Big Piney mulls alcohol events at rec center

Town of Big Piney file photo

SUBLETTE COUNTY – Although past after-hours events at the Big Piney Rec Center have not allowed serving alcoholic beverages, the request came before the Big Piney Town Council at its Oct. 18 meeting.

Rec Center manager Eddy Delgado told Mayor Tyler Maxfield and councilmembers Sherri Redden, Tawnya Miller and Sierra Banks that groups ask about having special events there, looking for variety in locations.

He said after closing, only 24-hour members come into the facility and one gym could be set aside to serve or sell adult beverages. Adults at the rec center could wear a wristband like other bars and groups do after checking IDs.

Maxfield said in the past he’d resisted the idea of vendors selling alcohol and people walking around with them in a mixed-age crowd.

Redden said she just attended a Prevention Coalition meeting and didn’t favor the idea. She pointed out that town leases the rec center building from the Big Piney school district and the lease might prohibit alcohol.

Sgt. Tom Hatch said school grounds are a “drug-free, alcohol-free zone.” He has seen alcohol served at the Marbleton Senior Center and the Big Piney Library but not on school district property.

Miller asked if allowing alcohol at special events would break a rule in the lease.

Town attorney Doug Mason said, “Your lease is not governed by school rules – it’s totally under your control. You are in charge of the part you lease.”

Serving alcohol would not be against the law, Mason said, and he will review the town’s lease with the school district.

Banks agreed that was her concern. She pointed out that during the Freedom Rally at the rec center two years ago organizers were told they could not allow beer vendors.

“We hadn’t looked into it at that time,” Maxfield said. “Let’s look at the lease. Under certain circumstances I think it would be fine.”

The council agreed to table the discussion until its Nov. 15 meeting.

In other new business, the mayor and council approved the countywide proclamation naming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month as requested by the SAFV Task Force.

Maxfield also read a proclamation designating October as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on behalf of the American Cancer Fund and the Kids Cancer Connection, which the council approved.

Also on the agenda, Peter Paulin of the Sublette County Visitor Center gave an update of his past summer activities.

The top three visitor requests for referrals in south county were for the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney, J&L Rock Shop in Marbleton and outdoor recreation with a strong focus on the Wyoming Range.

The museum hosted a temporary “visitor center” desk from June to September and Paulin will help work on grant writing for a permanent site across the highway in the museum’s recently donated historic log building.

Paulin said a big winter focus would be connecting out-of-state snowmobile tour groups with the Wyoming Range, nominated as one of the top five destinations.

Redden asked Paulin if he could promote the annual Pedigree State-Stop Sled Dog Race; he said he would add that and to let him know of other events he can emphasize.


Delgado said fall activities are winding up at the rec center and middle school students are registering for basketball and wrestling camps. He’s going to try hosting indoor hockey to bridge the gap until the town’s covered ice rink off Piney Drive is frozen. The rec center will also offer recreation time for homeschooled kids two days a week.

The annual Christmas Bazaar will be Nov. 19, the last weekend before Thanksgiving, and booths are available. The Parade of Lights and Winter Street Festival is on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the first weekend after Thanksgiving.

Parks-streets supervisor Kara Losik noted the early date – “I’ll have to start decorating around the first of November to get it done.” In the meantime, she has winterized equipment, torn out dead trees and blown out sprinklers and hydrants.

Water-sewer supervisor Mike Wagstaff reported fixing a Budd Avenue water leak that he estimated put out 200,000 gallons a month that surfaced between the asphalt and curb. Well 10 will get a flush and shock treatment for iron problems and Well 6 is putting out good water with minerals that he mixes with wells 1 and 9.

The council adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel.


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