Big Piney hires rec director, adds soccer

BIG PINEY – The Big Piney Town Council’s July 17 meeting started an hour or so later than usual, with the mayor and councilmembers first serving dinner to about 340 visitors from the Tour de Wyoming.

At the Big Piney Recreation Center, Mayor Michelle Hymas; councilmembers Sherri Redden, Scott Scherbel, Aimee Davison and Tyler Maxfield; clerk Kristi Gray and deputy clerk Linda Thompson dished up roast beef dinners from the Marbleton Senior Center and helped out around the building.

By the time they arrived at Town Hall, the council decided to keep the meeting short – but they faced a full agenda of new business.

Sheriff K.C. Lehr reported the Chuckwagon Days Parade went well and that fewer citizen fireworks were shot off than usual. Also, a bicycle was reported “missing” from the library.

Resident and mom Kelsie Leavitt talked to the council about reviving the soccer program at Big Piney Rec Center, which has all the equipment, nets and balls. One of the biggest concerns was to schedule soccer nights so it didn’t interfere with football and volleyball nights.

“I’ve been taking my kids to Pinedale for the last several years,” she said. “We now have 37 people interested in helping out.”

The council agreed having soccer on Tuesdays and Thursdays and volleyball and football Mondays and Wednesdays for $40 per program, with willing volunteers and a field in good shape, was a “great idea.”

Leavitt said she and new recreation director Eddie Delgado had already discussed it; he was pleased to add the soccer program and suggested she run it by the town council.

Delgado was still helping with the Tour de Wyoming at the Rec Center and the council unanimously approved hiring him to fill the vacancy left by Darren Davison as of July 5.

Big Piney then continued on to name the Sublette Examiner as its official newspaper and Bank of the West as its official bank for this fiscal year.

Sublette County Unified Fire Chief Shad Cooper then brought up the topic of having an expert set off Fourth of July fireworks as he had to the Marbleton Town Council.

“We train day and night to put out fires … and we don’t want to be in the business of pyrotechnics,” Cooper said. He showed the council paperwork that will need to be done.

Mayor Hymas thanked Cooper, Battalion Chief John Ball and local firefighters “for the many years you have put it on for us. It’s a big part of our community.”

They have booked an expert for next year, she added. “We did start the ball rolling.”

The Hunting for Heroes fundraiser based at the Silver Spur is on again for Saturday, Aug. 18. The council discussed closing only North Street and approved Resolution 2018-05 that allows open containers of alcoholic beverages for the event.

Water/sewer director Joe Dankelman reported that residential and commercial water line repairs are beginning to make a difference, with well production at 20.2 million gallons for this year’s first six months, compared to 35 million gallons last year. One customer’s leak was caused by a rock that broke into the line, he explained.

“Our three ‘problem children’ are still running at full capacity in 8-inch pipes,” Hymas noted of EOG Resources, Cowboy Court and another residential sewer lines.

The excess water is pumped to the Marbleton town water treatment plant along with sewage, which next year will be charged by gallons instead of the current flat rate. She suggested drafting “mockup bills” to show those customers what they will be paying next year if they don’t make repairs.

Delgado arrived and was informed of his official hiring. He said adding the soccer program was a good plan. He also informed the council he might cut summer hours at the Rec Center to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and return to an 8 p.m. closing on Nov. 1.

Hymas said she would like to have a meeting to come up with a new “Rec Center plan” for job descriptions, duties and other day-to-day aspects.

Davison asked, “I had envisioned this more as a master plan for the next three to five years – not necessarily details like ‘full-time’ or ‘part-time’– I was thinking more of the big picture like funds?”

The council set a special public workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. at Town Hall to talk about the Rec Center.

Parks/streets director Kara Losik reported that she and others are working on a town tree plan to inventory, remove and replace municipal trees.

She noted, “The pure genetic narrowleaf cottonwood is the only one that doesn’t get mites.”

Hymas said conservation and state forestry grants can help the town buy the pure genetic trees and she hopes to find some for residents as well.

The next Big Piney Town Council meeting will be on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 6 p.m.

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