Commissioners purchase $1M plot


SUBLETTE COUNTY – While the fire mill levy discussion during the Board of Sublette County Commissioners’ meeting on June 21 took up the most time of any item, commissioners also tackled a varied agenda throughout the meeting in the their chambers.

Following an executive session, commissioners agreed to purchase a parcel of land adjacent to Pole Creek Road outside Pinedale for $1 million by a 3-2 vote. This is near the existing plot the county owns. The board stated intent of using all those parcels to crush gravel.

Commissioners Doug Vickrey and Dave Stephens voted against the measure. Vickrey said it was a large chunk of money while the county had done nothing with the existing plot it owns for the same purpose. Commissioners Joel Bousman, Tom Noble and Sam White voted in favor. Bousman said he believes the purchase could save the county money in the long run, which White said held an estimated $18 million return.

Health-care update

Deputy county attorney Clayton Melinkovich informed commissioners the transfer agreement between the county and Sublette County Hospital District is being finalized.

County maintenance supervisor Andre Irey later brought up an issue with the Pinedale Clinic roof. While working on the roof, crews found a soft spot that was likely due to the accumulation of snow and pooling of melt. Irey asked how much the board wanted to commit to the building and reiterated it definitely would need repair. It was estimated to cost between $30,000 and $40,000 to do it “the right way,” as referred to by Irey and Commissioner Vickrey. Doorn said the potential work of a critical access hospital would not impact roof repairs.

Connecting through Union

Representatives from Union Wireless gave the board an update on implementing its broadband coverage throughout Sublette County. Those representatives said Pinedale’s installation was around 41 percent while work through Marbleton and Big Piney increases. While going through each area, Union is installing higher-speed services in the schools that should improve speeds by up to tenfold.

Union continues to seek grant funding for the project and is being approached by new customers as trucks are seen installing infrastructure.

 Summer ice

Sublette County Ice Arena Manager Grant Golden reiterated he anticipated a 22-increase in utility costs that were reflected in his proposed budget. Hourly ice time rental rates are set to increase (from $10 to $15) but commissioners wanted to make sure they stayed well below nearby ice arenas.

Commissioners agreed to maintain summer ice to see how it goes. A new position for ice rink personnel was created and will be advertised. Golden said he wanted to make sure they get the right fit for that position. Commissioners also instructed Golden to keep tabs on visitor numbers a month at a time in order to get a better idea of peak and lull times.

The ice arena’s preferred maintenance contact is scheduled to work on the compressor and fix underlying issues early next month.

Other issues:

  • Mike Henn gave a brief presentation of the water rights project he’s working on. He’s currently in the draft stages of mapping points for diversion, along with other issues, related to water rights in the Hoback Watershed. Commissioners saw the benefit in this new mapping project, done along with Greenwood, which will be available to the public.
  • Sublette County Planner Dennis Fornstrom said he’s continuing to work on regulations. A special meeting was scheduled to discuss them so a complete draft could be made to the county planning and zoning board in July and be taken before commissioners in August.

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