed a pedestrian crossing across Highway 189 between the Green River Valley Museum and its old Texaco station.
- Benjamin Swindlehurst will be allowed a variance for nine chickens instead of six.
- The council is invited to Wyoming Community Foundation’s June 1 honoring of Mark Mickelson at the county fairgrounds at 5:30 p.m.