Big Piney – This month fell into place for back-to -back meetings for Marbleton on the second Monday followed by the Big Piney Town Council meeting on the third Tuesday, Nov. 15.
So the evening after Marbleton decided to challenge its citizens and neighbors to raise money for students needing help paying for school lunches, Big Piney stepped up to the plate.
Mayor Tyler Maxfield reported the south county challenge, saying, “There are a lot of kids in need that didn’t get (free meals) this year.
Marbleton’s Todd Brown explained how the idea arose after Mayor Jim Robinson and Clerk Shannon McCormick sat in on a recent discussion about community needs and brought it to their Nov. 14 meeting.
“It’s a great idea,” said councilmember Sherri Redden. “We don’t have to have a motion; could we match some too?”
Maxfield said the town has a some financial wiggle-room – “I think we can do something. It’s a great idea. Some kids get their balances run so high. I see some neglect at the schools.”
Councilmembers Sierra Banks and Stafford Polk IV agreed there are quite a few students of all ages who need need a helping hand and more to eat.
Each town hall clerk will collect donations from residents and businesspeople until their respective December council meetings, and gather the donations and matches for Big Piney school staff “to dispense as needed.”
“We’ll help who we can,” the mayor said.
Maxfield also nominated Brown, Marbleton public works supervisor, as the town’s representative replacing Phil Stevens on the Big Piney Airport Board. The council voted its approval.
In another action, the council approved renewals of liquor licenses for the Silver Spur Bar/Shadyside and La Cabana.
Recreation manager Eddy Delgado reported 54 crafts, arts, baking, food and gift vendors signed up for last Saturday’s annual Holiday Bazaar at the Big Piney Rec center.
He also looked for several volunteers to help with hot chocolate and give out jolly ho-ho-hos during the upcoming Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 3. The day starts with the Jingle Bell Jog fun run from the rec center, continuing to the street fair, downtown Parade of Lights at 6 p.m. and the Community Tree Lighting in the town’s Centennial Park.
Parks and streets supervisor Kara Losik said the Christmas tree will be set up soon for decorating and she asked if she could set up some holiday decorations and inflatables along Highway 189.
Also, the artificial trees will be provided to merchants and residents to decorate and set out along the main street, Losik said. Some businesses are already decked with flashing lights and everything Christmas inside and out.
Losik also updated the council on the long-awaited mural wrap ordered for the Farm Bureau office building, with a grant from the Pinedale Fine Arts Council and town funds. Apparently it was packaged and shipped, then went “completely MIA” in na Salt Lake City warehouse.
The replacement should be installed soon – “It will be a Christmas mural, not a Fourth of July mural,” she said.
Code officer Greg Eiden brought up an issue he believes to be animal abuse of dogs, saying he couldn’t find anything in town regulations to address the particular issue.
He observed a couple of “cowdogs” that are penned in old feces and lack shelter but a county deputy told him “there was nothing he could do” because they are considered “livestock.”
“I can’t find anything in here that states cowdogs are protected as livestock,” Eiden said. “We have no real ordinance at all on animal cruelty or abuse here.”
The deputy told him the dried-up feces would be a problem if a neighbor complained.
He said he hopes the town council could address that by amending or creating an ordinance.
Big Piney has an ordinance “but it doesn’t say ‘shelter,’” town attorney Doug Mason said. Maxfield agreed that the existing ordinance could be amended to include shelter to protect dogs from bad weather and subzero nights. He asked Mason to draft some language for a new or amended ordinance, either of which would require three readings and a public hearing. The first reading could take place at the Dec. 20 meeting.
Water-sewer supervisor Mike Wagstaff and Mayor Maxfield explained that pumped municipal water is not all lost to leaks but “unaccounted for” as to destination and amount.
“We’re supposed to be self-sustaining; we’re going to discuss water losses,” Maxfield said. “As a town, water we send to the parks, the rec center, museum, – those are not metered.”
The town provides a lot of free water that isn’t measured or sold, but it will need to be accounted for, Wagstaff said. “We need to know where our water is going; we need to police ourself first.”
Meters are on the horizon and rates will likely have to be examined, he said. “The water is unaccounted for until I can pinpoint where it’s going.”
Big Piney did not receive its leak-detection grant request from the state so he will have to budget for that next fiscal year.